Monday, 6th December 2021
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NPAN, Ogunshola mourn Sam Nda-Isaiah

Rains of tributes and encomiums have continued to pour in for the late Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, the Chairman and Publisher of Leadership Group of Newspapers. Nda-Isaiah died in Abuja on Friday night, after a brief illness.

Sam Nda-Isaiah

Rains of tributes and encomiums have continued to pour in for the late Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, the Chairman and Publisher of Leadership Group of Newspapers. Nda-Isaiah died in Abuja on Friday night, after a brief illness.

In a statement issued by Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and signed by its President, Malam Kabiru Yusuf and Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, the association said, “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.”

The statement added: “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 elections. Politics made him to drop his column but the general direction of his newspapers was consistent with what he had been writing.”

The association said 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.”

ALSO, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, Emeritus Chairman, Punch Newspapers, said he was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Sam Nda-Isaiah, the chairman of Leadership Group at the early age of 58.

In his tribute, Ogunshola said, “My relationship with him, particularly developed and was largely confined to the era when I was the president of Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria between 2007 and 2011 and while he was a member of its Governing Council.

“Although he held strong beliefs on practically any matter that one had to discuss with him and stated them with characteristic vehemence, I found him quite open to alternative arguments when they have merit. He would, with a smile, say, “Chief, That’s true.

“But what I admired most in him was his forthrightness, consistency and reliability as a member of that Council.

“ We communicated often and he would call me from some distant part of the world, even when you expected him to be sleeping.”

Ogunshola’s statement continued, “his early wealth, elevated newspaper platform and high political contacts, especially in the states of the North and his sheer rugged persona emboldened him to say or write whatever he wanted to write or say.

“ I even thought he was older than he was.

“ A strong ally and defender of then presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, he once told me that candidate Buhari was, in private group conversations, a witty and humorous man.

“My heart goes to his wife and children, the boards and staff of Leadership Group and the other companies, which he owned or co-owned.”