The remains of late founder/chairman of LEADERSHIP Group Limited, Sam Nda-Isaiah, will be buried today.
Activities in memory of the late Nda-Isaiah, who was also the publisher of NATIONAL ECONOMY Newspaper, commenced on Wednesday with tributes by prominent Nigerians, friends, associates, and the family members held virtually.
More tributes continued for the deceased yesterday by prominent Nigerians, friends, associates and family members, who gathered at a service of songs to pay glowing tributes to the media mogul at a virtual event in Abuja as part of the funeral rites for the late newspaper publisher and serial entrepreneur.
He Was Fanatically Committed To Nigeria’s Growth, Devt – VP Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has hailed the commitment, hard work and zeal of the late Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, saying he has a fanatical commitment to the nation’s unity, development and growth.
Prof. Osinbajo who stated this in a tribute at the service of songs for the late Nda-Isaiah yesterday said he was simply a man with strong versatility, energy and vision.
He noted that the late publisher put his head, heart, and soul in everything he did.
According to him: “I am honoured to be part of this celebration of my dear brother and friend, Sam Nda-Isaiah. He was a certified pharmacist. He is someone we all know as a maverick columnist, a writer, a newspaper publisher, a politician and a serial entrepreneur. He was simply a man with strong versatility, energy and vision.
“The story is told of how Sam started LEADERSHIP Newspaper. He had been writing a weekly column, “Last Word” for Daily Trust. He later gathered his articles into a book where he realized the sum of N17m from the launching of the book. This became the seed capital for establishing the now iconic LEADERSHIP Newspapers.
“The last of his many projects which he discussed with me was how Nigeria could compete with India in the manufacture of generic crops. In everything he did, he puts his head, heart and soul in it. I doubt if there is anyone who came across him who would fail to realize his almost has fanatical commitment to Nigeria, to the unity of Nigeria, to its supremacy in Africa; and the prosperity and security of the Nigerian people. This always dominated his conversations.
“Sam also knew what was most important internally, his faith in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was born again. And so, as we mourn his passing, we know that he now lives eternally with our Lord Jesus Christ in peace and joy.
“We pray for his wife Zainab and his children who he loved dearly, that the Lord would comfort you. His hands of mercy and peace would be upon you forever in Jesus name. Amen. God bless you all,” Osinbajo added.
He Was A Man of Unparalleled Love For Nigeria – IBB
At the service of songs, Nigeria’s former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) described the late publisher of LEADERSHIP and NATIONAL ECONOMY Newspapers as a man of unparalleled love for Nigeria.
He further described him as a bridge-builder and man of high intellectual capacity.
Gen. Babangida in his tribute emphasised that the demise of the media mogul has left a huge vacuum that is difficult to fill.
According to the elder statesman, “Sam’s demise came at a time his engaging mind is most needed to shape national discourse.
“It is painful that death could snatch Sam at a time when greater responsibility was to fall on his shoulders to help shape public discourse and help the country find its bearing.
“The generation of Nda-Isaiah is one that is presently vested with the responsibility to drive the national narratives and provoke initiatives that could take us out of national political darkness.
“We stand to miss a lot about him, his solidarity with friends, his ability to manage people from diverse ideological leanings, his ability to manage persons of different political persuasions and his uncommon capacity to stay connected to his array of friends across social and political divides without betraying any sentiments,” the former president said.
He Always Guided, Encouraged Me To Do More – Niger Gov
Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello again expressed sadness over the demise of the late founder/chairman of LEADERSHIP Group Ltd, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, saying that he encouraged him to do more.
The governor who stated this yesterday, while speaking at the service of songs for the departed publisher, expressed shock over his death while praying God to bless and unite the family.
He said: “I was deeply shocked when I was called early in the morning that Nda-Isaiah was dead. What can we do when God says it is your time? And like the Bishop says, good people always go first.
“He was a very good man. Whenever he comes to my lodge, he is always smiling and whenever I work under pressure, I am tired and he comes, before he leaves he puts a smile on my face, encourages, guides and advises me,” Governor Sani-Bello said.
He Was Committed To Seeing Nigeria Grow Amongst Comity of Nations – Bishop Kukah
For his part, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, extolled the courage and forthrightness of the late chairman of LEADERSHIP Group, Sam Nda-Isaiah, saying he was committed to seeing Nigeria grow amongst the comity of nations.
Kukah, who made this known while paying tribute to the late media mogul at the service of songs, said the late Nda-Nda-Isaiah was a great man, adding that he was a bridge builder.
According to him, Sam knew the quality of man he was before his death and that would be a relief to the family even as he prayed that God keeps his family and children and give everyone the heart to bear the loss.
“Sam was a great man. He was a bridge builder. I drew from his connections and contacts, having schooled in this country. You know the quality of man he was. May God grant eternal rest to our brother and friend. May his legacy continue to live even after him,” he prayed.
Speaking further, he reiterated that the late Nda-Isaiah was a man of big ideas.
‘’The best legacy we can do for him is to accelerate the speed of growth and development of the country. He was committed to seeing Nigeria grow amongst the comity of nations,’’ he added.
He also noted that the late media mogul was committed to building a brand new and dedicated Nigeria, noting that “My heart and prayers are with you.’’
His Death, My Saddest Moment- Bishop Addo
The founder and presiding Bishop of the International Praise Chapel, Fred Addo, has described the demise of Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah as the saddest moment of his life.
Addo, who spoke yesterday during the service of songs for the late publisher, said he was more than a classmate and friend, who was always present in the time of need, adding that he never took him for granted as he always strengthened him.
The spiritual father who further described Nda-Isaiah ‘as a man who doesn’t sleep in achieving his goals’ prayed to God never to allow his glorious exit to bring pain or fear to the family he left behind.
He also urged people to learn to appreciate the good deeds of others when they are alive.
“If you love someone and appreciate their good deeds, do it now for there is no tomorrow,” Addo added.
He Touched Many Lives – Brother
Also speaking, a younger brother of the late media mogul, Joseph Nda-Isaiah, expressed sadness over the demise of the publisher.
He, however, said that the family was condoled with the fact that he touched the lives of the less privileged while alive.
“I have never seen a man like him before. He can go an extra length to help in times of need. He always goes the extra length to help and I am confident that his children will receive back such kind of gestures,’’ he said.