Family, friends and well-wishers gathered Tuesday to remember the late chairman of Leadership newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, during a first memorial held in his honour.
Chaired by the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the event took place Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Mustapha described the late Nda-Isaiah as a blessing, saying that the deceased lived a life of love and left an impact on the lives of all he came across.
Attendees said the late publisher was synonymous with humility and selflessness.
Mr Nda-Isaiah’s younger brother, Joseph Isaiah, described him as a devoted family man and a quiet philanthropist.
“He generously assisted the less privileged, often supporting widows and paying for the education of many orphans of deceased friends and associates,” he said.
In her speech, the first lady of the federation, Aisha Buhari, said Mr Nda-Isaiah is an “associate” to her and her family but also happens to be a “different person to different people.”
He was a politician, journalist, pharmacist, and a true definition of a serial entrepreneur who lived a life well spent, she said.
“We remember him today as we did every day in the last year. We remember him not only because he is not here but because of how he lived his life and impacted us positively. And we will continue to remember him for the rest of our lives,” the first lady said.
Mrs Buhari added that the former presidential aspirant lived his life contributing to the “development of our nation and as a service to humanity.”
She urged his widow, family, and friends to remain strong now more than ever and take comfort in knowing that he has lived “a good and memorable life.”
In his tribute, Ahmed Kuru, a close friend of Mr Nda-Isaiah, said his late friend loved and adored his family, cherished his friends, was gracious to strangers and was sacrificial towards all.
At the programme, the Nda-Isaiah family expressed its profound appreciation to relatives, friends, and associates for their prayers and support through this time.
The man of “Big Ideas”
Born in Minna, the capital of Niger state in 1962, Mr Nda-Isaiah had his early education at UNA elementary school and Christ Church school in Kaduna.
He attended Government College Kaduna and the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University where he studied Pharmacy. He worked briefly at the Minna General Hospital, after a stint at the Kano specialist hospital.
A passionate newspaperman and pundit, his column, “Last Word” with a footnote, “Earshot”, was a must-read. He started the column as a 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, Mr Nda-Isaiah started with LEADERSHIP CONFIDENTIAL, a newsletter that was of tremendous value and insights, especially among diplomats, top politicians, and business owners.
Mr Nda-Isaiah was a founding member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) before joining the All Progressive Congress (APC) ahead of the 2015 general election.
In 2014, he vied for the presidential ticket of the APC, under the campaign slogan “Big Ideas.” He delivered the big ideas speech in Minna Polo Ground, Niger State, where he promised to unite Nigeria and arrest the country’s problems if elected. He, however, lost in the primaries.
Until his death, he held the title of Kakaki Nupe which was conferred on him by the current Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar. He was also conferred with a chieftaincy title, Aare Baaroyin of Akure Kingdom by the Akure monarch.
He died in Abuja on December 11, 2020, after a brief illness. His family said he was a very hard-working personality in all he sought to do and was fully committed to the ideals he believed in.
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