Second Republic Lagos State Governor Lateef Kayode Jakande passed on peacefully on Thursday.
He was never ill, his children and family members who relived his last moment said.
Jakande, first civilian governor of Lagos State between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1983, would have been 92 in April.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and other leaders paid fitting tributes to “the selfless achiever”, who transformed Lagos with his welfare programme.
Jakande’s children Deji, a former member of the House of Representatives and Seyi, recalled his last 24 hours on earth in separate interviews with our correspondents.
According to them, Jakande, who was governor on the platform of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), revalidated his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday.
Deji said: ”We thank God for his life. He was not sick. He took his pap and crayfish yesterday. He was stil reading his newspapers without glasses.
“We had stopped visitors from going to him because of COVID-19 because he liked shaking hands with people.
He will be buried tomorrow (today) after the Jumat Service, before 4pm at the Vaults and Gardens, Ikoyi.”
Recalling his last moment, Seyi said: Usually, my dad returned to sleep after breakfast and so, when he finished taking his breakfast (pap) yesterday, he went back to sleep.
“It was around 11am that an aide checked on him and discovered he wasn’t breathing. We called a doctor and it was confirmed he had passed on. He died in his sleep.”
Speaking on the kind of man he was, Seyi explained that his dad “was full of life. He was caring and made sure that everyone was okay. My dad’s only regret is that Nigeria is the way it is despite all the resources.
“There was no sign that anything was going to happen to him. After breakfast, he went back to sleep and woke up for lunch. He was fond of reading newspapers. He never got tired of reading. Baba’s idea of governance is totally different from what is obtained today.
“Dad was a selfless leader. He believed in service to humanity. He displayed that throughout his life. He did everything he could possibly do in every given capacity to help others.
“He lived the Lagos of his dream. He was governor and did his best in that capacity and like he always said, everything is by the grace of the Almighty Allah not by his power.”
Jakande’s sister, Mrs Omololu Osunnuga, recounted their last moment together, narrating how she ran to his house last week on her return from the United States.
“He was a good brother to us. I was coming from the U.S. on Thursday and from the airport my mind was here. Even my children said I should see him because I have been having dreams about him.
“I came here straight from the airport but his wife said because I was coming from U.S., she would not allow me to see him immediately. So, I came back the next day and spent so much time with my brother. I was with him when they gave him pap and moi-moi. I even told them the food was too much but his wife laughed and said he would finish it.
“I took pictures with him. He didn’t look sick at all. His death is painful. I will miss him so much. I lived in this house with him for over 20 years. Today’s politicians should learn sincerity, honesty and dedication from my brother.”