Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande

  • Journalist, Publisher, Politician & Administrator, AlhajiLateef Kayode Jakande was born in the Epetedo, Lagos on July 29, 1929. He obtained his formal education at the Lagos public school, Enu-Owa, Lagos Island, Bunham Memorial Methodist School, Port Harcourt [1934–1943], King’s College, Lagos [1943] and Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha [1945]. It was at Ilesha that his journalistic streak became manifest as he began to edit a literary paper titled The Quarterly Mirror.
  • Alhaji Jakande’s career in mass media practice, spanning several decades, began when he took up an appointment with the Daily Service in 1949. In 1953, he joined the Nigerian Tribune and was appointed Editor three years later by the Founding Publisher and consummate politician, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Over the years, he established a national reputation as a factual and forthright writer and respected Editor of Editors.
  • After some 22 years with the Tribune stables, Alhaji Jakande established John West Publications, and launched his first newspaper, The Lagos News. Even then, his status as one of the unalloyed loyalists of Chief Awolowo was cast-iron.
  • With the return to partisan politics to usher in the Second Republic, Alhaji Jakande was encouraged by his mentor, Chief Awolowo to contest for the Governorship of Lagos State on the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria [UPN]. He did and won, thereby becoming the first civilian Executive Governor of the State. Such was the people-oriented focus of his administration that he was given the affectionate appellations ‘Action Governor” and ‘Baba Kekere’ [Little Father – after the sage, Chief Awolowo].
  • All through his tenure – in public and private — ‘Baba Kekere’ conducted himself with calm & unruffled dignity; shunning the gross opulence and perks favoured by many of those in power; retaining his personal car and residence to the admiration of patriots and dismay of sycophants. With a dogged determination to make a difference in the lives of Lagosians, he promoted mass welfare programmes for the good of the majority. Among others, he declared and implemented a compulsory & free [primary and secondary education] policy, and built hundreds of more schools, which enabled millions of poor children obtain basic education. In the same vein, he established the State University, Polytechnic and College of Education to accommodate expected products from the secondary tier.
  • The health sector also received tremendous boost as the Jakande administration invested heavily in the provision of affordable, including the construction, equipping & staffing of General Hospitals and health centres.
  • The Jakande tenure witnessed a housing boom as the Government constructed some 30,000 housing units spread across estates located in Amuwo-Odofin, Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule-Nla, Epe, Anikantamo, Iba, Surulere, Ikorodu & Badagry.
  • Lagos State had never had it so good, and it was a fait accompli for ‘Baba Kekere’ to win a second term in 1983. Alas, this was truncated by another military coup d’état.
  • Surviving a clamp-down on the political elite, he emerged again in the limelight as Minister of Works – though on a short-lived tenure. He retired from active public life and has become a veritable source of wise counsel to many people in journalism, government and politics.
  • Author of several books, the first President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria is also the Gbobaniyi of Ibeshe, Baba Adinni of Epe & Baba Adinni of Badagry.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, we present Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande for the Hallmarks of Labour Role Model Award for Excellence in Leadership and Good Governance

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *