The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has condoled with the family, friends of Sam Nda -Isaiah and the Nigerian newspaper industry over the death of the Publisher of Leadership Newspaper.
Lawan also commiserates with the Newspaper Proprietors’Association of Nigeria, and the Government and people of Niger State over the loss.
Lawan describes as shocking the death of the pharmacist-turned newspaper columnist, publisher and politician at the young age of 58 years.
“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.
“His contributions as a public opinion shaper and principled politician are profound and have put his imprints on the Nigerian history despite his early home call,” Lawan says.
The Senate President prays for sweet repose of his soul and for comfort for his loved ones in this period of their grief and after.
Former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan commiserated with the Nda-Isaiah family and the management of Leadership newspapers on the passing on of the late publisher.
The former President in a condolence message to the family described the late Nda-Isaiah as an erudite journalist and columnist who deployed his creativity towards promoting peace, progress and unity.
Dr. Jonathan also noted that the late publisher was deeply committed to public good, adding that he would be missed for his patriotism and incisive commentary on the state of our nation.
The former President said: “I commiserate with the Nda- Isaiah family, the Nigerian media, his political associates and all sympathisers on the demise of Sam Nda- Isaiah at the age of 58 after a brief illness.
“Sam Nda- Isaiah was a pharmacist, an erudite journalist, a columnist and a newspaper publisher who deployed his creativity and platforms to promote the peace, progress and unity of Nigeria.
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 by many members of our society, for his incisive commentary on the state of our nation and for his patriotism.
“I pray for consolation for members of his family and all affected by his death to take solace in the fact the late journalist lived an impactful life of service and he was an inspiration to many especially those within the media.”
In his eulogy, Deputy Senate President , Omo-Agege, said the late founder and Chairman of Leadership Group Limited, Sam Nda-Isaiah was a patriotic Nigerian and great friend whose shocking exit is bound to be felt by many.
He expressed great shock over the death of the newspaper publisher who inaugurated the Board for one of his company’s subsidiaries on Thursday and passed away on Friday night in Abuja.
The Deputy President of the Senate described the publisher as one of his great friends at the helm of Nigerian mass media.
“With his passing, I have lost a friend whose exit happened at a most unexpected time when one considers the fact that he was a strong and healthy 58 year-old man who succumbed to brief illness.
“Nonetheless, we must acknowledge the productivity and achievements that God enabled him to record during his time on earth.
“Sam Nda-isaiah was not only a presidential aspirant; he was a patriotic Nigerian and passionate member of the All Progressives Congress right from its birth.
“He was a very resourceful entrepreneur, moving from pharmacy into various business ventures including the establishment of a national newspaper.
“As we mourn his passing, let me express my heartfelt condolences to his family and associates and I pray that God grants his soul eternal rest”, he stated
All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, also mourned Nda-Isaiah, who he described as a courageous and conscientious journalist and columnist.
In an statement by his Media Office and signed by Tunde Rahman, Asiwaju Tinubu said he had a cordial relationship with Nda-Isaiah.
He said: “I’m deeply shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Leadership Newspaper publisher, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah.
“He was a friend and associate. We had a built cordial relationship between us long before we founded the APC together with others and before he contested for the presidential ticket at the primaries of our party in 2014.
“As a journalist and columnist, he was bold, courageous, and conscientious. A pharmacist, he made an audacious move when he founded the Leadership newspaper in 2001.
Nda-Isaiah was not only a newspaper publisher, he was also an entrepreneur with varied business interests.
“His death is a blow to the journalism profession, which he served with all his heart. Perhaps, his last major appearance was last Tuesday’s Annual General Meeting of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria held in Lagos. My condolences to the NPAN. I commiserate with the management and staff of Leadership newspaper.
“I mourn in particular with his wife, children, and relations. May Almighty Allah comfort them and give them the strength to cope with this sudden death of their patriarch. I also extend my condolences to Etsu Nupe, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, the government and people of Niger State for the loss of their illustrious son. I pray that the soul of our friend, Nda-Isaiah, find eternal rest.”
On Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed shock and sadness at the death of a man he describes as “a friend and ally”, a statement issued his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said.
“The country has lost a man of conviction, a resolute and dogged believer in a better Nigeria,” the statement quoted Buhari as saying.
