..Receives messages of personal ambition the deceased wanted to be fulfilled before his death
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that the late first civilian Governor of the state, “Lateef Kayode Jakande, LKJ, scored several firsts in infrastructural developments that even subsequent governors have not been able to match in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu, made the remarks on Sunday when he led members of the State Executive Council on a condolence visit to the wife of late Jakande, Alhaja Abimbola Jakande, the children and relatives at the family’s residence in Ilupeju area of the state during a special prayer for the deceased.
In the state entourage include: Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folasade Jaji, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Tayo Ayinde, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola; Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyo Onigbanjo,
The brief event was also attended by Islamic clerics, well-wishers, friends among others.
The governor, who was full of praises for late Jakande, described him as “exceptional” human being who lived his life for the growth of the masses.
Before the prayers commenced, Sanwo-Olu held a meeting behind closed doors with the deceased’s family members, during which a close confidant of the late Jakande, Engr. Kamal Giwa delivered two messages left for the Governor by the deceased. One of the messages is a personal ambition, which the late Jakande wanted to be fulfilled before his death.
Jakande, the Governor said, was “tremendously outstanding” throughout his public career as the first Executive Governor of Lagos and as federal minister. Sanwo-Olu said Jakande’s achievements remained the guiding light for leaders across political divides, stressing that his “sterling” leadership qualities stood him out as one of the great men Lagos had produced.
Sanwo-Olu urged the families to take solace in the legacy left by the former Governor, which, he said, remained indelible in the minds of the people who benefitted from his policies and programmes. The Governor said the manner in which Jakande passed away showed he led a fulfilled life and had departed to be at peace with his Creator.
Speaking with newsmen after the event, Sanwo-Olu said, “We are here to give Glory to Almighty Allah for giving him many years on earth. No matter how long you stay on earth, you don’t want to lose your loved ones, especially people that had been tremendous, that had been outstanding in our environment.
“But to have lived for 91 years, we believe the Almighty Allah had been gracious to him. And he was not a man we had to be carried from one hospital to another, it wasn’t that he was terminally ill, it wasn’t that he had illnesses or diseases that we could not treat, at the right time and at the right age, he was called up to Almighty Allah and that is the testimonial that he had lived a good life and he had been at peace with humankind and also with his creator the way he left us peaceful and that reflects what LKJ had been to each and every one of us.
“Me personally, growing up I remember how he came to power in 1979, as the first civilian governor of Lagos State from 1979 to 1983, the quality, what he stood for, what he had done still stands 40 years and beyond.
“His tenacity, his human kindness, his love for the poor, his genuine empathy, his resolve to ensure that the people he governs over get the very best, are the testimonials that we all still remember today and are very fresh.
“Alhaji Jakande scored several first that even subsequent governors have not been able to match and I say here with all sense of humility that indeed he has been a builder of our time, a man that laid the foundation of a Lagos that all of us are attempting and are trying to develop and put layers on and his exist cannot be easily quantifiable.
“We can only take solace in the fact that he had lived a good life, he had been a very decent man, he had been a very humble man and he had reflected what true humanity is all about. It is a source of inspiration to all of us, it is a clarion call for all of us that are in a position of leadership now to think and reflect on how also would be remembered after our time.
“So, we are here to commiserate again with the family, encourage them, to pray with them and to say to them that indeed at this trying time, we will be with them.
“The entire citizens of Lagos State understand and appreciate the kind of icon, elder statesman he was. May his soul continue to rest in peace and the memories he left for all of us will continue to linger for a long time and the experience, the learning that we have taken, we will not throw away.
“We will continue to remember him for good. We will continue to say that LKJ was a good man that lived in our time.”