The group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari has said that the late Sam Nda-Isaiah will be missed for his selfless, patriotic and unflinching commitment to peace and stability of the nation.
Kyari, who stated this in a condolence letter, further assured the family of the late media icon and his organisation of his support in this trying period.
He said, “we have received with heavy heart the news of the demise of your chairman, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah. On behalf of myself and the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), I wish to commiserate with you and the entire LEADERSHIP Newspaper family on the sad loss.
“He will be sorely missed for his sense of patriotism, selfless service and unflinching commitment to peace and stability of our beloved country, Nigeria. While we pray for the repose of his soul, we enjoin you to find solace in the fact that he led a fulfilled and impactful life. We wish to assure his immediate family and the entire management of LEADERSHIP Newspapers that our hearts are with you in this very trying period. It is our prayer that the Almighty God grants you the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.”
Also, former senate president, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has described the late chairman as a patriot and committed nationalist who saw every Nigerian as his brother and sister and therefore related to them based on equality, justice and fairness.
Saraki, in a statement signed on his behalf by his special adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the late publisher was a man who believed that the challenges the country is going through at the moment are temporary setback that can be overcome if the leaders continue to sustain the unity of the country and work to further entrench democracy.
He lamented that Nda-Isaiah died at a time when his incisive analysis of Nigerian issues would help both the leaders and members of the public to have correct perspective and positive approaches to how to move the nation forward.
He said, “Sam Nda-Isaiah was an engaging person. He was never tired of discussing Nigeria anytime we had the opportunity to exchange ideas. I particularly found his thoughts about the place of the north central zone, to which we both belong, in the present and future of Nigerian politics and economy very encouraging and particularly inspiring.
“Coincidentally, the last time I saw him late last month was when he was part of the North Central Peoples Forum (NCPF) delegation, which visited me at home in Abuja. He was full of life and energy and his eloquence resonated across the hall when he spoke.
“I join his family, friends and associates across the nation and beyond to mourn his passing. However, we take solace in the fact that he lived an extraordinary life while he was here with us. He will be sorely missed.”
He further prayed to Almighty Allah to grant the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss and that the legacies he left behind should continue to thrive.
In the same vein, the Learning Impact NG (Owners Of E-Paper Vendor) has expressed sadness over the death of the publisher.
While describing the death as a huge loss to the nation and big blow to the media industry, the NGO said the late Sam Nda-Isaiah made an indelible mark in the industry.
The Learning Impact NG, in a letter jointly signed by platform sales and support, Kabir Idris and chief executive director Omagbitse, said, “Mr. Sam Nda Isaiah made an indelible mark in the newspaper industry and he will be remembered for his contributions and service to humanity and society.”
Also, the commissioner for information and strategy, Akwa Ibom State, Comrade Ini Ememobong, has described the death of late Sam Nda-Isaiah, the Chairman LEADERSHIP/NATIONAL ECONOMY Newspapers as a vacuum that is difficult to fill.
He said the late Sam Nda-Isaiah spoke to authority without destroying the nation, a virtue worth emulating.
Comrade Ememobong stated this yesterday when he paid a condolence visit to the LEADERSHIP/NATIONAL ECONOMY corporate headquarters, Abuja to commiserate with the family and staff of the organisation over the sudden demise of their chairman.
He said the demise occurred at a time when the nation needs people like him who can express anger without destroying the fabrics that hold the nation.
“It is a tough one for us as a government in Akwa Ibom State. When I heard the news, I got in touch with the governor, His Excellency Emmanuel Udom, who was supposed to have a meeting with him just this week.
“It is coming at a time when Nigeria needs people like him who can be angry without destroying the country. He sought to serve the country but never tried to destroy because he was denied. It is a rude shock, very painful, especially considering the fact that from the evidence from those around him, he didn’t fall sick for long.
“He just complained of a little uneasiness and that was the end. Why it is a rude shock to us is that it is a reminder that human life is fickle and that our lives are in the hands of the Almighty. He gives when he wants to and takes when he wants to. For us as a government and as a people, he was a dear friend to the governor, he was even to meet with him just this week. It is a painful loss to the country that he loved so much and sought to serve. And having not been able to serve the country, he did not demonise it. There are people who when they seek to get into leadership and they can’t, they begin to demonise leadership. That is the difference, he didn’t demonise, he only expressed his desire to serve and when the people gave their verdict, he accepted it in a good faith. It is a difficult time for the press community, it is a painful loss to Nigeria and Africa. The NPAN and Nigerians as usual will rally round one of their own. The impact among us, it will take time to recover.
“He was a man who crossed from pharmacist to become a media owner in the country and showed great example to the people as per how to run a media community. Leadership runs as a family and not like a company. It takes a lot of breathing from the owner for that to happen. The staff relate as a family,” he said.
Commiserating also, the Northern Media Forum (NMF), has expressed shock and disbelief over the death of the publisher and chairman of LEADERSHIP newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah, saying the media is poorer without him.
The chairman of the forum, Dan Agbese said Nda-Isaiah was a colossus that bestrode the media world. “As a media entrepreneur, passionate and authoritative writer, his exit and voice will be missed in the industry, and in the country.
“A pro-people person, Sam Nda Isaiah was dogged; he had courage of conviction such that he was ever ready to “take up arms” to fight for just causes, and denounce the wrongs of the society with the same vigour.
“Indeed, he spoke truths to power and made those in authority uncomfortable. He was audacious and forceful in his approach, which stood him out among the rest.
