Buhari, Tinubu pay respects to the late journalist, first civilian governor of Lagos State
Encomiums have been pouring in for the first civilian governor of Lagos State who passed away in the early hours of Thursday in Lagos.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwoolu had in an announcement at around 1 pm on Thursday said:
“With gratitude to God for a worthy life well spent in the service of Lagos State, Nigeria and humanity, I announce the death of a venerable statesman, outstanding politician, public administrator and the first Civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande.”
“Baba Jakande’s record of service as a journalist of repute and a leader of remarkable achievements as governor of Lagos State will remain indelible for generations to come. His death is a collosal loss and he will be missed.”
“On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Baba Jakande. May Allah grant him Aljanat Firdaus, Aamin.”
In his reaction, President Muhammadu Buhari said former Gov. Lateef Jakande òf Lagos State, lived for the good of others, state and country, and his legacy of standing for all that was right for humanity would be long remembered.
Mr Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesman, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said Buhari stated this in a condolence message to the family, friends and associates of the elder statesman.
The president affirmed that Jakande’s imprint on the commercial nerve centre of the country, Lagos State, which was the former national capital, would continue to awe and inspire, reminding everyone of the strength of character and sacrifices of the visionary leader.
President Buhari further noted contributions of the first civilian Governor of Lagos State and former Minister of Works to the growth of democracy and good governance in the country.
He described the elder statesman as ”a patriot, whose wisdom will run through generations, especially in putting people first in development plans.”
The president joined government and people of Lagos State, Nigeria Union of Journalists, and Nigerian Guild of Editors, in mourning the veteran journalist.
He prayed that the almighty God would receive his soul and grant him eternal rest.
On Thursday evening, Senator Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, and a chieftain of the All Peoples’ Congress (APC), in a statement, said that he was celebrating, not mourning the late journalist.
The full text of his statement reads:
“Today, we lost a great soul. Pa Lateef Kayode Jakande exemplified the best of Lagos and of Nigeria.”
“He could appropriately be described as the last of the titans ranking with the likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Olabiyi Onabanjo, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Alhaji Aminu Kano, among others.”
“Showing his extraordinary natural ability, Pa Jakande was largely self-educated, yet he rose to become a man of great knowledge and a preeminent figure in Nigerian journalism who stood as one of the most incisive and brilliant editorialists of his generation.”
“He practiced journalism with the most audacious courage in defence of freedom, liberty and equity even in the thick of vicious military dictatorship. As accomplished he was as a journalist, Pa Jakande shone even more brightly as a governor and true leader of Lagos State.”
“Whatever we have been able to accomplish in Lagos State is because of the groundwork Pa Jakande set out before us. In so many ways, he is the inspirational father of modern Lagos State. In housing, education, health care, and road construction, he left an indelible imprint.”
“Thousands of Lagosian families still reside in the several housing estates he constructed across the state. Thousands of beneficiaries of his free education scheme are accomplished professionals and successful individuals in diverse fields today.”
“The Jakande administration conceptualized and actualized the Lagos-Badagry Expressway that opened that whole sector of the state for development. His administration conceived the Round Office from which I operated for eight years as governor but he did not occupy the structure even for one day. This was characteristic of him for Papa toiled and worked not for his personal benefit but for the future and the good of others. Incidentally, my administration conceived the new Lagos State Governor’s Office, which I never occupied for one day!”
“In this and in most other things, I tried to walk in the spirit of Jakande! The late elder statesman was a fount of invaluable advice and support throughout my tenure as governor. He was a mature statesman never given to histrionics or fanning the embers of disunity.”
“At difficult moments in the nation’s history, such as the struggle against military dictatorship, he took personal painful decisions that cost him a lot but his integrity was never impugned.”
“My last memory of him was at his 90th birthday last year when we gathered to celebrate him. The great man sat there, silent, bowed, humble, unaffected – a model lesson of servant leadership.”
“I, as well as all Lagosians, and Nigerians will miss him in ways that words cannot fully express for he was a true original. He was one of a kind.”
“Yet he would admonish us not to mourn him but to celebrate his life by carrying on in the spirit of compassion to build a more progressive and just society. Of course, we will shed tears and feel saddened by the passing of this great man.”
“Yet we must also thank God that we had the honour to have known him and to have learned so much from him. Now we must honour him by emulating the kindness and social vision that made him so special.”
“My thoughts at this moment are with Papa’s pillar of support, Alhaja Jakande, and the children, including my former Personal Assistant, Hon. Deji Jakande, and all others left behind by Alhaji Jakande. May Almighty Allah comfort them all.”
“We celebrate Papa’s life and his legacy and we must do our best to continue to build on them. May Almighty Allah grant Baba Jakande Aljanna Firdaus. Amin.”