BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
Senators from Lagos State, on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to rename the Gwarimpa Estate in Abuja after the first elected governor of Lagos State, late Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
The Senators, who raised a point of order presented on their behalf by Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West), at plenary pursuant to Order 43 of the Senate rules, noted that Jakande, as minister of works and housing, conceptualised the construction of the estate, considered to be the largest in West Africa.
The Senate, however, honoured the late Jakande with a minute silence as customary.
The Senators described Jakande as a great man, an elder statesman, a true progressive and a nationalist.
LEADERSHIP reports that Alhaji Jakande passed away in his Ilupeju residence at the ripe age of 91 last Thursday, February 11, 2021 and has since been buried according to Islamic rites.
“There is no doubt that Lagos State and indeed Nigeria lost an illustrious son that contributed in great measure to the development of the society in his earthly sojourn. The man popularly called LKJ or “Baba Kekere” by his admirers and supporters was born to parents from Omun Aran in Kwara State on July 29, 1929 in Epetedo area of Lagos State.
“A journalist and media organizations’ manager, Alhaji Jakande began his journalism career with the “Daily Service” in 1949 and later moved to join the Nigerian Tribune” in 1953. By 1956 he was appointed as the Editor-in Chief of the Tribune by its owner, the revered sage Pa Obafemi Awolowo.
“After leaving the Tribune in 1975 following a journalism career spanning 22 years, Alhaji Jakande established John West Publications and began to publish “Lagos News”. He founded the Nigerian Institute of Journalism where many Nigerian journalists received professional training.
“With the annulment of June 12 and military takeover, Alhaji Jakande accepted to serve the nation in the capacity of Minister of Works under the Late General Sanni Abacha military regime.
“To his credit as Minister of Works are the largest housing estate in Africa, the Gwarimpa Housing Estate which he fully conceptualized before he was changed as well as Lugbe Housing Estate in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“I graciously request the Federal Government of Nigeria to immortalise him with a national monument like renaming of the Gwarimpa Estate after him or anyway the Federal Government deemed fit,” Adeola added.
For his part, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, described the Late Jakande as a progressive leader who used his position as the Governor of Lagos State and Minister of Works to change the lives of Nigerians.
“The late Alhaji Jakande was a very true progressive, a political leader who used his opportunity as an elected official to change the lives of the people he led.
“And, that is the lesson we have to take, that when we have opportunities to be in any office, whether elected or appointed, we should maximize the opportunity optimally to serve our people,” the Senate President said.
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