Jakande: Exit of an Icon



By Olufunke Cole

Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande was in deed and truth our pride and best. Of course, Lagos couldn’t have described it better than what is being said today. What we do today gives enormous details of what our tomorrow could brandish. Its not a fairytale that true leaders have emerged and graced the surface of this benighted nation, Nigeria. Pa Jakande was one, whose sterling leadership styles and pattern robbed off on the plight of poor people of Lagos state during his tenure which lasted between1979 and 1983.

It is no longer news that the former Lagos governor has crossed the luminous light today, yet, his legacy will forever remain cherished and treasured in our hearts. Great men have indeed walked the surface of the earth. Baba kékeré, one of the closest to the sage and Ikenne philosopher, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, has transisted this earthly sphere, yet, his legacies will forever remain a connection between us and him. We have had men who had twice baba’s tenure struggle to achieve half of his achievements.

I happen to have lived in one of Jakande’s housing estates on Amuwo Odofin Road, and could categorically tell you that it was a sight to behold when we moved into the area which epitomized his visionary leadership. I was in Mile 2 few weeks ago and could not, but imagine how those buildings have endured. His housing and educational schemes were one of his monumental and laudable projects that contributed to the alleviation of poverty within the metropolis. Lagos State University owes him an applause as one of his pioneer projects in the areas of educational advancement in Lagos state.

Irreversibly, many leaders have struggled to achieve one quarter of what he did in the dispensation of 18 years since the period of democracy. Baba Kékeré needed approximately four years to to build such a gigantic landmark to prove a point that government was a representation of people’s ideology. A quintessential leader and true representation of a perfectly defined ideologically instituted authority. He was a trailblazer for the infrastructure that has remained a reference point among our political leaders. Indisputably, he is a true legend and one of the finest leaders that ever graced the surface of Nigeria’s soil. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

-Olufunke Cole is a Doctoral student, University of Lagos