•Jonathan, Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Tinubu, governors, NPAN, IPI, others mourn late media mogul
Omololu Ogunmade, Chuks Okocha, Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Udora Orizu in Abuja, Seriki Adinoyi in Jos, Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia, George Okoh in Makurdi
As tributes continue to pour in for the late Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah, who passed away Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, described Nda-Isaiah’s demise as a big fish gone out of the media ocean. Describing him as “a friend and ally”, the president said, “The country has lost a man of conviction, a resolute and dogged believer in a better Nigeria.”
A statement by the president’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari condoled with the media fraternity, the Nda-Isaiah family, friends and associates of the deceased.
“He will be sorely missed. This is a massive fish gone out of the media ocean,” the statement stated, noting that the pharmacist turned-publisher was a renowned columnist, and one time presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Meanwhile, more and more tributes have continued to pour in, in honour of Nda-Isaiah’s memory, from eminent organisations and prominent Nigerians. They relive interesting memories, particularly, his contribution to the growth of newspapering in Nigeria and national development.
NPAN: He Was a Friend to All
In its tribute, the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), in a statement by its President, Malam Kabiru A. Yusuf, and Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, stated: “The nation woke up this morning with the startling news of the death of one of the key investors in the Nigerian media, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, the Chairman and Publisher of Leadership Group of Newspapers.
“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 also 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.
“Sam Nda-Isaiah has left indelible footprints in the annals of the Nigerian media. He started as a publisher right away with Leadership Confidential, a subscription-based monthly newsletter, which in 2004, he transformed into Leadership, a gutsy, stylish weekly newspaper that caught the eye of Nigerians as soon as it hit the newsstands.
“As a popular columnist, Sam told the truth to power. His style was brash, bare-knuckle and unapologetic. For his constancy in that, he was mostly regarded as patriotic.
“His desire to transform his beliefs into policy made him to make a foray into party politics, where he ran for president in the 2015 general election. Politics made him to drop his column but the general direction of his newspapers was consistent with what he had been writing.”
NPAN stated that it would sorely miss Sam as an active member and for his immense contribution to the development of journalism in Africa.
“We wish to console his dear wife Zainab and their children, as well as his extended family, friends and admirers 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.”
IPI: He Left When Most Needed
The International Press Institute (IPI), while mourning Mr. Sam Nda- Isaiah, a Patron of IPI, said, “We mourn Mr. Nda-Isaiah’s death at a time his services are still needed in the media industry and in the nation.”
IPI, in a statement by its Chairman, Kabiru Yusuf, and Secretary, Raheem Adedoyin, stated, “We offer our condolences to the family of our departed colleague, to the staff and management of Leadership Newspaper and to the entire media community.
“May God almighty accept the soul of Mr. NDA-Isaiah and give the family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”
He was Courageous, Visionary, Say Northern Governors
The Northern Governors Forum has described the late founder and Chairman of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah, as a courageous Nigerian, saying his passing was both shocking and devastating.
Chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, in a statement said the development was a monumental loss to Nigeria and the Northern Region.
The release signed by his Director of Press, Lalong said, “This is a very sad development for the country as we have lost one of the most vibrant and courageous media entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Sam was a visionary man, who believed in the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria. He did so through his writings, and contributions reflected his passion for a strong democratic culture.”
Lalong said Nda-Isaiah was a successful businessman and never afraid to dream big and venture into various fields, adding that his big dreams led to the birth and nurturing of the Leadership Newspapers that has grown to become one of the leading newspapers in the Northern Region as well as the country at large.
The governors said the deceased would be greatly missed for his patriotism, selflessness, hard work, mentorship, and courage in the service of Nigeria.
Jonathan: He Was Deeply Committed to Public Good
Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said Nda-Isaiah was one Nigerian who was deeply committed to public good. Jonathan. In a condolence message to the family, Jonathan described the late Nda-Isaiah as an erudite journalist and columnist who deployed his creativity towards promoting peace, progress and unity.
Jonathan commiserated with the Nda-Isaiah family and the management of Leadership newspapers, saying he would be missed for his patriotism and incisive commentary on the state of our nation.
The former president said, “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.
“Sam Nda- Isaiah was a pharmacist, an erudite journalist, a columnist and a newspaper publisher, who deployed his creativity and platforms to promote the peace, progress and unity of Nigeria. As a politician, publisher and entrepreneur, he was a man of deep commitment to solving many of the challenges within our country.”
Senate: He Was a Detribalised Media Guru
The Senate has expressed grief and sadness at the demise of Mr. Samuel Ndanusa Isaiah, describing him as a detribalised media guru. Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, said, This detribalised media guru passed on when the media industry would have needed his skills, mentoring and professional guidance. He will be remembered as a quintessential professional and for his prolific and captivating writings.
“We are genuinely pained by his death. It is a loss to the development of media and democracy in the country.”
Tinubu: He Was a Conscientious Journalist, Columnist
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, mourned the death of Nda-Isaiah, and described him as a courageous and conscientious journalist and columnist. In a statement issued by his Media Office and signed by Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said he had a cordial relationship with Nda-Isaiah.
