By Raheem Adedoyin
“Good morning, My Brother.
I read of the demise of the publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah with shock. I know he was very close to you. Accept my heartfelt sympathy and condolences. May God grant his gentle soul eternal rest and his family and associates the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Happy weekend.”
I woke up this morning to read the above dark message from my friend and brother, Hon. Barr. Kayode Towoju.
Sam Nda- Isaiah dead?
I have become so numb to deaths in this Covic 19 period but this was shocking. We communicated intensely just 6 days ago!.
I needed a reliable source for confirmation of the death; so, I called the Chief Operating Officer of Leadership Newspapers, Mr. Jonathan Eze. Confirmed.
Eze provided some insights into the transition, including that the Publisher presided over a Leadership Newspapers event in Abuja last weekend.
I communicated with Mr. Nda-Isaiah last Monday. The Leadership Newspaper had announced Kwara Governor, HE AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, as the Newspaper’s Governor Of The Year 2020.
The Award caught HE unaware and the Governor’s response to my message on it was telling:
” I never knew that this award exists. This is very encouraging.”
The Governor followed up with an official statement acknowledging and accepting the award , appreciating The Leadership’s honour and promising it would spur him to greater public good.
Nda-Isaiah’s response to HE’s public statement was also telling: ” We are completely touched by the governor’s public show of appreciation.”
That was on Monday, 7th Dec. Our exchanges didnt show the response of a man on death bed or in the throes of death.
Yet another patron of IPI( International Press Institute) in Nigeira is gone. Mr. Sam- Ndaiah’s death followed in the ugly footsteps of Malam Ismaila Isa( who died in July) and Mallam Wada Maida( whom we lost a month later).
Oga Sam, as I called him, was a giant in the media community and tributes are already pouring in reflecting his power, influence and humaneness.
I got close to him in the during the preparations for Nigeria’s hosting of the 2018 IPI World Congress and General Assembly in Abuja. He was not only a member of Local Organising Committtee ( LOC) headed by ThusDay Publisher, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, he hosted a meeting of the committee and contributed financially to the project.
He was also a corporate contributor to the IPI Membership fund in Nigeria.
I have the unpleasant duty of co-signing yet another Condolence statement on yet another media titan in the IPI family.
Despite his huge success as a publisher and media influencier, Mr. Nda- Isaiah was so approachable and kind-hearted.
Good Night, Oga Sam.
Secretary, International Press Institute Nigeria &
Member, IPI Executive Board
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