Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has described the demise of the first civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, who died at the age of 91, as a colossal loss to Nigeria and journalism practice globally.
The Governor in a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. kunle Somorin, said, “Jakande was a statesman of statesmen. He was not just a great disciple of the legendary Obafemi Awolowo, he carried the Awoist traits everywhere he went. Lagos has lost a visioner. The Awoists family has lost a great inheritor and practitioner of the great legacy and Nigeria’s progressive politics has been weaned of a model.”
Abiodun who eulogised the deceased elder statesman, said he was a profound protégé of Papa Awo, an excellent welfarist, democrat and diplomat of the finest pedigree in character and disposition throughout his professional and political careers.
“There is no way good governance will be mentioned in Nigeria without a reference to the cerebral journalist and administrator, Alhaji Lateef Jakande. He was selfless, an embodiment of excellence in prudent management of men and resources, both as a newspaper man and Governor of Lagos State. Everybody attests to his modesty and exceptional skills in managing the affairs of Lagos State even in the period of austerity measures.
“Papa LKJ fought a triumphant battle against dictatorship and tyranny, especially in the colonial era and immediate post-colonial period as a journalist and politician. Many will remember him as the best governor in the second Republic, renowned for his investment in education, housing and public infrastructure”, the statement continued. LKJ was the last of the Unity Party of Nigeria-led Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Bendel and Oyo (LOOBO).
“It is my prayer that Almighty Allah grant his wife, the LKJ family, government and people of Lagos State, the fortitude to bear this great loss”, the statement concluded.