Breaking: Lateef Jakande Dies At 91-years

Alhaji Lateef Jakande

First civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, has passed away in the early hours of Thursday at 91.

Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced his death on Thursday afternoon via his Twitter page.

Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, a former journalist, became governor of Lagos State in Nigeria from 1979 to 1983.

He later served as Minister of Works under the Sani Abacha military regime (1993–98).

Lateef Kayode Jakande was born in Epetedo area of Lagos Island, Lagos State on 29 July 1929. Both parents are from Omu-Aran, Kwara State.

Lateef Jakande

He studied at the Lagos public school at Enu-Owa, Lagos Island, then at Bunham Memorial Methodist School, Port Harcourt (1934–43). He studied briefly at King’s College, Lagos in 1943, and then enrolled at Ilesha Grammar School in 1945, where he edited a literary paper called The Quarterly Mirror.

Jakande began a career in journalism first with the Daily Service in 1949 and then joined the Nigerian Tribune in 1953.

In 1956, he was appointed editor-in-chief of the Tribune by the owner, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. His editorials were factual and forthright, and were treated by the colonial powers with respect.

After leaving the Tribune in 1975, Jakande established John West Publications and began to publish The Lagos News. He served as the first President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).

Encouraged by Awolowo, he ran for election as executive governor of Lagos State in 1979, on the Unity Party of Nigeria platform.[3] He defeated his opponents, Adeniran Ogunsanya of NPP and Sultan Ladega Adeniji Adele of National Party of Nigeria and was subsequently sworn in as governor.

While serving as Lagos Governor, Jakande also known as Baba Kekere, brought a lot of development to the state 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, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

His administration as governor of Lagos state is still revered for the massive infrastructural development recorded during his four-year stint especially the numerous Jakande Estates built across many local governments in the State as well as sterling investment in schools.

Some of the housing units include low cost estates in Amuwo-Odofin, Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule Nla, Epe, Anikantamo, Surulere, Iba, Ikorodu, Badagry.

After the military take-over in 1983, Jakande was charged, prosecuted and convicted of treason, although later he was pardoned. Following this, he accepted the position of Minister of Works under the Sani Abacha military regime.

May his soul rest in peace.

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