IT will be an afternoon of tributes, today, at the Muson Centre, Lagos, in honour of veteran journalists who passed on recently.
Organised by the Nigeria Press Organisation, NPO, consisting of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN; Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE; Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, BON, the keynote address is expected to be delivered by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The chief host of the day is the president of the NPO and NPAN, Malam Kabiru Yusuf.
Those to be honoured include pioneer President of NPAN and former governor of Lagos State, late Alhaji Lateef Jakande; former Life Patron of NPAN, Malam Ismaila Isa Funtua; former Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Tony Momoh, and former Publisher of New Nation and Sunday Times Editor, Chief Gbolabo Ogunsanwo.
Others are former Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, Mr. Ben Egbuna; former Publisher, Leadership Newspapers, late Sam Nda-Isaiah; former General Manager, Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Bisi Lawrence; former Editor, Daily Express, Mr. Eddie Aderinokun, and past NGE President and former MD/Chairman, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Malam Wada Maida.
Jakande was born in the Epetedo area of Lagos Island, Lagos State, on July 29 1929. he began a career in journalism first with the Daily Service and then, in 1953, joined the Nigerian Tribune.
In 1956 he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune by the owner, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He later published The Lagos News and served as the first president of NPAN.
Jakande, who was the first civilian governor of Lagos, died in Lagos on February 11, 2021.
Momoh started his journalism career as a sub-editor at the Daily Times in October 1962, rising steadily through the ranks to become editor and deputy general manager between June 1976 and May 1980.
Egbuna was the pioneer executive director, news, VON, and a former DG, FRCN, as well as being a former President, African Union of Broadcasting, AUB.
Isa, born in Funtua in January 1942, was a member of the 1994 Constitutional Conference under General Sani Abacha, and founder of Funtua Textiles Limited and, later, managing director of the Democrat Newspapers.
He was also the founder and Chairman of Bullet Construction Company, one of the largest indigenous construction companies in Nigeria.
Bisi Lawrence, famously known as ‘Biz Law’, was born in Lagos on October 23, 1933. He spent two years at CMS Grammar School, Lagos, before going to Christ School, Ado-Ekiti, where he also spent two years. He grew up in the Campos area of Lagos.
As a lover of sports and an outstanding sports writer, he was head of Outside Broadcasting, Radio Nigeria. He was to work abroad, where his employers tried to nationalise him, but he declined because of his love for Lagos. Upon his return to Nigeria, Second Republic Governor of Lagos, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, engaged him to run the Lagos Broadcasting Corporation as general manager.
The former Vice Chairman of Nigeria Football Association, NFA, served in many sporting committees and shone brilliantly when he served as Media Committee Chairman for Nigeria ’99 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Gbolabo Ogunsanwo was accomplished journalist and former Editor of Sunday Times. His exploits in the 1970s led Sunday Times to a yet to be surpassed height, as the paper printed an unprecedented one million copies per week.