The former spokesperson for the first civilian governor of Lagos State, Prince Bayo Osiyemi, has called for the sustenance of late Lateef Jakande’s unparalleled mass housing and other developmental legacies across Lagos state.
Osiyemi said this while delivering a lecture entitled PROGRESSIVISM & REVISIONISM to commemorate the 40th year anniversary of the commissioning of Oke-Afa low cost housing estate.
Prince Osiyemi said the housing scheme symbolised a populist policy of a government that cared more about the greatest good of the greatest number of people, first of its kind in Lagos State and indeed any part of Nigeria.
The Mass housing schemes of 30,000 two bedrooms and three bedrooms aside from Oke Afa were located in Ijeh – Obalende, Iyana Ipaja, Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu, Amuwo Odofin, Iponri, Abule Nla, Abesan, Dolphin, Anikantamo, Iba, Surulere, Ijaiye, in four years and three months.
These housing schemes were built with modern housing facilities such as good road networks of dual carriage roads, central sewage and water scheme, establishment of mortgage offices ,shopping complex, primary health centres, and schools. The allocation of the flats to all segments of the society were done transparently and devoid of red tapism at cheaper rate of N5000 and N6000 respectively. This is in contrast to the current trends where government housing schemes are not affordable and accessible to the poor. “Remarkably, Jakande was on record to be the initiator and creator of Banana Island in Ikoyi, the haven he created for the super rich to whet their extravagant appetite,” Osiyemi stated.
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Osiyemi recalled that “two days after the inauguration forty years ago, the military, more renown for revisionism, struck, and terminated a government of Lagos State that provided cheap and affordable houses as the ones we have here; apart from the four cardinal programmes of the party in power at the time – the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) – free education at all levels, free medical care for its citizens, rural development and roads infrastructure that gave rise to the first ever Lekki-Epe highway.”
According to Osiyemi, prior to Jakande’s advent, people in the Lekki/Epe axis who wanted to come to Lagos, Ikoyi or Victoria Island, by road, would first need to travel through Ikorodu back into Lagos and then move to Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Maroko where motorable road terminated.
Osiyemi recalled that Alhaji Jakande was an exemplary governor who saw public office as an avenue to minister to people’s needs without looking forward to personal gains.
“He was imbued with an uncommon sense of mission, as he thought out of the box in providing for the masses of people of Lagos State.”
He said in order to fulfil the mandate of mass housing, Jakande embarked on certain strategies which include identifying people who shared in his vision, in and out of the polity and the civil service, and laid before them his idea of what he wanted, in providing affordable housing for the low income earners who formed the bulk of the population.
“The team identified direct approaches to manufacturers of housing materials like cement, roofing
sheets, iron rods, etc, (b) cut off middlemen
and women and stockpiled and warehoused them for supply to contractors who were engaged in the construction of the two and three bedroom units,” he noted.
Prince Osiyemi recommended these strategies for service delivery to the people of Lagos by successive administrations in the state.
He specifically called for the rehabilitation of internal roads, the central sewage system, and water schemes within Jakande’s estates across the state.
Currently, these facilities are in a deplorable situation.
Prince Osiyemi commended the current administration’s efforts in service delivery to the citizens in railway services, housing, health, education, and roads, among others.
Some of the allottees and beneficiaries of mass housing schemes, specifically in Oko Afa, poured encomiums on the exemplary leadership of Jakande and sustainability of his ideals by Prince Bayo Osiyemi. The market women leader in isolation and Ejigbo communities appreciated the unique gestures of Jakande and his press secretary as well as the Chairman, Ejigbo Development Council Development area.
To underscore the remembrance day of the mass housing scheme, a security patrol bus was presented to the Oke Afa housing estate, with security marshals by the Chairman Ejigbo Local Government Development Council Area, Alhaji Monsurudeen Oloyede Bello, in the presence of Prince Osiyemi . The patrol vehicle, according to the Chairman, will assist in prompt responses to security challenges and patrol within the estate
The Oke Afa Community equally presented an award of excellence to Prince Bayo Osiyemi for speaking truth to power and sustaining the legacies of Alhaji Lateef Jakande at all times.