Tinibu said regarding the Niger State=born journalist and publisher, “I’m deeply shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Leadership Newspaper publisher, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah. He was a friend and associate. We had built cordial relationship between us long before we founded the APC together with others and before he contested for the presidential ticket at the primaries of our party in 2014.
“As a journalist and columnist, he was bold, courageous, and conscientious. A pharmacist, he made an audacious move when he founded the Leadership newspaper in 2001. Nda-Isaiah was not only a newspaper publisher; he was also an entrepreneur with varied business interests.
“His death is a blow to the journalism profession, which he served with all his heart. Perhaps, his last major appearance was last Tuesday’s Annual General Meeting of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria held in Lagos. My condolences to the NPAN. I commiserate with the management and staff of Leadership newspaper.”
Lawan, Eweremadu Mourn Nda-Isaiah
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and a former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, Saturday, condoled with the family and friends of Sam Nda-Isaiah.
Lawan commiserated with the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), and the government and people of Niger State over their loss.
The senate president described as shocking, the death of the pharmacist-turned newspaper columnist, publisher and politician at the young age of 58 years.
Lawan said, “Sam Nda-Isaiah fervently believed in the Nigerian project and this is 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.”
Ekweremadu said, “The news of his death came to me as a rude shock. It’s a heavy loss to Nigeria especially, the media industry. My heart goes out to his family.”
Gbajabiamila: Nigerian Media Lost One of Its Pillars
Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said with the passing of Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, the nation’s media industry has lost one of its pillars. Gbajabiamila, in a statement on Saturday, condoled with members of his immediate family, the management and staff of Leadership Newspaper, the Nigerian media industry, especially the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), over the loss.
The speaker reiterated that with Nda-Isaiah’s passing, the Nigerian media industry had lost one of its committed pillars.
He said Ndah Isaiah’s death came at a time the media was needed most to promote unity among Nigerians and the development of the country.
While praying for the repose of the soul of late Nda-Isaiah, the speaker said the late publisher would be remembered for contributing his quota toward Nigeria’s development through the media.
Sanwo-Olu: We Lost a Patriotic, Detribalised Nigerian
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has described the death of Sam Nda-Isaiah as painful, saying Nigeria has lost another patriotic and detribalised citizen. Sanwo-Olu commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership, the immediate family of the deceased, his friends and associates as well as the media industry, where the late Nda-Isaiah was a major player.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, Sanwo-Olu said the late publisher’s eternal passage came at a time Nigeria needed more of his knowledge and wealth of experience.
The governor added that the late Nda-Isaiah’s Leadership newspaper, which has been at the forefront of the fight for a better society, had just honoured him along with some other prominent Nigerians for their modest contributions to humanity and he was looking forward to attending the event.
SanwoOlu said, “Death is not what anybody has control over. It will come when it’s time. It is painful that the late Nda-Isaiah left at a time when some of us were looking forward to the Leadership newspaper event.”
Abiodun: He Fought for a Better Nigeria
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, said the late Chairman of Leadership newspapers, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, spent his life fighting for a better Nigeria. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, the governor expressed shock at the demise of the ebullient columnist, saying the country has lost a gem and the family could not be the same again with the death of its breadwinner.
Abiodun stated, “The country has lost a rare gem of big ideas, whose politics was laced with conviction, selflessness and without bitterness. I am still in shock. I was jolted by the news. Sam Nda-Isaiah was a resolute and dogged fighter on the side of the people. His columns, ‘Last Word’ and ‘Ear Shot’ were pungent and fought the good cause for a better Nigeria.
“A serial entrepreneur is gone. He had his hands in many pies and incredibly made a success of most of his endeavours.”
Describing Nda-Isaiah as “a friend and a man of ideas,” Abiodun stated,
“Through sheer creativity and entrepreneurship, he straddled the professions of pharmacy by training and became a successful newspapers’ manager. His discipleship also kept growing in politics and he once aspired to be the President of the country on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
Sule, Al-Makura Grieve Over Nda-Isiah’s Death
The Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule, and his immediate predecessor, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Saturday, joined other Nigerians to mourn the death of Sam Nda-Isaiah. Sule, in a statement he personally signed, said, “This death is a great loss that has robbed us of a consummate newsman, whose patriotism and love for a better Nigeria is not in doubt.”
Al-Makura described the death of Nda-Isaiah as a monumental loss to the media and the nation at large. He said the late Nda-Isaiah was his personal friend, adding that he was a versatile politician, who made a name in the field of journalism.
Ayade: It’s a Monumental, Irreplaceable Loss
Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has described as a monumental loss to the nation and the media industry, the death of Sam Nda-Isaiah.
The governor, in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita, lamented that, “Sam died at his prime and at a time his rich input to the growth of the media industry in Nigeria was still needed.
“It was with rude shock and utter disbelief that I received the news of Sam’s demise. For Nigeria and for his immediate constituency, the media, this is a monumental loss, a sad, irreparable loss. Sam was simply one of the finest of the pack”.
While urging his immediate family and the media industry to take Nda-Isaiah’s sudden death in their strides, the governor stated, “Since it has pleased God to recall Sam to His bosom at the prime of his career and age, we cannot but submit to His will for He alone knows why Sam had to leave us at this time.”
