Tears and emotions flowed freely on Friday evening as the remains of respected elder statesman and father of modern Lagos, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande were buried at the Volts and Gardens Cemetery in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.
Jakande, who died on Thursday at the age of 91, was Lagos governor between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1983.
The interment was preceded by Islamic prayers at his residence in the Ilupeju area of the state.
His son, Deji, other family members, and respected Lagosians cried as his body was being interred after the Muslim prayers by the Chief Imam of Lagos, Abou-Nolla.
Jakande was laid to rest a few minutes to 6 pm amidst tributes from prominent personalities in the country.
The remains of the late Jakande escorted by his wife, Abimbola, children, Deji, and Seyi, among others, families, relatives, associates, and eminent personalities, was brought into the Vaults and Gardens Ikoyi at 5:19 pm.
It was also accompanied to the cemetery with the staff of office of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.
Among the dignitaries present are the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat; Senator Ibikunle Amosun; and former Ogun State Governor, Olusegun Osoba.
Sighting the ambulance from far, security agencies and sympathisers who were standing outside the compound of the cemetery sang the National Anthem and other renditions for several minutes. The shout Jakande! Jakande!! Jakande, which was used to bid the former Lagos State governor farewell also rented the air.
Speaking earlier during a special fidau in honour of the former governor at the Ilupeju residence of the deceased, Sanwo-Olu described late Jakande as an embodiment of all the positives.
Hamzat, who represented Governor Sanwo-Olu at the event, said the former governor was a great man who cared and served his people meritoriously when he had the opportunity to serve them.
“Baba Jakande was just an example of what all of us should aspire to be. A great man, humble, selfless, loyal, and dedicated. So, he is an embodiment of all the positives. A great man that served his people when he had the opportunity to serve. A man that cared for the people and a fantastic journalist,” he said.
Hamzat while paying tribute to the late Jakande, stressed the need for political leaders in the country to emulate the former governor by being humble and loyal to the country.
Osoba said “an Iroko tree, as well as an elephant, has fallen”.
He said the late Jakande would be remembered as a personification of the best in journalism and a political colossus.
“He singlehandedly founded both the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Institute of Journalism.
“He was the first black African chairman of the International Press Institute made up of publishers and editors all over the world,” Osoba said.
Alhaji Sheilk Mustaphar Al-Mubarak from Surulere Central Mosque said that the good Jakande did made his life long.
“If not for him many wouldn’t have been educated. He was a righteous politician,” the Imam added.
Jakande, popularly called “Baba Kekere” of Lagos died in the early hours of Thursday.
Jakande, a former journalist, was Lagos State Governor from 1979 to 1983, and later served as Minister of Works under the military government of Gen. Sani Abacha.
His administration as Lagos State governor left a legacy of massive infrastructure development during his four-year stint, especially through numerous Jakande estates built across the state as well as his sterling investment in education.