President Muhammadu Buhari led as tributes poured in 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).
Other eminent personalities who paid tributes to Isaiah, yesterday, include governors led by Ekiti State Governor and Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum,Dr Kayode Fayemi, 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.
In his condolence message, 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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.