By Folasade Adeniran
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday described the first Civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, as a man whose legacies could never be forgotten.
Osinbajo, at an event to mark the 90th birthday of Jakande in Lagos, described him as a revolutionary and transformational figure in the political history of the nation.
He said that many generations to come would continue to remember Jakande’s legacies as a man who built the largest housing units in Nigeria.
Recounting Jakande’s achievements in various sectors of the economy, the vice president said the former governor had demonstrated that people-oriented policies could be successfully implemented.
“The largest number of houses ever built by any state government in one cycle, including even the Federal Government, was built under the Jakande’s administration.
“Alhaji Jakande has shown that governance to the common man is possible and it is possible to impact on the lives of our people if we are dedicated and committed.
“I think his life has shown that if we are dedicated to public service, it can have its own rewards,’’ Osinbajo said.
In a goodwill message, the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bola Tinubu, said Jakande’s sense of unshakable loyalty, political ideologies and love of humanity had been exemplary.
Tinubu, who also governed Lagos State, acknowledged that Jakande’s style of governance had been a benchmark for subsequent administrations in the state.
“One of the key qualities of Alhaji Jakande is his unshakable, unnegotiable loyalty to his leaders, at a very crucial time in the political history of this country.
“He was very loyal to Chief Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory.
“Ideologically, he has never departed from the progressive path always,” Tinubu said.
Also speaking, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, said the state government planned to name the 496 housing units in Igando housing estate, one of the newly-completed Housing Estates under the Lagos State Home Ownership Scheme after Jakande.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the housing estate which will be commissioned in August, will be named Alhaji Jakande Garden Estate.
He said current leaders should learn from Jakande who achieved a lot during his administration.
“Forty years ago, you took the baton of leadership and in the last 40 years, you have transformed our lives. Thank God for the legacy you left behind.
“Jakande impacted many lives. The legacy of Jakande is in housing, transportation and many more.
“The housing estate at Igando will be named after Jakande next month,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Chairman of the occasion and former Ogun Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, described Jakande as a great patriot, a man of uncommon accomplishments and a great defender of press freedom, who deserved to be given a National Honour in view of his contributions to the social, political and economic development of the country.
Osoba said: “In spite of all that Alhaji Jakande did for this country, he is yet to be given a national honour, I think it is a serious mistake by past administrations.”
While giving the vote of thanks, the son of Jakande, Mr Deji Jakande, called on all leaders to follow the foot prints of his father to make life more meaningful for the masses.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highpoint of the ceremony was the cutting of the birthday cake by Alhaji Jakande and his wife, Abimbola Jakande, while Juju Maestro, King Sunny Ade, thrilled guests with various songs.
The occasion was also attended by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; a former Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola and many others.