The Action Democratic Party (ADP) has urged tbe Lagos State Government to immortalise the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, its erstwhile governor, for his patriotic, iconic and exceptional leadership in Lagos and Nigeria.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, Mr Yabagi Yusuf-Sani, the National Chairman of ADP, said that immortalising Jakande, the first civilian governor of Lagos State, would be a worthy and befitting monument.
According to him, Jakande laid the foundation upon which latter-day administrators in Lagos built.
“Jakande should be immortalised because he was a colossus, an unassuming genius, a bridge-builder, a humanist and quintessential patriot who believed and worked for the unity and oneness of Nigeria.
“We have lost yet one of the rare breeds of leaders who exhibited extraordinary attributes of selflessness, incisive intelligence, vision, courage and uprightness when he had the opportunities of centre-stage in governance.
“As the first democratically elected executive Governor of Lagos State, Ahaji Jakande innovatively boosted the revenue profile of the state and went on to erect people-centred projects in the strategic sectors of health, education, housing and infrastructure.
“A few of the enduring legacies of LKJ in these sectors include the coterie housing estates in all parts of the Lagos such as those at Dolphin, Iporin and Gbagada, among others,” he said.
Yusuf-sani said that the late LKJ ushered in universal free education and the state witnessed an unprecedented expansion in the number of public primary and secondary schools.
He also said that the Lagos State university, which is one of the most outstanding state-owned centres of academic excellence, was a product of the dynamic leadership of Jakande.
He praised the administration of the late nationalist for initiating the then metro rail network meant to ease transportation in the sprawling Lagos city.
“Sadly, that ingenious project was aborted by the retrogressive, reactionary anti-democratic elements in the military who scuttled the second republic in a coup in 1984.
“Jakande served as the Minister of Works and Housing between 1993 and 1995 where he gave a good account of himself with great housing projects initiatives at Gwarinpa and Lugbe estates, in the FCT,” he said.
The ADP Chairman said that the housing projects carried out by Jakande were major highlights under the military regime of Gen. Sani Abacha.
He, however, said that the FCT housing projects inadvertently incurred for Jakande the wrath of some persons and that resentment appeared to have dogged his life until the end.
Yusuf-Sani noted that his party, the ADP, believed that political ‘missteps’ should not be allowed to becloud LKJ’s landmarks because “even in death he stands out as the greatest governor of Lagos State.”