By Eromosele Ebhomele
The demise of former deputy governor of Lagos state, western Nigeria, Chief Rafiu Bakare Adeyefa Jafojo, means the state and the nation have lost one of its major patriots with penchant for equity and justice, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, has said.
Jafojo, who served as Deputy Governor in the administration of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, died Saturday evening after a brief illness in his Ikeja home. He was aged 80.
Obasa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Rasak, described the deceased as one of the founding fathers of modern Lagos and that his effort in the second republic laid the solid foundation upon which the ‘Centre of Excellence’ has evolved and developed over the years.
“Papa was a very patriotic Nigerian who was well known for his progressive pro-democratic ideals and promoter of equity and justice.
“Together with Alhaji Lateef Jakande and other members of the 1979-1983 class, they laid a solid foundation for the development and growth of the state. This is the foundation which subsequent administrations built upon to make the state live up to its sobriquet as ‘Center of Excellence’.
“Papa died when his wealth of experience, wisdom and elderly advice were most needed at this crucial period the country is navigating towards a progressive change from previous maladministration that has crippled the nation in the last 16 years.
“But who are we to query Almighty Allah? It is His wish that Papa should leave at this time, thus we are mere mortals who cannot query His decision,” Obasa said.
The Speaker condoled the Lagos state government, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Jafojo family over the death of the “loyal party member and patriach.
“I pray that Almighty Allah will grant him eternal rest and give the state, the party and the family in particular the fortitude to bear the huge loss.
“His was a life well spent as he contributed his all to the development and growth of the society he found himself, we should and will take solace in that.”
In his condolence message, Moshood Oshun, the lawmaker representing Lagos Mainland Constituency 2, described the demise of Jafojo as a painful loss.
“He was one of the founding fathers of modern-day Lagos and this is the time he would have been very useful to our party at the federal level.
“Remember the government is just rebuilding Nigeria and the wealth of knowledge of people like Jafojo is highly needed at this time. But this is the time death struck.
“We only take solace in the fact that he, with others, helped us to build a Lagos we are today proud of, a Lagos that has grown over the years to become a shiny example to other states in Nigeria and parts of Africa,” Oshun said.