As it’s already in the news, the real estate sector was thrown into mourning yesterday following the news of the death of former governor of Lagos State and the pioneering president and lifetime patron of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria [REDAN], Lateef Kayode Jakande filtering the nation.
The late Jakande was born on July 23, 1929, to a family from Omu-Aran in Kwara State. He was fondly called Baba Kekere, referencing him to be the younger version of former Western Region Premier, Chief Obafemi Awolowo who encouraged him to run for the governorship seat of Lagos in 1979 and he won on the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria.
However, his time in office was terminated by the military coup led by then military ruler and current Nigerian president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari on December 31 1983. After the 1983 coup, Jakande was charged, prosecuted and convicted of treason, although, he was later pardoned.
His early life saw him work with the Nigerian Tribune, where he rose through the ranks to become the Editor-in-Chief. LKJ as he was fondly called, lived a simple life including staying in his personal house and driving his personal car to work.
Some of the legacies of his time in office include the Lagos State University, schools and low-cost housing estates popularly known as Jakande schools or estates, commercial boat transport plying Mile 2 to Marina, free education and more. Others include Gwarimpa estate, Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Lugbe, Kado which were built when he was a Minister of Works and Housing under the regime of the late military ruler, General Sani Abacha from 1993-98.
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LKJ was the founding father of Nigerian Institute of Journalism in 1963, the brain behind the establishment of the Newspapers’ Proprietors Association of Nigeria and Nigerian Guild of Editors.
Throughout his lifetime, he was never awarded a national honour, despite calls by notable Nigerians. To this end, it is advised that the late housing icon be eulogized and have the Kado and Gwarimpa Estates named after him by the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government.
Also, it will further be befitting to have the new REDAN building which is still under construction and upon completion, be named after the late Lateef Kayode Jakande to keep his memory fresh in the real estate industry.