By Our Reporters
President Muhammadu Buhari led as tributes poured in torrents for Mr. Samuel Ndanusa Isaiah, Chairman of Leadership Newspapers, who passed on, on Friday.
Isaiah was aged 58 having been born on May 1, 1962 in Minna, Niger State.
He founded the Leadership Newspaper Group in 2001 and was until his death an ex-officio member of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).
The deceased also nursed presidential ambition.
Other eminent personalities who paid tributes to Isaiah, yesterday, include governors, former President Goodluck Jonathan, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and NPAN.
In his tribute, Buhari said the country has lost a man of conviction, a resolute and dogged believer in a better Nigeria.
“He was a friend and ally and will be sorely missed. This is a massive fish gone out of the media ocean”, the President lamented.
He promoted peace, unity of Nigeria – Jonathan
Jonathan, in a condolence message, said the late erudite journalist deployed his creativity towards promoting peace, progress and unity.
“As a politician, publisher and entrepreneur, he was a man of deep commitment to solving many of the challenges within our country. He will be missed for his incisive commentary on the state of our nation and for his patriotism”, the former President said.
Fervent believer in Nigerian project – Lawan
In his condolence message, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, described the deceased as a fervent believer in the Nigerian project.
“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”, Lawan said.
It’s a personal loss – Omo-Agege
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo Agege, said the Leadership publisher’s death was a personal loss to him. He said: “Nonetheless, we must acknowledge the productivity and achievements that God enabled him to record during his time on earth.”
Monumental loss – Fayemi
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, described Isaiah’s death as a monumental loss to the country in general, the media industry in particular and the All Progressives Congress (APC), on whose platform he had aspired to the country’s number one position in 2015.
Fayemi said he was a personal friend and a patriot who fought for a better Nigeria. “This is a huge loss. We have lost a patriot who was ever positive about the greatness of the country”, he lamented.
He fought a good fight – Abiodun
Sympathising with the family, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, said the country has lost a rare gem of big ideas, whose politics was laced with conviction, selflessness and without bitterness. “A serial entrepreneur is gone. He had his hands in many pies and incredibly made a success of most of his endeavours”.
A patriotic, detribalised Nigerian – Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr.Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the death of the entreprenuer was painful, stressing that Nigeria has lost another patriotic and detribalised citizen.
Sanwo-Olu regretted that the late publisher’s eternal passage came at a time when Nigeria needed more of his knowledge and wealth of experience in different areas of endeavours.
We lost a quintessential media guru – Bello
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State expressed shock over the death. Bello noted that the deceased publisher had used his newspaper to promote issues that engender peace, unity and overall development of Nigeria. “You have demonstrated uncommon passion and patriotic zeal in the defence of Nigeria through your style of reportage”, he stated.
Death, big blow on journalism profession – Ganduje
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State condoled with the family and friends of Nda-Isaiah, describing his death as a very big blow on the journalism profession.
According to Ganduje, the media icon left an indelible mark on Nigeria’s media practice and newspaper business in Nigeria, inspiring many to take up the profession and coaching them to reach the pinnacle of their career.
Nda-Isaiah, a patriot – Lai Mohammed
To the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nda-Isaiah was a patriot who demonstrated abiding faith in Nigeria, in words and in deeds.
“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 a mantra. He was indeed a great Nigeria and a true friend and brother”, he said.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State expressed sadness over the death of the renowned journalist.
Oyetola hailed the late publisher’s contributions to the growth of journalism in the country, noting that his death had created a big vacuum in the media industry.
He, however, said the only way to immortalise the politician was to ensure that the newspaper and other media outfits, he founded, continued to flourish in line with his vision.
His death regrettable – Ishaku
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, described the sudden death of Nda- Isaiah as premature, sad, and regrettable.
“Nda-Isaiah was a highly talented, hard-working and focused entrepreneur whose publishing conglomerate is today, the pride of the nation. His newspaper titles have also been a vocal voice in advancing the country’s quest for a durable democratic culture”, he said.
Death painful, shocking – Ortom
Also mourning, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State described Nda-Isaiah’s death as painful and shocking.
“Late Nda-Isaiah was 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”, he said.
Obaseki hails Nda-Isaiah’s strides in journalism
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, while expressing his sympathies, said: “I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of 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.”
One tragedy, too many – Abdulrazaq
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has also expressed grief over the sudden death of the Publisher of Leadership Newspapers.
“The death of Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah is one tragedy too many and we join in the national mourning of this 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.”
He was a courageous journalist – Tinubu
All Progressives Congress, APC, National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, described the late newspaper icon as a courageous and conscientious journalist and columnist.
He said: “I’m deeply shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Nda-Isaiah. As a journalist and columnist, he was bold, courageous, and conscientious.”
He had strong convictions – Ibori
Former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, said the late newspaper publisher was a man with strong convictions. Ibori said Nigeria will remember Nda-Isaiah as a man of many parts.
Progressives, Northern govs mourn
Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, also mourned the passing of Nda-Isaiah, describing his death as a loss to the progressive community in Nigeria.
Chairman of the forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu , in a message of condolence said: “His death is a loss to the nation, the Nigerian progressive community and the global media world.”
Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF), on its part, expressed shock over the death of Nda-Isaiah.
NPAN mourns departed colleague
In a tribute, NPAN has said the demise of its member was devastating.
NPAN, in a condolence message signed by the President, Malam Kabiru Yusuf, and Secretary, Alh Mohammed Idris, said Nda-Isaiah’s commitment to the values and objectives of the association was unflagging to the very end.
“Sam Nda-Isaiah has left indelible footprints in the annals of the Nigerian media. The NPAN will sorely miss him as an active member and for his immense contribution to the development of journalism in Africa”, the group said.