Son of the late former Governor of Lagos, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Mr Seyi Jakande, said on Sunday that the family was not prepared for the demise of their patriarch.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jakande, who served as governor between October 1979 and December 1983, died on April 11 at the age of 91, while his remains were interred on Feb. 12.
Jakande, while speaking shortly after receiving Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who paid the family a condolence visit on Sunday in Lagos, said the family was planning to celebrate the late politician’s 92nd birthday in July before death struck on Thursday.
He told NAN: “Though we had hoped that the death of Baba would not happen now because we were not prepared for it.
“If at all we were preparing for anything, it was his 92nd birthday in July, because he kept giving us assurance that he would still spend more years on earth.
“Sometime in June 2020, he was checking his 90th birthday cards and he said he would be 91 years by July, thanking God that he was still looking young.
“He told us that he thought he was older but he was still looking young. But at 91, my father deserved everything he received during his burial, because of what he had done for the people of Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.
Seyi, who was Jakande’s third son, said that after living a fulfilled life, his father’s chapter had closed, saying that to him, it was a life well spent and a journey properly completed.
According to him, this is the time for full assessment of Jakande’s life and times, urging leaders in the country to take his book, study it and make further progress on it.
Jakande gave thanks to God for the life of the late politician, pointing out that his father would not have served humanity without serving God.
“My father was known for service to humanity and that was exactly what he did till he breathed his last.
“Even outside government, we recently stopped people from coming to his residence due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we designed a date which we called ‘Sunday Clinic’, from 7 am. to 7 pm.
“The clinic was an open door for him to help people in whatever capacity he could, particularly in terms of employment and housing, among others,” he said.
Jakande, who described his father as a unique human being, added that he had left a vacuum that would be difficult to fill.