Contemporary political leaders have valuable lessons to learn from personal life and leadership qualities of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said recently while paying glowing tribute to his and first civilian governor of the state.
The Governor who spoke on the occasion of 90th birthday of Jakande held at Havens Event Centre in GRA Ikeja, said Jakande’s legacy in leadership and governance remained a reference point in contemporary history, despite leaving government more than three decades ago.
The event, which was jointly organised by Lagos State Government and Jakande’s family drew high-profile dignitaries which included the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, former Lagos state governor and National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his successor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, Ogun State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, Lagos Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, former Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, former Lagos Military Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Others were Gen. (retd), Alani Akinrinade, former Lagos Deputy Governor, Mr. Femi Pedro, and Senator Ibikunle Amosun, among others.
Describing Jakande’s personal life as “selfless and exemplary”, Sanwo-Olu said the former governor’s achievements became the pathway for progressive governance in the country.
He said: “Lagos, under the Jakande, became a pillar of support not only to neighbouring states, but also to faraway states, including Borno State, where he made landmark contribution. This goes to show that the progressive mind of Jakande has been with him ever since.
“It’s something that all of us needs to copy. I wish today’s leaders could borrow from this example, which shows us how states can collaborate for greater development and opportunities. Alhaji Jakande did it 40 years ago as Governor of Lagos State and scored several firsts.”
Sanwo-Olu said Jakande’s name had become a national symbol synonymous with development and progressive politics. Despite his towering achievements in office, he said Jakande’s simple life stood him out as “fine politician and selfless leader”. He said: “Jakande is a national name that is synonymous with development, either in provision of potable water, quality education and housing.”
Sanwo-Olu announced that the state government will be naming its 496-flat, Igando Garden Estate after Alhaji Jakande as a mark of honour.
Tinubu had earlier described Jakande as a “foremost progressive man in Africa”, saying his loyalty to the cause of progressive politics and the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, earned him “unmatched respect”.