Lateef Jakande was usually described as “Baba Kekere”
He was so described in acknowledgement of his loyalty and close depiction of the ideals and ideas of the greatest man of ideas and political sagacity that Nigeria has ever produced, Obafemi Awolowo.
In the era of Awolowo, to be compared to the great man was such an honour !
Jakande was seen as the man who acted out Awolowo’s programmes the way Bola Ige was seen as the man who elucidated and articulated Awo’s ideas.
His demise draws the curtain on a “lost world” in the history of Politics in Yoruba land if not in Nigeria as a whole.
There were ideals.
There were ideas
There was purpose
There was honour
There was respect for the people
There was discipline
There was hope.
Jakande’s projects in Lagos state were grassroots projects, for the poor, realistic , problem solving and not insulting.
He built roads in remote places created roads to those places and enforced bus routes to those places.
Since Jakande, who has delivered housing of the size and affordability of Jakande?
Access is the word.
The poor have not had access to house ownership the way Jakande created that access.
The housing deficit has not been resolved since then.
People have spoken of him as a journalist and publisher. People have spoken of John West. That was “open” writing and publishing
Not sure anyone has spoken of him as “guerrilla” publisher. The role he played as a firm supporter and facilitator of printing of magazines in very secret locations during the anti-military struggles is probably not common knowledge. I am sure someone will write more on this soon.
Hon. Idowu Osuolale Obasa, a thoroughbred businessman and a politician of repute, pioneer Executive Chairman of Onigbongbo LCDA, founding member of The News magazine,