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Tributes rain on Leadership Newspaper publisher, Nda-Isaiah

By Leo Sobechi, Sunday Aikulola (Lagos), Adamu Abuh, Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja, Ayodele Afolabi (Ado Ekiti), Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna) and Odun Edward (Ilorin)
13 December 2020   |   4:16 am
Tributes have continued to pour in for Sam Nda-Isaiah, publisher of Leadership Newspaper, who died on Friday night at the age of 58.

The late Nda-Isaiah’s wife, Mrs  Zainab Nda-Isaiah (middle) with her children at their residence in Abuja… yesterday

• Buhari, Bagudu, Abiodun, Fayemi, AbdulRazaq, Mohammed, Tinubu, Others Mourn
Tributes have continued to pour in for Sam Nda-Isaiah, publisher of Leadership Newspaper, who died on Friday night at the age of 58.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in his condolence message, expressed shock and sadness at his death, describing him as “a friend and ally.”

The President also condoled with the media, his family, friends and associates.

He 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 said of the pharmacist, renowned columnist, and one-time presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC)…”

The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) led by Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, noted that the passing of Isaiah, who aspired for the Presidency on the platform of the APC, remained a loss to the nation, the Nigerian progressive community and the global media world.

“We join the family, members of APC in Niger State and the nation, to pray for the repose of the soul of our dear and beloved Chairman of Leadership Newspapers Group.

“We pray to God Almighty to grant his family the fortitude to bear this heavy loss. May Allah reward all the good works of Pharmacist Samuel Nda-Isaiah, forgive his limitations and bless what he left behind.”

Similarly, the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, described Nda-Isaiah’s death as a monumental loss to the country in general, the media industry in particular and the APC.

Fayemi said he received the news of the demise of the former presidential aspirant with shock and a sense of loss, as the renowned pharmacist-turned media mogul never showed any sign of illness during their last meeting.

Also, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, in a statement issued, yesterday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, expressed shock at his demise, saying: “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.”

Abiodun lauded his creative genius in writing and newspapering.

“The loss of Nda-Isaiah will be felt across different spheres: the business community, in statecraft, among his family members, the Obafemi Awolowo University alumni and the academic world, in Nupeland and in All Progressives Congress (APC), which he helped in midwifing. He was a trusted associate and competent bridge builder.”

Also, Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, yesterday, grieved over Nda-Isaiah’s death, describing it as a monumental loss to the media industry and country.

“The death of Sam Nda-Isaiah is one tragedy too many. We join in the national mourning of this national media icon and patriot. His death, painfully, depletes the ranks of patriots, who would go to any length to protect the honour of our fatherland. The whole country will miss him for his unimpeachable contributions to media development, his brilliant writings, and his undisguised love for the country,” AbdulRazaq said in a statement released in Ilorin and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye.

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, in a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, described Nda-Isaiah’s death as a great loss, not just to his family and the media industry but also to the nation.

He said: ‘’True to the motto of his newspaper, ‘For God and Country’, Nda-Isaiah lived for his family, as well as for God and country. He had an unwavering belief in Nigeria and its ability to overcome its challenges and become a foremost member of the comity of nations. For him, it was not just a belief, it was also a mantra…”

Also, APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, described him as a courageous and conscientious journalist and columnist.

In an emotional statement issued by his Media Office and signed by Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said: “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. 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 (NPAN) held in Lagos. My condolences to the NPAN..

“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…”
he former Governor of Kaduna, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi expressed grief and shock over Nda Isaiah’s death, which he said has robbed the country of a great hand in nation building.

In his view, Sam’s death at this point in time has certainly deprived the nation of his boundless energy and intellect, as well as the courage to speak truth to all.

In a statement yesterday, Makarfi said: “Though pained by this loss, we derive consolation from the fact that Sam lived a very productive life of surmounting odds and conquering challenges.

Also, a businessman and former presidential candidate, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, said Sam Ndah Isaiah’s death has deprived the journalism profession of a committed and patriotic hand.

Olawepo-Hashim said the media profession has also lost “a Nigerian of repute, whose contributions to national development within the period he lived, were of inestimable value.”

While lamenting that the Journalism world has lost a trailblazer, Olawepo-Hashim recalled that although a pharmacist, Nda-Isaiah became an excellent journalist.

He said: “Nigeria has indeed, lost a bridge builder and supporter of good ideas. As a believer in God Almighty, I cannot question why such a person full of ideas for a much better Nigeria would die so soon. The consolation, however, is that he was very visible on the political landscape and his activities towards nation building would ever be cherished. I’ve personally lost a friend.”

Similarly, Chairman, International Press Institute (IPI) Nigeria, Kabiru Yusuf, yesterday, condoled with the family, saying: “We mourn Mr. Nda-Isaiah’s death at a time his services are still needed in the media industry and in the nation. 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 his soul and give the family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”