Former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, is dead. According to multiple sources, the man fondly known as ‘Action Governor’ died this Thursday at the age of 91.
Also called ‘Baba Kekere’ (small papa- a passionate link to the legendary Pa Obafemi Awolowo), Jakande brought a lot of development to Lagos as governor between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1983, in line with the five cardinal programmes of the Unity Party of Nigeria founded by a former Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Part of his achievements was the total rebuilding and remodeling the then Lagos City Stadium and renaming it as the Onikan Stadium which he reopened on 2 October 1982.
Before then, the government of Mobolaji Johnson had demolished the arena on 7 June 1973. The Lagos State Secretariat, the opening up of hitherto Lekki/Ajah axis as well as the establishments of the Lagos Television and Lagos State University were legacies of the four-year administration of Jakande.
He also initiated a metro line project which was truncated by the military government in 1984. According to reports, the current Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has confirmed the passage of the elder statesman.
He wrote, “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.