The Lagos State University (LASU),Ojo, on Monday celebrated the first civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, on his 90th birthday, naming the longest road on the campus after him.
This gesture took place at a day colloquium in honour of the elder statesman, which was organised by the Faculty of Arts, LASU.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jakande conceived the establishment of LASU and signed into law the bill that established the institution on June 13, 1983.
Prof. Hakeem Danmole of the Department of History, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, who delivered the anniversary lecture, entitled: “LKJ: A Phenom of Administration in Lagos State”, said that Jakande spent his life serving Lagos State and Nigeria.
Danmole said that Jakande’s vision was ahead of many others.
According to him, the landmark achievements of the Jakande-led administration has yet to be equal to any administration.
“Jakande is an administrator and an innovator per excellence, a state builder and a forthright politician,” Danmole said.
On his parts, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, Vice-Chancellor, LASU described Jakande as the pillar of the institution.
Fagbohun said that in recognition of the Second Republic Governor, the Governing Council of the university approved naming of the longest road in the Ojo Campus as “Dr Lateef Kayode Jakande Road”.
He said the name of the former governor would continue to resonate in the annals of the institution, saying “he is truly a man who made the difference in public service.
“The act of Papa Jakande, close to four decades ago, was just one of his many achievements, which positively impacted the fortunes of so many.
“Papa, you had a clear focus, which among others, is to find solution to the then prevalent narrative that the indigenous population of Lagos are backward.
“From just three Faculties: Education Science, Law and Humanities, 55 academic staff, 37 Administrative and Technical staff and students enrolment of 375 undergraduates, the university has metamorphosed into three major campuses.
“Namely: Ojo, Ikeja and Epe, comprising of seven Faculties: Arts, Education, Engineering, Law, Management Sciences, Sciences and Social Sciences.
“The list also include four Schools, including Communication, Transport, Agriculture and School of Postgraduate Studies, College of Medicine and several academic centres.
“Our academic staff population is close to 800, while the non-academic staff population is close to 2000, with an overall students population standing close to 25,000,” he said.
Fagbohun congratulated Jakande for living a rewarding 90 years of existence for humanity and revering as a shining example of what public service represents.
In his address, Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo, Chairman, Governing Council, LASU described Jakande as an embodiment of noble value, whose household name need no further introduction.
Ninalowo, represented by Sanni Ajose, a member of the university’s governing council, said that the former governor came to governance with a clear vision and an ambitious working developmental plan for the state .
He urged all and sundry to emulate the good value of Jakande and use resources to impact positively to the society.
One of Jakande’s close allies, Adekunle Alli, said that the former governor taught everyone who passed through him, total integrity, not just in his private life, but also in public.
“We are not so wealthy today, but we retain our integrity, and on behalf of all of us, we thank you for the vision and realisation of your dream that came to pass in your lifetime,” he said.
In his remarks, Prof. Harrison Adeniyi, Dean, Faculty of Arts, LASU, congratulated the former civilian governor, promising that the faculty would be organising the lecture annually in honour of the elder statesman.
NAN reports that the event also featured cutting of birthday cake by the celebrator, wife, children and family members.