34 Basic And Political Facts You Need To Know About The Life And Times of Lateef Jakande - SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAGAZINE


Thursday, February 11, 2021

34 Basic And Political Facts You Need To Know About The Life And Times of Lateef Jakande

By Charles Segun Adegbite

Barely a week after a veteran journalist, former minister and politician, Prince Tony Momoh passed on at the age of 81, another senior one Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, fondly called LKJ or Baba Kekere, died also, aged 91.

Published below are some of the things you need to know about him, if you didn't.
• Jakande was the first executive governor of Lagos State.
• He was a notable disciple of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, from the time the latter was the Premier of the defunct Western Region
• Jakande governed Lagos State for four years and three months.
• He served as the Minister of Works under late General Sanni Abacha between November 1993 and August 1998.
• He was a veteran journalist, distinguished editor, publisher and politician .
• The first President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN.
• He was one of the five governors elected under the platform of the then Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, in the second republic; who governed the South West and some parts of the South-South geopolitical zones of Nigeria, which today are: Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Delta States between October 1, 1979 and December 31,1983. 
• He was until his death, the only one alive out of those five former governors, after Chief Bola Ige, who later became the Minister of Justice, died in December 2001.
• Although he was born in Epetedo area of Lagos Island, Lagos State, on July 23,1929, his parents were from Omu Aron, Kwara State.
• He studied briefly at King's College, Lagos State, in 1944, after schooling at Banham Memorial Methodist Primary School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, 1939-43, before going to Ilesha Grammar School in 1945.
• He began to display his passion for journalism from secondary school when he edited a literary paper, The Quarterly Mirror 
• He started his journalism career as a reporter with Daily Service, 1949-50; Sub-Editor/Proof Reader, 1950; acting Editor, Daily Service, 1951-53 and Associate Editor, Daily Service, 1953.
• He was Editor, Nigerian Tribune, 1953-56; Managing Editor, Nigerian Tribune, 1954-56; Joint General Manager, Amalgamated Press of Nigeria Limited, 1956; Editor-in-Chief, Amalgamated Press, 1956-69; Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Allied Newspapers Limited, 1959-68; Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief, African Newspapers of Nigeria Limited, 1968-1979.
• He established his own publishing company, John West Publications Limited and John West Newspapers Limited and became their Chairman/Managing Director.
• He was Chairman, International Press Institute,IPI, for the Nigeria branch, 1960-78; Vice President, IPI, 1972-74; and President, IPI, 1975-76.
• He was the General Secretary of the defunct Action Group, Lagos Division, 1950-66; National Treasurer, defunct Action Group Youth Association; Member, Federal Executive Council, defunct Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, 1979-83; Chairman, UPN, Lagos branch.
He didn't have a degree from any university but he was a consultant to the School of Journalism, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
• He was elected Governor of Lagos State, October 1, 1979-October 1,1983;  and October 1,1983 till December 31,1983, when the military overthrew the civilian regime in Nigeria.
• His administration was known to be very efficient and dynamic which fetched him the title, The Action Governor of Lagos in those days.
• His administration founded Lagos State University, LASU
• Lagos State Television, LTV, was also established by his administration 
• The low cost housing estate project he embarked on across the state named Jakande Estates by Lagosians, through which his administration constructed over 30,000 housing units, did not led to his popularity but accelerated the rate of migration to the state by citizens from other parts of Nigeria.
•His administration built neighborhood primary and secondary schools, implemented free education program of the UPN which gave children of many residents of Lagos access to free education and increased the literacy rates of the state. 
• He established 23 local government council which were later disbanded by the military under the leadership of the then Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
• He also embarked on a metro line project which Buhari's military administration then halted, after they took over.
• In 1992 he contested for president and lost at the primary of Social Democratic Party, SDP, to Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, who was later accused of buying votes, leading to the cancellation of the results of that election by the Federal Government.
• He was later appointed Minister of Works in 1993 by the then Head of State, late General Sanni Abacha after he had overthrew the Interim National Government, ING, in November that year.
• Jakande's ministerial appointment lasted till August 1998, after the death of Abacha and the new Head of State formed his own cabinet.
• The ministerial job he got under Abacha affected his popularity adversely among the progressive elements of Yoruba stock who saw Abacha's rule as an obstacle to the realization of the popular June 12, 1993 presidential election, annulled by the military.  
• Following the restoration of democracy in 1999, Jakande became a senior member of the  All Nigeria People's Party, ANPP. But he was later suspended by a faction of the party.
• Prior to his retirement from politics he was the National Chairman of Action Party of Nigeria, APN. 
• He supported the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief H.I.D Awolowo and participated in the Yoruba Unity Forum she established to fight for and protect the interest of the Yoruba, till she died.
• He was married to Sikirat Abimbola Fajolu in 1968 and they had four sons and four daughters.
• He bagged the Chieftaincy title of Gbobaniyi of Ibeshe Land

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