Lagos Senators ask FG to name Gwarimpa Estate after Jakande

Senators representing the three senatorial districts in Lagos State have asked the federal government to immortalise former Lagos State governor, Lateef Jakande by naming the Gwarimpa district after the deceased.

The late Jakande was equally former Minister of Works under the late General Sani Abacha regime.

Coming under Order 43, ( Personal Explanation), Senator representing Lagos West, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, who presented the motion on behalf of his two other colleagues, described the former first executive governor of Lagos State as a modest man in every sense, who shunned all kind of ostentatious life in and out of the office and could be accused of any corruption.

Highlighting the late Jakande’s achievements as Lagos State governor in the second republic, the Chairman Senate Committee on Finance further recalled that both the Gwarimpa and Lugbe Estates in the Federal Capital Territory were conceptualized by the former Minister of Works.

His motion read in part: “The President of the Senate, Distinguished colleagues, I raised this point of order to bring to the notice of this Senate the demise of a great man, an elder statesman, a true progressive and a nationalist in the person of late Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande. Alhaji Jakande passed away in his Ilupeju home at the ripe age of 91 on February 11, 2021, and has since been buried according to Muslim rites.

“There is no doubt that Lagos State and indeed Nigeria lost an illustrious son that contributed in great measure to the development of the society in his earthly sojourn. The man popularly called LKJ or “Baba Kekere” by his admirers and supporters was born to parents from Omu Aran in Kwara State on July 29, 1929, in Epetedo area of Lagos State. He started his educational career at a public primary school at Enu Owa, Lagos Island before moving to Burnham Memorial Methodist School in Port-Harcourt. He was at King’s College, Lagos State for his secondary education but continued this level of education at Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha in 1945 before graduating in 1949.

“A journalist and media organizations’ manager, Alhaji Jakande began his journalism career with the “Daily Service” in 1949 and later moved to join the Nigerian Tribune” in 1953. By 1956, he was appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune by its owner, the revered sage Pa Obafemi Awolowo. After leaving the Tribune in 1975 following a journalism career spanning 22 years, Alhaji Jakande established John West Publications and began to publish “Lagos News”. He founded the Nigerian Institute of Journalism where many Nigerian journalists received professional training.

“As the Unity Party of Nigeria(UPN) candidate, he ran for election as governor in Lagos State and won to become the first Executive Governor of Lagos State in the Second Republic. By the time Alhaji Jakande became the governor, Lagos, which was also the Federal capital then, had a huge population in a small space with housing deficits, poor road network, traffic congestion, poor health care system and paucity of recreational facilities. School system ran on shifts with morning and afternoon sessions.

LKJ ran an effective administration that implemented the cardinal policies of his party, UPN, targeting the poor. He constructed 30,000 housing units in places like Amuwo-Odofin, Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule Nla, Epe, Surelere, Iba, Ikorodu and Badagry. He constructed neighbourhood primary and secondary schools all over the state.

Under him, primary schools increased from 605 to 812. Secondary schools more than doubled increasing from 105 to 223. He implemented his party Free Education Policy to the fullest and brought the shift system to an end. To his credit is the establishment of Lagos State University.

Other landmarks of his achievements in metropolitan Lagos are the construction of Gbagada and Ikorodu General Hospitals and building of 20 Health Centres in the state. Alhaji Jakande also started the metro line project to assist in mass transit which was truncated by the military administration.

“He built the Lagos State Secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja including the Government House as well as Lagos Television (LTV) and Radio Lagos FM among other government agencies needed for a growing megacity.

“With the annulment of June 12 and military takeover, Alhaji Jakande accepted to serve the nation in the capacity of Minister of Works under the Late General Sanni Abacha military regime. To his credit as Minister of Works is the largest housing estate in Africa, the Gwarimpa Housing Estate which he fully conceptualized before he was changed as well as Lugbe Housing Estate in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“A modest man in every sense, LKJ shunned all kind of ostentatious life in and out of the office and cannot be accused of any corruption. It is on record that for all the built-in terms of housing he never allocated land or house to himself in Lagos State or in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“Alhaji Jakande contributed much to the development of Nigeria in terms of his many infrastructural legacies in Lagos State, the former capital and commercial nerve centre of Nigeria as well as the new Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. He was a welfarist in the true sense of the word with his policies targeted at the poor and the majority. Alhaji Jakande was a humble gentleman with titanic achievements. I graciously request the Federal Government of Nigeria to immortalize him with a national monument like renaming of the Gwarimpa Estate after him or anyway the Federal Government deemed fit. I also urge the Senate to send a letter of condolence to his family as well as observe a Minute Silence for one of our departed heroes.”

The Senate observed a minute silence in honour of the late statesman.

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