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Governors, NPAN, Reps mourn, Daar Communications MD, Lawal

Governor  Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, has expressed deep shock over the sudden death, describing its as “a great loss to the entire country’’. Yuguda’s…

Governor  Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, has expressed deep shock over the sudden death, describing its as “a great loss to the entire country’’.

Yuguda’s condolence message was contained in a statement signed by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Muhammed Abdullahi, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Bauchi.

“As a one-time National President of the NUJ, a seasoned broadcaster, Ladi Lawal’s death is not only a loss to his immediate family, the Journalism profession, the NUJ and the AIT family, but a colossal loss to the entire country.

“Especially at this crucial moment when the country is most desirous of the knowledge and professional skills of such rare breeds. “Nigerians will no doubt miss him for his tremendous efforts and contributions to the growth of freedom of expression and the liberty of Nigerians through the promotion of the ideals of democracy and good governance under a highly democratised and liberalised media,’’  Yuguda said  in the statement. The governor urged the deceased’s family to bear the irreparable loss by taking solace in God as the sustainer of life and prayed the Almighty Allah to grant the deceased eternal life.

Also, the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) yesterday sent a condolence message to DAAR Communication and the family of the late Lawal.

The statement, signed by the President of NPAN, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, said, “It is with a deep sense of loss and sadness that the members of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) received the news of the death of the Group Managing Director of Daar Communications Plc, Mr. Ladi Lawal, on Saturday morning.

“Mr. Lawal was a pillar of strength at Daar Communications, where he was also a pioneer. He was, for many years, a passionate activist and, always, a solid professional who earned his place through 31 years of assiduous journalism and dedicated service. “May his family and Daar Communications receive the grace to bear a loss so profound. We shall miss him.

Festus Keyamo, a Legal Practitioner, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the news of the death was devastating to all those who knew Lawal and had followed him all these years.

“His professionalism, his quest for excellence on the job, his experience will be greatly missed. It is really a devastating news and apart from that, he has a human touch to life, he was a friend, a god father and everything to me.

“Yesterday, we talked about him and only for me to wake up this morning to be told he was dead.  I said it was not possible, that is why I am here, and I am really short of words, I want to believe this is a dream,’’ Keyamo said.

Also, in a letter to the chairman of DAAR Communications, the House of Representatives conveyed its condolences to the media organization and family members of the late Lawal.

The statement signed by the Chairman of the House Committee on Media, Eseme Eyibo, a copy of which was made available to Sunday Trust says, “I write on behalf of our goodselves (leadership and entire members) of the House of Representatives to convey our condolences to the DAAR Plc family over the demise of its managing director, our friend, brother and strategic partner –Alhaji Ladi Lawal. Ladi may not have lived long enough but his good life was long enough. It’s the prayer of the (House) that God grant his soul rest.”Also, Mr Eric Osagie, Special Adviser to Edo State Governor,  on Public Affairs and Strategy,  said Lawal’s death came as a shock as he was a thorough bred professional, a gentle man, he was very humble, very versatile, a trainer and a mentor to many journalists. Osagie said journalism had lost one of its standard barriers and he will be greatly missed for his humility and dedication to journalism.

Lawal 54, attended Lagos City College from 1969 to 1973, and Kwara State College of Technology (1976-1978), where he obtained a Diploma in Secretarial Studies.

Lawal also obtained a Certificate in Reporting from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Lagos, in 1978. He attended Lagos State University (LASU) from 2000 to 2005 and obtained a degree in History. Lawal worked with the FRCN from 1978 to 1993 and joined Daar Communications as Director of News, RayPower FM (1994-1996).

He became General Manager in 1999 and later Chief Operations Officer, Daar Communications (2001-2005); Executive Director, Operations, (2005-2006), and MD in December 2006.

He was the NUJ President from 1994 to 1995, and Chairman, NUJ, Lagos State Council (1989-1994). Lawal is survived by a wife and children as well as aged parents and he will be buried on Saturday in Lagos, according to Islamic rites. (NAN)