I’m Still in Shock, Says Ortom
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has said the death of Sam Nda-Isaiah was both painful and shocking. Orthom described Nda-Isaiah as a true patriot, who though a pharmacist by training, made indelible contributions to the growth of the media industry and offered jobs to hundreds of Nigerians through his companies.
In a press statement by his media aide, Terver Akase, the governor sent condolences to the government and people of Niger State, the Leadership newspaper family and the Nda-Isaiah family in particular.
Okowa: He’ll Be Greatly Missed
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has condoled with the Nda-Isaiah family, management and staff of Leadership Newspapers, over the death of Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah, saying he would be greatly missed.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, said the governor the governor also commiserated with members of Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the media and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the death of the respected entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist.
He said the late publisher would be greatly missed by all stakeholders in the media industry especially, for his invaluable contributions to the growth of the Nigerian economy through the “National Economy”, another publication dedicated to the development of the Nigerian business environment.
The statement said regarding the dead publisher, “He was a committed Nigerian, a publisher of repute, an astute politician and philanthropist, whose commitment to the realisation of a great and truly democratic Nigeria is discernable.” The governor said the late Nda-Isaiah was a leading pro-good governance advocate and a consistent voice on contemporary and national policy discuss.
He Had Strong Convictions, Says Ibori
A former governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori has described the late Sam Nda-Isaiah as a man with strong convictions and who expressed them passionately. In a press statement by his media assistant, Tony Eluemunor, Ibori said Nigeria would remember Nda-Isaiah as a man of many parts.
“He was not just a Leadership newspaper publisher but an influential columnist, who maintained a weekly newspaper column for decades. Nda-Isaiah, the businessman and writer, was also a politician, who grew to the stature of contesting seriously for the presidential ticket at the national primaries of the All Progressives Congress.
“Sam Nda-Isaiah’s background as a journalist and politician, added to his inclination to audaciously speak his mind on political issues, his paths and mine often crossed, especially during the administration of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and the controversies of that period.
“On one occasion, I had a reason to reply to one of his articles – and he honoured my right of reply and published it in the space meant for his column. That was commendable. Beyond that, he was courageous enough to say openly, years later, that he was misled on certain things he wrote about me, and that he was sorry.
“It takes personal courage and a large heart to do such, but then, anyone who knew Nda-Isaiah would have also known that he was courageous and that he had a large heart.”
Obaseki Hails His Dexterity, Strides in Journalism
The Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, while mourning the passing of the Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, said Sam Nda-Isaiah, also hailed his dexterity and strides in journalism as well as nation building.
The governor, in a statement, noted that Nda-Isaiah served Nigeria as a committed patriot and contributed immensely to national development while he lived.
According to him, “I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of the Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah. He was a committed journalist, who explored several opportunities to contribute to nation building. His commitment to progress and advancement would be greatly missed.”
The governor added that the late publisher was a firm believer in the Nigerian project, noting that his fervent zeal to drive change would not be forgotten.
Makinde: He Made Great Marks in Media Industry
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde Nda-Iasiah made great marks in the media industry. He described the late publisher as a man of courage, who took the cause of revolutionising the media industry head-on and made great marks on the industry.
Makinde, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, maintained that Nda-Isaiah’s death has created a huge vacuum in the media industry in the country.
Makinde stated, “The news of the death of the publisher of Leadership newspaper, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, came to me as shock. Mr. Nda-Isaiah was one of a few Nigerians whose courage I salute, because he picked up the challenge of revolutionising the media industry with the establishment of Leadership newspaper and within a short while, made a great mark.
“I am sure that his death has left a vacuum in the media industry and I can only pray God to grant repose to his soul and grant his immediate family, the media family, especially the NPAN and all Nigerians, the fortitude to bear this loss. Mr. Nda-Isaiah played his part effectively in building the country and one can say that he has fought a good fight. May his soul rest in peace.”
Ngige: His Feats Are Etched in the Sand of Time
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has expressed shock and grief over the death of Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, saying his contribution to the growth of the Nigerian media and the deepening of democracy were etched in the sands of time.
A statement issued by Ngige’s Media Office stated, “From profound thoughts in that scintillating column in the Daily Trust newspaper, to the brave and audacious founding of the Leadership newspapers and foray into politics as a founding member of our great party, the APC, at a critical moment that Nigeria bayed for a change, Sam was inspired by patriotism in an effort to illuminate and straighten out the dark paths and alleys of our national life.
“I feel deeply sad he has breathed his last. The nation has lost greatly, even more, the media industry. Sam will be greatly missed. I send my sincere condolences to his family and to the Nigerian press for this huge loss. May God Almighty grant him eternal rest”.
Ngige equally sent his condolences to the family, friends as well as associates of the late Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, retired Justice Sylvanus Nsofor.
Recalling the thoughts they shared, when the late ambassador hosted him at Potomac, the United States in 2018, Ngige described him as “a just and forthright jurist, who courageously stood for the truth,” adding that “posterity has a lot to learn from his brilliant example in demonstrating judiciary as the last hope of the common man.”