Okebukola, lawmakers mourn as Lagos Assembly urges Buhari to revisit late Jakande’s Metroline Project

The Lagos State House of Assembly has beseeched President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the Metroline Project of the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande in a bid to honour him.

This call was made on Thursday, February by members of the Lagos State House of Assembly during plenary in honour of the late former civilian governor of the state.

Nigerian Tribune reports that the ex-governor died in the early hours of Thursday.

Jakande, who ruled the state from October 1979 to December 1983, died on Thursday, February 11, 2021, at the age of 91.

Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that the metroline project, which he said was stalled by the military government that took over power from the civilians on December 31, 1983, would have been part of the achievements of late Jakande.

Obasa stated that the Metroline Project would have reduced traffic congestion in Lagos State and that it would have been at a cheaper rate.

“Jakande would have been remembered more if he had been allowed to do the metroline project. But now that he is dead the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, who led the military junta then in a coup, should remember Jakande with the project or any other befitting project.

“As a House, we will write a condolence letter to the family of the deceased. We will visit the family to condole with them on the death of their patriach,” he said.

The speaker recalled that the late Jakande provided free education for the people of the state and gave out free textbooks, saying that he was a beneficiary of the gesture.

He added that Jakande built schools, including the Lagos State University, which he said has produced several people that have achieved greatness in life.

Other lawmakers who eulogised Jakande’s achievements during plenary spoke extensively about his legacies and his passion for the masses.

They recalled that they were all beneficiaries of his free education as governor, saying that he lived his life for the masses.

In his contribution, Hon. Nurein Akinsanya, (Mushin 1), who announced the death of Lateef Jakande on the floor of the House, described him as a true patriot, who he said established first state university in Nigeria.

Also speaking, David Setonji representing Badagry Constituency 2 said that Jakande laid a good legacy for Lagosians. “The housing estates he built were purchased by civil servants, including those, who were on level 1 but it is unfortunate that the houses we are building now, a level 1 officer cannot afford them,” he said.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti-Osa Constituency 02 also said that Jakande lived his life for the masses. “All the houses he built were for the masses. God used him as a pathfinder for the state,” he said.

He joined his colleagues to say that the House should send delegates to his house and also write a letter of condolence to the family.

In his contribution, Hon. Femi Saheed (Kosofe 2) said that Jakande developed the state and that he was a perfect example to both the young and the old.

He recalled that Jakande provided incinerators in Apapa, Oshodi, Lagos Island and others.

Hon. Fatai Oluwa (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 2) said that Jakande was a journalist, who wrote a book entitled; “Trial of Chief Obafemi Awolowo” on behalf of the late sage.

Also speaking, Hon. Age-Sulaiman Rufai (Amuwo-Odofin 2) said that the late Jakande replaced Chief Obafemi Awolowo, but he has also gone to be with his creator.

Representing Epe Constituency 2, Hon Sylvester Ogunkelu advised politicians to emulate the good deeds of the late former Governor even as he described him as the lover of the people. “He is a lover of the people. I want politicians to emulate from the good deeds of the man. Whoever does good in politics always live longer,” Sylvester said.

This was corroborated by Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh (Apapa 2), who urged the House to hold a special session on behalf of the late Jakande.

In his comments, the Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said that Jakande would be remembered for his good deeds, while also condoling with his family.

Okebukola says Jakande’s contributions to education delivery in Lagos unequalled

Meanwhile, former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission(NUC), Prof Peter Okebukola has mourned the death of the first civilian governor of Lagos State.

He said Jakande’s death is a great loss to humanity generally.

Okebukola in his reaction said the late Jakande was far ahead of his time in his vision for education for Lagos State and that his contributions to the sector is unrivalled by any other.

He said: “Jakande did not look at the immediate configuration of educational challenges as most of our leaders do today, but he was far-sighted enough to look at contemporary challenges alongside future scenarios (about 50 years ahead) so as to comprehensively tackle immediate, short-term and long-term impediments to quality education and he also applied the same framework to all sectors of the economy, including housing, health and public transportation.”

Making reference to some of his giant footprints in education, Okebukola said: “At the basic education level, he got all angles of input, process and output covered. As more classrooms were built to accommodate the surge in enrolment as a consequence of implementing his free primary education, leave-no-child-behind policy.

“He was genius enough to start with prototype classrooms with a plan to progressively improve on the quality of the buildings.

“He reconfigured the governance system of education in Lagos State to respond to emerging needs in accountability. And he trained more teachers, resourced the classrooms as much as available funds could support and streamed the classes (morning and afternoon) being the most practical arrangement at that time to accommodate the pupils.

“Not one to focus only on quantity, he installed a robust quality assurance system within the inspectorate of the Lagos State ministry of education. He ensured equity by providing educational services to all the divisions of Lagos State.”

Similarly, Okebukola said: “Pa Jakande legacies in higher education in Lagos State are remarkable. An example is in him being the visioner and founder of Lagos State University in 1983 where I was engaged as foundation staff in 1984 until retirement next week (February 17).

“We can see the brilliance of Pa Jakande in the enabling law of LASU which over the years, has been a model for the laws of other universities in Nigeria.

“And what many may not know is that until his death, Pa Jakande followed up progress in LASU and offered non-political advice to the leadership.

“LASU was his baby and like a true father that he was, he ensured good nurturance for the baby which has now grown to be the envy of the world.

“He lived a simple, humble and people-centred life and his legacies would ever be cherished.”

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