Media stakeholders, on Friday in Lagos, honoured the departed media leaders, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo eulogising the departed media veterans.
Those honoured were Prince Tony Momoh, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Mallam Wada Maida, Mallam Ismaila Isa, Chief Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, Mr Bisi Lawrence, Mr Eddie Aderinokun, Mr Ben Egbuna and Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late media leaders were honoured at an event to celebrate their life and times.
The event tagged “An Afternoon of Tributes – Honouring the Dead, Inspiring the Living” was organised by the Nigerian Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).
Vice President of Yemi Osinbajo remarked that the former Minister of Information and Culture, Prince Tony Momoh’s battle for press freedom warned him praise in the constitutional annals of Nigeria.
He recalled Momoh’s argument that journalists had the constitutional obligation to hold the government accountable at all times.
Osinbajo noted that Momoh was one of the founding members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Chief Segun Osoba, former governor of Ogun said that the contributions of former Gov. Lateef Jakande of Lagos State to the media profession was too monumental to be documented.
Osoba said that Jakande’s success and contributions to journalism exceeded his contributions to government.
“He was the first president of NGE, the first president of NPAN, the first African to be the Chairman of the International Press Institute that is made up of editors all over the world and publishers,’’ he said.
Mr Kabiru Yusuf, President, NPAN said the event was aimed at remembering and celebrating “media titans” who passed on.
“They lived an eventful and impactful life.
“There are traces of them everywhere; in the families that they raised, the colleagues they mentored and the institutions they led.
“That is why we do not think of them in the past tense but in the present and future,’’ Yusuf said.
Mr Nduka Obaigbena, Publisher, Thisday described Malam Wada Maida, Past President, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) as a quiet operator, who was always effective in his endeavours.
Obaigbena added that Maida, who was also a former Managing Director and Chairman of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) helped to revive the NGE in 1988.
“When he left NAN, he built a headquarters for them, organised the entire place and decided to go into private business.
“He was one of the early investors in Daily Trust Newspapers and also the key investor in People’s Daily,’’ he said.
Also, the Chairman, Vanguard Media Ltd, Mr Sam Amuka described the former President of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Malam Ismaila Isa, as a man who spent his life servicing other people’s lives and organisations.
He added that Isa, who was also a patron of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), was a blessing to the Nigerian media.
“He used his influence to raise funds to rebuild the new NIJ House in Victoria Island at no cost to the NIJ,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Channels Television, Mr John Momoh also paid tributes to the former Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Mr Sam Egbuna, whom he described as a thoroughbred journalist whose footprints can be felt in both private and public space.
According to Momoh, Egbuna, who was also an Executive Director of Voice of Nigeria (VON), believed in doing the right things, doing things right and practising journalism with integrity.
“He was a living proof on how a fine journalist should be; a good friend to many.’’
The Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Publications Ltd, Mr Lanre Idowu described Mr Eddie Aderinokun, former Editor, Daily Express as a multi-talented artist, who was at home in journalism but also in music and sports.
Idowu said that Aderinokun was a man of high standards in lifestyle, home life and profession.
He noted that Aderinokun wrote nine poetries, including ‘Ebony of Snow’, ‘Indigo Tears’ and ‘Dark Things are Here’.
In his tribute, Mr Tony Akiotu, Managing Director, Daar Communications Ltd described Mr Bisi Lawrence, former General Manager, Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation as a man, whose administrative and organisational skills were matchless.
Akiotu said that Lawrence, popularly known as “Biz Law” was an inspiration, an enigma, a man who paid respect to details and one who would settle for nothing less.
“His contribution to sports remains legendary,’’ Akiotu said.
The Editor-in-Chief, Leadership Newspapers, Mr Azubuike Ishiekwene described Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah, former Publisher of the Newspaper as a man who believed Nigeria was stronger and better together.
“He abhorred drawing attention to himself; he is a man of infectious zeal, boundless energy and patriotic.
“He was a bridge-builder and an ardent believer in one Nigeria,’’ he said.
Mr Lade Bonuola, Consultant, Guardian Newspapers Ltd described former Publisher, New Nation, Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, as a man who paid great attention to human capital development, with an assurance of staff keeping their jobs while still schooling.
He said Ogunsanwo, who was also a former Editor at Sunday Times was known for keeping public officials on their toes by demanding accountability. (NAN)