Even in death, torrents of tributes were, yesterday, showered on the first civilian governor of Lagos State, late Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, even as the state government announced plans to immortalise the late political icon, who died on February 11. Speaking yesterday at ‘The Day of Tributes,’ organised by the state government at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos, Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu, who led eminent citizens and ordinary folks to bid the foremost politician a final farewell, eulogised the former governor for being the architect of modern Lagos.
He assured the people that the Lateef Jakande Leadership and Fellowship Academy will be backed by an Act of the House of Assembly. According to him, the Academy will be a tertiary School of Leadership and Governance for young people in public service and private sector to learn the art of leadership through qualities and values bequeathed by the late Jakande, who governed Lagos from 1979 to 1983.
The Day of Tributes organised by the state government to celebrate the life and times of the late political icon, brought together his political associates, senior government officials and leaders from various sectors, including the royalty. S anwo-Olu described Jakande as “a titan of progressive politics and leadership”, who also built an “outstanding” reputation for himself as a journalist, adding that Jakande had etched his name on chapters of history, given his “unrivalled” achievements in governance.
Sanwo-Olu said: “Today, we celebrate a great man, a selfless leader, a rare gem, a quintessential politician, an administrator par excellence, the first civilian governor of our state, architect of modern Lagos and one of the leading disciples of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo; Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, ‘Baba Kekere’, a sobriquet he earned for taking after the late sage. He was a man who led a life rich not in material things, but in the things that truly matter – integrity, honour, service and character. “Alhaji Jakande’s tenure will continue to be remembered by generations as a reference point in good governance, welfarism, visionary leadership, selflessness, transformational leadership and leadership by example.
In recognition and appreciation of his outstanding achievements, and as a way of immortalising his name, we are setting up an endowment to be known as Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy. The institute will be supported by an enabling Act of the State House of Assembly.” The governor said the decision to establish the Academy to immortalise Jakande was thought-through, given that there had been several public monuments already named after the former governor. Sanwo-Olu said apart from being a personal beneficiary of Jakande’s visionary leadership, his administration was also pushing forward the legacy of the ex-governor through the involvement of children of key progressive politicians, who served under the late Jakande in the state’s executive council.