By Abiodun Ali
On a day one legend of the profession was interred, journalism lost Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, a pillar of the profession and poineer President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
Alhaji Jakande passed away on Thursday, February 11, 2021, at the age of 91.
This was a statement released yesterday, February 11, 2021 by Guild of Editor when the news of the demise of Alhaji Lateef Jakande who was also a former Governor of Lagos
Pa Jakande’s death was particularly painful because it was coming at a period when the NGE had already lost many of its members and founding fathers, including Mallam Wada Maida, Mr. Ben Egbuna and lately, Prince Tony Momoh.
The NGE was, however, consoled by the fact that Pa Jakande left an indelible mark on the sands of time as a Journalist of repute, Publisher, Media Entrepreneur, Politician, astute Administrator, Governor, Minister, as well as a Statesman and Conscience of the nation.
The NGE recalled with nostalgia and gratitude, the role of Jakande, not only in the empowerment of journalists, through his John West Publishing Group, but also in the establishment and sustenance of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).
The Guild also feels very proud of Jakande’s achievements as the first civilian Governor of Lagos State, especially his impactful projects in Public Housing, Education and infrastructure development, which remain a reference point for good governance till date.
The fact that the man, fondly called Baba Kekere and Arole Awolowo, recorded these achievements in just four years as the Governor of Lagos State makes it a reference point in governance in Nigeria. The Jakande Schools and the numerous Jakande Estates, spread across several Local Government Areas of Lagos State, bear a testimony to the Jakande imprints on governance in Lagos.
Revered as the Father of Modern Lagos, Pa Jakande arguably laid the foundation for the massive development that Lagos State is witnessing today. That administration was anchored on the five-cardinal programmes of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo-led Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
Alhaji Jakande, remains a reference point for austere lifestyle and uprightness in public office. He also demonstrated the fact that journalists do make very good administrators and nation builders.
The Nigerian Guild of Editors extends its sincere condolences to his immediate family, the Lagos State Government and the Awoist political family, for this irreplaceable loss.
May Alhaji Jakande’s soul find rest in Aljannah.
Mustapha Isah, President
Mary Atolagbe, General Secretary