Jakande Expressed Worry over State of the Nation Before He Died, Says Nwobodo

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Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Former Governor of the old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, has revealed that former Governor of Lagos State, late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, expressed worry over the state of Nigeria before he died.

Jakande died last Thursday at the age of 91 and was buried according to Muslim rites last Friday.

But Nwobodo, while speaking with journalists at the weekend, expressed shock over his demise.

According to him, “I was shocked that he (Jakande) died. The last time we saw was at a party hosted by the Lagos State governor. It was a Christmas party, and it was in commemoration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s birthday. We met and embraced.

“But even before then, I had visited him with the secretary of the Former Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and we talked about a lot of things, and he felt that things were not as good as they used to be.”

Speaking on the personality of Jakande, Nwobodo said he was called Baba Kekere because he was seen as a man groomed by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and because of his intelligence, wisdom, and attitude.

On what Jakande would be remembered for, the former old Anambra State governor said many Lagosians and Nigerians would not forget him for transforming Lagos in terms of infrastructure.

He said: “He changed Lagos in terms of infrastructure. Even as a Minister of Works and Housing in Sani Abacha’s government, he cared for the ordinary people. Something that would normally cost about N5 million, he would execute it for about N1 million, he wanted the ordinary people to gain from the government, that was his greatest gift to the country, as well as free education, which he also followed Awolowo’s footsteps.”

Nwobodo, who was one of the 19 governors in 1979 with late Jakande, revealed that governors in the progressive parties in 1979 were bounded by unity of purpose.