President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has described the Late Lateef 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.
Lawan made this known in his remarks after a personal explanation was made on Jakande’s demise by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Lagos West) during plenary on Tuesday.
“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.
Earlier, Senator Adeola while rising under Order 43, said as Governor of Lagos State during the Second Republic, Jakande ran an effective administration that implemented the cardinal policies of his party, UPN targeting the poor.
According to Adeola, he constructed 30,000 housing units in places like Amuwo-Odofin, Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule Nla, Epe, Surelere, Iba, Ikorodu and Badagry.
“He constructed neighbourhood primary and secondary schools all over the state. Under him primary schools increased from 605 to 812.
“Secondary schools more than doubled increasing from 105 to 223. He implemented his party Free Education Policy to the fullest and brought the shift system to an end. To his credit is the establishment of Lagos State University.
“Other landmark of his achievements in metropolitan Lagos are the construction of Gbagada and Ikorodu General Hospitals and building of 20 Health Centres in the state.
“Alhaji Jakande also started the metroline project to assist in mass transit which was truncated by the military administration. He built the Lagos State Secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja including the Government House as well as Lagos Television (LTV) and Radio Lagos FM among other government agencies needed for a growing mega city”, he said.
Adeola added that 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,” Adeola said.
The lawmaker, therefore, prayed the Federal Government of Nigeria to immortalize him with a national monument, like renaming the Gwarimpa Estate after him or any other as deemed fit.