“He will be sorely missed. This is a massive fish gone out of the media ocean,” the presidential spokesman further quoted the president as saying “of the pharmacist, renowned columnist, and one time presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
His State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello said he received with rude shock, the news of the demise of the the publisher.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs. Mary Noel-Berje, the governor added that “an iroko tree in the pen profession has fallen and Niger State has once again lost a passionate and dedicated citizen”.
Governor Sani Bello described the deceased as an exceptional media mogul who demonstrated courage in his write ups adding that he was also a successful entrepreneur and politician who will be greatly missed.
He prayed God to have mercy on late Sam and rest his soul as well as God’s comfort on the All Progressives Congress APC, people of Niger State, the media industry, family and his close associates.
According to his Leadership newspaper, he was in Minna, Niger State Capital on May 1, 1962, late Sam was a passionate newspaperman and pundit, his column, “Last Word” with a footnote, “Earshot”, was a must read. He started the column as special writer and editorial board member of Daily Trust, before he founded LEADERSHIP Newspaper.
He served as a committee member in the Kano State government to revive The Triumph Newspapers owned by the Kano State government.
He was also a founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and aspired for presidential ticket under the same APC for 2015 elections.
He was the Kakakin Nupe, a traditional title in the Nupe Kingdom.
It said the media mogul, writer, politician and serial entrepreneur, on Friday night in Abuja after a brief illness. He was 58.
Confirming his demise, a statement by the family said, “We are deeply saddened to announce the news of the passing of the chairman of LEADERSHIP Group/National Economy, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah.
“…. Nda-Isaiah was a family man, a serial entrepreneur and visioner, and a passionate politician. He was, above all, a man of faith. Even in this moment of grief, we know he is in a better place.
“Nda-Isaiah was a pharmacist, but he made his mark as a newspaperman, with three dailies, including the newspaper, LEADERSHIP, in his stable.
The Leadership story reads further: “He was also a serial entrepreneur with a portfolio of thriving businesses and a founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on whose platform he contested for presidential ticket in 2014.
“Nda-Isaiah, a bridge-builder and champion of Big Ideas, a number of which he vigorously canvassed, also held the traditional title of Kakaki Nupe, the spokesperson of the Nupe people.
“He was a promoter of Nigeria’s unity and an outstanding student of history and global politics.
“His last major outing was on Thursday, December 10, when he inaugurated the Board of Economists of NATIONAL ECONOMY Media Limited, a subsidiary of the LEADERSHIP Group.
“Nda-Isaiah was born in Minna, c apital of Niger State on May 1, 1962. He attended the UNA Elementary School before switching over to the Christ Church School, Kaduna in 1968 to complete his primary school education.
“He attended the Federal Government College, Kaduna, from 1974 to 1979. He later studied Pharmacy at the Obafemi Awolowo University and did his National Youth Service Corps programme at the Ekiti State General Hospital in 1984.
“Nda-Isaiah, fondly called “Sam”, is an alumnus of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
“Nda-Isaiah began his working career as a pharmacist at the Kano Specialist Hospital before he moved to the General Hospital, Minna. He worked at Pfizer Products Limited from 1985 to 1989.
“A passionate newspaperman and pundit, his column, “Last Word” with a footnote, “Earshot”, was a must read. He started the column as special writer and editorial board member of Daily Trust, before he founded LEADERSHIP with proceeds from the launch of a collection of some of his finest articles in 2001. Before LEADERSHIP became a full-fledged newspaper, Nda-Isaiah started with, LEADERSHIP CONFIDENTIAL, a newsletter that was of tremendous value and insights, especially among diplomats, top politicians and business owners.
“Sam demonstrated exceptional courage through his write-ups, a quality that popularised the newspaper and often put him at odds with government, especially under former Presidents Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Olusegun Obasanjo.
“As a result of his contributions to the media industry, Nda-Isaiah was called to serve as a committee member in the Kano State government to revive The Triumph Newspapers owned by the state government. In 2003, he was in charge of President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential campaign publicity.
“He was a member of the Asian think-tank, the Global Institute for Tomorrow in Hong Kong. In 2019 he was appointed board member of the Baze University, Abuja.
“In 2015, Nda-Isaiah ran for the country’s presidency, contesting in the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), with the campaign slogan, Big Ideas. He however lost in the keenly contested primaries.
“He held the title of Kakaki Nupe conferred on him by the current Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar. He was also conferred with a chieftaincy title, Aare Baaroyin of Akure Kingdom, by Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, Odundun.
“A very hard-working personality in all he sought to do, he was fully committed to ideals which he believed in. He was a great patriot who believed in the unity of Nigeria.