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Tributes as Jakande is laid to rest in Lagos

●PDP urges Nigerian leaders to emulate former governor

Even in death, tributes were in torrents yesterday as the body of the Lagos first Executive Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, was laid to rest at the Vaults and Gardens, Ikoyi, Lagos. Eminent personalities comprising top politicians, business moguls, statesmen, family members, and other well-wishers were among the people who committed his remains to mother earth. Among the political bigwigs, office holders, who paid the last respect to the late former governor and minister were the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, former Ogun State Governor and senator representing Ogun Central, Ibikunle Amosun and others.

Many of them had joined the pre-burial prayers organised for the deceased at his Ilupeju residence on Friday morning. Shortly after yesterday prayers, a janazzah prayer was performed on the remains of the former governor before the body was taken to Vaults and Gardens in Ikoyi for the burial. Dignitaries described the late former governor as one of the best public office holders in the political history of Nigeria based on how he transformed Lagos State and Nigeria during his tenure as governor and later Minister of Works and Housing. Meanwhile, the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, described the late Jakande as an embodiment of all the positives.

The Deputy Governor also spoke during a special fidau prayers in honour of the former governor held at the Ilupeju residence of the deceased. He described Jakande as a great man who cared and served his people meritoriously when he had the opportunity. Hamzat said: “Baba Jakande was just an example of what all of us should aspire to be.

A great man, humble, selfless, loyal, and dedicated. So, he is an embodiment of all the positives. A great man that served his people when he had the opportunity to serve. A man that cared for the people and a fantastic journalist.” Signing the condolence register, the deputy governor wrote: “Baba was a great leader in the State of Lagos. The developmental strides put in place is unprecedented and he was a greater leader in Nigeria. A thorough-bred Awoist and man of the people.

He added that there was need for political leaders in the country to emulate him by being humble and loyal to the country. Recalling his personal encounter with the late Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, Dr.Hamzat said, he showed up at his graduation at the University of Ibadan in 1986.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged leaders at all levels across the country to emulate the humility, patriotism, selflessness andlife of service exhibited by Jakande. The party said in a statement signed bu its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan that it was saddened by the death of Alhaji Jakande, whom it described as a quintessential statesman; very prudent administrator and exceptionally self-sacrificing leader, whose life remains a true stencil and source of inspiration for younger generation of leaders. “Alhaji Jakande’s leadership footprints remain indelible in his unprecedented development of Lagos State, including urban development, transportation, railways, road infrastructure, mass education, healthcare, economic empowerment as well as investment in mass housing infrastructure across Lagos state. “Indeed, Alhaji Jakande’s exceptional patriotism is demonstrated in his manifest spurn of materialism and sacrificing of his comfort for the benefit of the society.

His reputation of using his personal vehicle and house, while serving as a state governor, demonstrates his persuasion that leadership is about serving the people and not for personal aggrandizements,” the statement read. Also present at the special fidau of the deceased were his children, former governor of Ogun State, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun and his wife Olufunsho, former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, former Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade Ayo Adewale, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Yetunde Odejayi, amongst others.

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