…As NUJ urges govt to immortalise him
Tributes have continued to pour in for the late Chairman and Publisher of Leadership Group of Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah.
He died at 58 years after a brief illness at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada on Friday night.
President Buhari joined hundreds of Nigerians including state governors, media practitioners, and politicians that received the news of his death with shock and disbelief.
President Muhammadu Buhari said with his death, a “massive fish” had gone out of the “media ocean.”
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, voiced shock and sadness at the demise of a man he described as “a friend and ally.”
The President, who commiserated with the media fraternity, the Nda-Isaiah family, friends and associates of the deceased, said “the country has lost a man of conviction, a resolute and dogged believer in a better Nigeria.”
“He will be sorely missed. This is a massive fish gone out of the media ocean,” President Buhari further said of the pharmacist, renowned columnist, and one time presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
A monumental loss – NGF
Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has described the death of Mr. Nda-Isaiah as a monumental loss to the country.
Fayemi in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, said Fayemi died in his prime adding that the country has been robbed of a detribalised Nigerian who was an incurable optimist of a greater and stronger Nigeria which he used his prime position in the media to advocate.
Fayemi said Nda-Isaiah excelled in his primary field of Pharmacy and also shone as a media entrepreneur, a columnist and an advocate for a united Nigeria.
“This is a huge loss. We have lost a patriot who was ever positive about the greatness of the country,” he said.
Fayemi urged the family, associates and admirers of the deceased to be consoled by the worthy legacies he left behind and the positive impact he made in all his endeavours.
Coalition of northern groups mourn Nda Isaiah
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) in a statement by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman said it was saddened by the passing of Nda Isaiah, “a reputed pharmacist, prolific writer and skilled politician” whom the group said was also a passionate northerner and identified with the aspirations and struggles of the everyday northerner.
“The CNG shall for a long time feel the huge vacuum created by the passage of this gentleman who has been a strong pillar to the group since inception. Mr. Isaiah had been forthcoming with support, encouragement, mentorship, and guide to the CNG, a privilege that greatly promoted its activities,” it stated.
IPI, NPAN mourn
The International Press Institute (IPI) in Nigeria in a statement by its chairman, Malam Kabiru A. Yusuf and Secretary Raheem Adedoyin said he died “at a time his services are still needed in the media industry and in the nation.”
Nda-Isaiah was a patron of IPI and an ex-officio member of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN).
Malam Kabiru who is also the President of NPAN, said, “For us in the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), this huge loss is even more devastating and painful because Sam was not only a colleague but a friend to all in the industry.
“His commitment to the values and objectives of the association was unflagging to the very end; he was together with the rest of us only last week in Lagos, when elections into the national executive council of the NPAN were held, and Sam was elected as an ex-officio member.
“His desire to transform his beliefs into policy made him make a foray into party politics where he ran for president in the 2015 general elections. Politics made him drop his column but the general direction of his newspapers was consistent with what he had been writing,” Yusuf said.
The group said the family should be consoled with the fact that Sam’s concrete contributions to the development of this country in particular and the continent, in general, are visible and appreciated.
His death is a blow to journalism – Tinubu
All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described Nda-Isaiah as a courageous and conscientious journalist and columnist.
In a statement issued by his media aide Tunde Rahman, Asiwaju Tinubu said Nda-Isaiah was not only a newspaper publisher but also an entrepreneur with varied business interests.
“His death is a blow to the journalism profession, which he served with all his heart. I commiserate with the management and staff of Leadership newspaper.
“I mourn in particular with his wife, children, and relations. May Almighty Allah comfort them and give them the strength to cope with this sudden death of their patriarch. I also extend my condolences to Etsu Nupe, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, the government and people of Niger State for the loss of their illustrious son. I pray that the soul of our friend, Nda-Isaiah, find eternal rest,” he said
Nda-Isaiah was a patriotic Nigerian – Jonathan
Former President Goodluck Jonathan in a condolence message to the deceased family on Saturday noted that the late publisher was deeply committed to the public good, adding that he would be missed for his patriotism and incisive commentary on the state of the nation.
“I commiserate with the Nda- Isaiah family, the Nigerian media, his political associates and all sympathisers on the demise of Sam Nda-Isaiah at the age of 58 after a brief illness.
A resourceful entrepreneur – Lawan, Omo-Agege
Senate President Ahmad Lawan and his deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege said he fervently believed in the Nigerian project which reflected in his writings and the editorial focus and tone of his Leadership Newspaper.
“His contributions as a public opinion shaper and principled politician are profound and have put his imprints on the Nigerian history despite his early home call,” Lawan was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi.
Omo-Agege said Nigerians must acknowledge the productivity and achievements that God enabled the deceased to record during his time on earth.
“He was a very resourceful entrepreneur, moving from pharmacy into various business ventures including the establishment of a national newspaper,” Omo-Agege said in a statement by his spokesman, Yomi Odunuga.
NUJ asks FG to immortalise Nda-Isaiah
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in a statement by its Assistant National Secretary, Midat Joseph has urged the federal government to immortalise late Sam Nda-Isaiah.
The NUJ said, “This indeed, is a great loss to his family, particularly the journalism profession where Mr. Nda-Isaiah made his mark. The NUJ and the entire nation no doubt benefited immensely from his wealth of experience and commitment to national development.”
“Sam Nda-Isaiah did not just build bridges among people of different ethnic, religious and political persuasions, he also encouraged unity, peace and tolerance in the country.
“While alive, Sam was one of the most strident and balanced voices of journalism in Nigeria. He was incisive, brutally frank and unapologetic in expressing opinion,” the NUJ added.