Every day I wake up, and I look at myself, and remember my humble upbringing… I am forever grateful for the fact that, were it not for one man, a Politician who, unlike most of his Peers at the time, and unlike most Nigerian Politicians since then, CHOSE to use his Office and Powers to Do The Right Thing, I won’t be where (or what) I am today as a Man.
Whenever I look at my current station in life, especially when I find myself in some strange, Esteemed companies, I can never shake the feeling that, but for Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande using his Office for good and doing the right thing in the short time he was in Office, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I most likely would NOT have successfully completed High School, if Jakande hadn’t followed through aggressively on the *FREE EDUCATION* Program promised by the Unity Party of Nigeria in 1979.
Next to my Mother, and next to the Friends I had then (whose generosity I lived on to physically survive), Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande has had the most impactful influence on my life. And for that, I’ll remain eternally grateful.
Encouraged by Awolowo, he ran for election as executive governor of Lagos State in 1979, on the Unity Party of Nigeria platform. He defeated his opponents, Adeniran Ogunsanya of NPP and Sultan Ladega Adeniji Adele of National Party of Nigeria and was subsequently sworn in as governor. His administration was effective and open and implemented the cardinal policies of his party. He introduced housing and educational programs targeting the poor, building new neighbourhood primary and secondary schools and providing free primary and secondary education. He established the Lagos State University. Jakande’s government constructed over 30,000 housing units. The schools and housing units were built cheaply, but were of great value. Some of the housing units include low cost estates in Amuwo-Odofin, Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule Nla, Epe, Anikantamo, Surulere, Iba, Ikorodu, Badagry. To fund some of the projects, Jakande increased the tenement rates and price of plots of land in affluent areas of Victoria Island and Lekki Peninsula and the processing fees for lottery, pools and gaming licenses. He also completed the construction of the General Hospital in Gbagada and Ikorodu and built about 20 health centres within the state. As a governor, he established 23 local government councils which were later disbanded by the military. He also started a metroline project to facilitate mass transit. The project was halted and his tenure as Governor ended when the military seized power on 31 December 1983.