Sanwo-Olu announces Leadership Academy to immortalise Jakande

• As eulogies, encomiums pour in for late ex- Lagos gov

Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, officially announced the establishment of Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy, in honour of the first civilian governor of the state, the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, which he said would be supported by an Act of the State House of Assembly.

The governor made this known while speaking at the ‘Day of Tributes’ in celebration of the life and times of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande (CON), which held at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan Stadium, in Lagos Island.

According to the governor, the Academy came about as a way to immortalise the late elder statesman, whose legacy he said was there for all to see in the last forty years, describing him as a great man, a rare gem, a quintessential politician, an architect of modern Lagos, one of the leading disciples of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, among others, whose prints were all over Lagos in glowing colours.

The governor recalled that already schools, housing estates, roads, among others had been previously named after the former governor, saying it would only be befitting to open such an academy in his honour, to continue in his legacy of leadership.

He said this was so because Jakande was a man who was not only committed to leadership but equally built up, made and raised leaders.

“Today, we celebrate a great man, a selfless leader, a rare gem, a quintessential politician, an administrator par excellence, the first civilian Governor of Lagos State, architect of modern Lagos, and one of the leading disciples of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, ‘Baba Kekere,’ a sobriquet he earned for taking after the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

“A man who lived a full life; a life rich, not in material things but in the things that truly matter: Integrity, honour, service and character. Through his outstanding and unequalled achievements, Alhaji Lateef Jakande has written his name in gold. He will continue to be remembered by generations as a reference point in good governance, welfarism, visionary
leadership, selfless leadership, transformational leadership and leadership by example.

“What more could be done to immortalise a great man as the late Lateef Jakande, ‘Baba Kekere’, whose legacy is there for all to see in the last forty years or so. He was a great man, whose prints- his hands, his feet and image- are all over Lagos in glowing colours. Schools, housing estates and roads have been named after him.

“I am therefore announcing the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy, in honour of the first civilian governor of the state, the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, which will be supported by an Act of the State Assembly. This is the true and befitting way to immortalise such a man, who believed in and was committed to selfless and sacrificial leadership, and one who nurtured and raised leaders as well,” Governor Sanwo-Olu stated.

The governor said one of the attributes of former Governor Jakande that stood out to most people was his humility, stressing that he was never one to throw his greatness and clout around.

“He stayed simple and humble even at the height of his achievements, and until the very end,” the governor said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu further recalled that Jakande had prior to his foray into politics built a reputation for himself as an outstanding journalist, noting that and a fearless one at that, he was widely celebrated for his ingenuity, courage and brilliance, all of which he demonstrated in his writings as Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune Online and as a publisher.

According to him Jakande’s achievements as governor of Lagos State within a period of four years and three months )1979-1983), were well documented for posterity, declaring that a careful analysis of the achievements, whether in education, health, housing, transportation, environment, road infrastructure or agriculture, would reveal a leader shrewd in the management of resources, visionary, altruistic, selfless, disciplined, passionate and accountable.

“He truly demonstrated that the real essence of power is for the advancement of the welfare and empowerment of the greatest number of people. He understood the power of education as the most potent weapon that can break the vicious cycle of poverty. He deployed it in a unique manner.

“As a result of his passionate and unrelenting commitment to the implementation of the free education policy of his party, the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, succeeded in ensuring a level playing field for an entire generation of children. Several children of the poor and the less-privileged, who probably would not have known what the four walls of a classroom look like, have today become accomplished professionals and leaders in all spheres of human endeavour, on account of the educational opportunities made available by Alhaji Jakande.

“In the housing sector, many low-income earners became proud owners of apartments because of his administration’s mass housing policy and pocket-friendly payment system. Let me quickly run through a list of some of his
most outstanding achievements, for the sake of the younger people among us today, who might not be so familiar with his story and legacy,” he said.

“We have Baba Jakande to thank for establishing the following: Lagos Television, LTV, the first State-owned Television station in the country; Radio Lagos, Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, Water Works at Shasha, Agege, Somolu,
Apapa, Badagry, Aguda, etc.

“Housing Estates at Iba, Isolo, Iponri, Ejigbo, etc. The Lagos State Secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja. Baba was a transformational leader, who led by example. His commitment and dedication to building the Greater Lagos of our dream, a Lagos that works for all, was unequalled. He served the people with all his heart and never saw his
position as a route to personal enrichment. He demystified public office through his simple and
Spartan lifestyle.

“He set a standard that successive administrations will continue to strive to live up to and maintain. I can say without any fear of contradiction that Baba died a happy and fulfilled man because he was able to witness the progress that successive administrations, especially civilian governments, made with regards to actualising the Lagos of his dream: a Lagos where all citizens are catered to (for), regardless of social or economic class, ethnic origin or religious outlook,” he added.

The event had top dignitaries in attendance, among whom were the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat and his wife; the Lagos First Lady, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; Ogun State Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako- Oyedele; former deputy governors of Lagos, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; Chief Judge of Lagos, Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba; members of the Federal Executive Council; National Assembly members, religious leaders and traditional rulers, among others.

Most of the dignitaries paid glowing tributes to Alhaji Jakande, describing him as a man whose set standards would be difficult to attain.

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