“His foray into and vision for the media added so much value to the sector such that the industry is now poorer with his exit. Though not a trained journalist, his passion for the job exuded in the creativity he brought to bear on his paper. When he wrote, he did with vehemence,” he said.
He also noted that his plan to establish the electronic version of the media tripod—radio and television—would have expanded the frontiers of journalism in both growth and development. He was truly a pathfinder and an inspiration to many people. Unfortunately, he did not live long to fulfil his dreams.
The management of Daily Trust Media Limited also condoled with the staff and management of LEADERSHIP over the death of its Chairman Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah.
In a condolence letter signed by the Ag. Chief Executive Officer for Media Trust Limited, Nura Mamman Daura expressed solidarity and support during this trying time.
“On behalf of the Board and Management of Media Trust Limited, I wish to convey our deepest sympathies to you on the recent death of your chairman, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah.
It is our hope that time and memories will help lessen the burden of sorrow and that you may draw some measure of comfort knowing that others care and share in your loss.
More than anything else, we are all comforted by the Biblical injunction that says “our bodies return to the earth, and the life-giving breath returns to God”
“We pray that Sam Nda-Isaiah’s soul rest in peace, and that God will give his immediate family, the management and entire staff of LEADERSHIP Group the fortitude to bear this loss. Amen”
Also, the managing director, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. (ABC), owners of Aso Radio and Television, has expressed sadness over the death of the late chairman.
In a condolence message, the MD, Ibrahim Lawan Damisa, said Nda-Isaiah was an epitome of hard work in the media industry.
He said, “On behalf of the Board of Directors and Management and the entire Staff of Abuja Broadcasting Corporation Ltd, we heartily condole with you on the death of a journalism icon and broadcast pundit who indeed was an epitome of hard work in the media industry. For us in Aso Radio and Television, we have lost a distinguished colleague and compatriot as well as an exceptional personality in the media circle. May Almighty God grant him eternal rest and also give the family and his colleagues the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Furthermore, former Staff of LEADERSHIP Newspaper Group yesterday paid tributes to the late Chairman and extolled his leadership virtues.
The former staff, under the aegis of LEADERSHIP Alumni, during a visit to the corporate Headquarters took turns to narrate their experiences working with the late Sam Nda-Isaiah who they said helped them identify their inherent strengths.
In his remarks, Dr Cletus Akwaya, former GMD LEADERSHIP Newspaper, who is currently the publisher, Daily Asset Newspaper said working with Chairman was like a school where he learnt a lot.
“To all of us who are gathered here perhaps, feel the greatest sense of loss. According to the maxim which says to whom much is given, much is expected; and in the military, they say it’s not how long you served but how far you went. To that extent at some point, it pleased the Chairman to make me the Group Managing Director of LEADERSHIP and I can tell you that it was a school. A school in management, leadership, journalism, human affairs, courage, ambition, vision and in administration of what is good and what is bad.
Mr. Iyobosa Uwagiaren, the Bureau Chief of ThisDay, said the late Sam Nda-Isaiah gave him and his fellow alumni the platform to grow and exhibit their journalistic qualities. He added that regardless of what people may feel of the late publisher, he was a good man.
“We are here to pay condolence to the organisation where most of us started our career. Chairman was like a father to us. He gave many of us the platform to grow, to exhibit our innate journalism qualities. No matter what, he was a good man, he could succumb to superior argument,”
On his part, Chuks Ohuegbe said though Sam Nda Isaiah’s death came as a shock but there is need to move on and sustain his legacy. “I want to encourage each and every one of us that this is not the time to lose hope. Sam Nda-Isaiah has created hope in us. Whoever encountered him and did not make it, it means he or she did not want to make it.
“He is the guy that when he saw you from afar, he knew that you have what it takes to be there and he found out what is inside you; he could give three promotions in a year and made sure that you excel because he would put pressure on you.
On his part, a former staff and past member of the House of Representatives, Hon Golu Timothy, who represented the good people of Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam federal Constituency of Plateau State in the 8th Assembly described Nda-Isaiah as a great Nigerian who influenced the lives of many people.
He said, “Let us not allow this paper to die. It is unfortunate that we are discussing behind him but wherever he is I know he will appreciate the fact that we value what he has invested in all of us.
“Having worked with LEADERSHIP there is no way it will not affect you, the level of confidence you acquire here is beyond imagination and that is why there is nobody that has worked here that cannot rule this country.
Also speaking Lara Olugbemi said Sam Nda-Isaiah saw potential in his workers. She said, Chairman believed in giving people a chance, which she also benefited from.
“There is no day you don’t have a reason to talk about Chairman, though he was not perfect.
“You know we jokingly call him head master. You know, I joined LEADERSHIP as a proof reader in 2006, shortly after I started work. I was tested and I became weekend editor within six months and during this period I made a mistake on a headline and he called me very early in the morning and he started shouting and after that my little boy asked whether it is my head master and that is how we started calling him head master. Many people did not know the genesis of that name.
“You could not tell Chairman no it cannot work when he tells you a dream. He sees in you what you did not know about it and he pushed you to that.
I’m very proud to have worked in this organisation and we became brothers and sisters.
Mr. Danladi Ndayebo said he was employed as a rookie and trained on the job in line with the chairman’s vision.
Danladi who is a former Commissioner for Information, Niger State said the chairman pushed him to read books and develop himself to become a better version of himself. He said as former members of staff, they have a responsibility to keep his legacy alive.
He said the death should be seen as a daybreak for them to do more and make exploits.