By Our correspondents
Dignitaries yesterday took turns to extol the exemplary life of the late Chairman of Peoples Media Limited, Malam Wada Maida who was laid to rest at the Gudu Cemetery in Abuja yesterday.
The late Mal Wada Maida, 70, died at about 9pm on Monday in his home at Minister’s Hill in Maitama, Abuja, after returning home without any sign of sickness.
According to family sources, he died while resting and waiting for the network news in his sitting room shortly after his usual walk exercise within his compound and observing the late evening prayer (Isha’a).
The Jannaiza prayer was led yesterday by the Imam of Area 1 Mosque, Rabiu Suleiman, shortly after the Zuhr prayer at about 1.30 pm. The body was conveyed to the Gudu Cemetery in Abuja accompanied by a long convoy of vehicles for the final interment at about 2.30pm.
Wada Maida, an international journalist of repute was until his death Monday night the Chairman, board of directors of Peoples Media Limited, and was a leading director of Media Trust, publishers of Daily Trust newspaper.
He was also the Chairman of the Daily Trust Foundation, and the Chairman of the board of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN. He was also a member of the executive committee of the International Press Institute, IPI.
Shortly before the Jannaiza prayer at the Mosque, a close confidant and associate of the late Wada Maida, former Senator Ibrahim Ida described him as a fulfilled family man who engaged himself in a lot of charity works and worked very hard for his afterlife.
“And I believe he will get it God willing,” Ida said.
He said the late Wada was visionary enough that he gave his children very sound education and prepared them to excel in life, and prayed God to have mercy on him.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mal Garba Shehu said Wada’s death was a huge loss to the nation, the present administration and the journalism profession because of his invaluable role in affecting those structures.
For the Minister of Education, Mal Adamu Adamu, it is not easy to describe the virtues of the late Wada Maida in just a few words because he stood out in many aspects of life. He however prayed to Allah to grant him eternal peace and forgiveness.
Also, the Special Adviser on Media to former President Umaru Yar’Adua, Mr Segun Adeniyi said he will always remember the late Wada Maida who advised him on how to be a successful Media Adviser to a President, having himself been the former Chief Press Secretary to the former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari.
In a valedictory sermon shortly before the interment, the Chief Imam of Zone 3 Mosque in Wuse Abuja, Dr Tajudeen Mohammed Adigun noted that Wada was humble and generous while he lived.
He said those who know him testified that he was a good man with good principles, and implored everyone at the graveside to ask for Allah’s forgiveness to enable him pass all the tests of the grave.
Also, a Chief Imam of Maitama Mosque, Dr Umar said Wada Maida was always available to respond to religious demands and other Islamic activities, and prayed Allah to have mercy on him.
He called on all to learn from the experience of the deceased who only returned home well from work only to die at home afterwards. He said it could have happened to anybody, and called on all Muslims to live a life of piety and submission to the will of Allah.
Dignitaries at the burial ceremonies include the Katsina state governor, Aminu Bello Masari, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mal Garba Shehu and former Minister of the FCT, Aliyu Modibbo.
Others present are the Chairman of the board of Media Trust, Mal Kabiru Yusuf, former Senator Ibrahim Ida, directors of Peoples Media Limited including Mal Bilya Bala, Abdulmumin Bello and Mal Ibrahim Ismail, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mal Nuhu Ribadu, a veteran journalist and National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mal Mohammed Haruna and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, Umaru Ibrahim. Former Chief Press Secretary to President Shehu Shagari, Mal Abba Dabo and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed were also among those present.
Gov Ganduje: Wada was rare individual with immense talents
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state said that he received with profound shock the passing away of the renowned journalist and former Editor-in-Chief/Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Malam Wada Maida on Monday.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Kano by Malam Muhammad Garba, the Commissioner for Information, the governor also described Maida’s death as a sad national loss.
He said that Maida, who until his death was Chairman, Board of Directors of Peoples Media Limited, chairman Daily Trust Foundation and Chairman, Board of Directors of NAN, is an accomplished journalist, an astute public officer, a rare individual of immense talents and abilities who lived a life full of service to humanity.
Governor Ganduje stated that Maida’s contribution to the development of the media in the country remains laudable, particularly his venture into publishing and expressed the belief that his commitment to peace and unity of the country, through his chosen profession, would always be remembered.
Governor Ganduje via the statement, commiserated with the deceased’s family, President Muhammadu Buhari under whom Maida had served as Chief Press Secretary when he was military Head of State, the government and people of Katsina state, Peoples Daily newspaper, International Press Institute and the media industry in general.
While praying Almighty Allah to give his family, friends, the media industry the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, he prayed for Al-jannatul firdaus to be Maida’s final abode.
Gov Masari: He was a close friend and associate
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has expressed profound sadness over the death of a renowned journalist and Chairman of the Board of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
This was contained in a statement signed by the governor’s media aide, Alhaji Abdu Labaran Malumfashi.
Describing Alhaji Wada Maida as “a close friend and associate”, Governor Masari said Nigeria had lost one of its finest citizens who had distinguished himself as an accomplished journalist, newspaper proprietor and administrator par excellence.
He added that in Alhaji Wada’s death, Katsina State had lost one of its most illustrious sons who had served not only Katsina, but Nigeria meritoriously in various capacities, including as Spokesman to General Muhammadu Buhari, when he was military Head of State.
While condoling President Muhammadu Buhari, the immediate family, friends and associates of the deceased, he prayed to Allah (SWT) to forgive him all his sins and other shortcomings, even as he urged the bereaved to take consolation, not only in the fact that all living souls must taste death, but also that the deceased had lived a fulfilled life worthy of emulation.
Yobe Gov, Buni: Media industry has lost a colossus
Yobe state Governor, Mai Mala Buni, has commiserated with the family, Katsina state government and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) over the death of Malam Wada Maida.
This was contained in a statement issued by Mamman Mohammed, Director General Press and Media Affairs to the Governor.
Governor Buni said the Nigeria media industry had lost a media colossus who contributed immeasurably to the development of journalism in Nigeria.
“The likes of late Maida gave the industry a huge support through his belief, practice and investments in the media sector.
He will be remembered for his love for the media and consistent preaching of truth and objectivity as a guiding principle for journalism in Nigeria.
The governor prayed for the repose of his soul in Aljannatur Firdaus and to the government and people of Katsina state and, the media family, the fortitude to bear the loss.
Gov Matawalle: He was an idol of media industry
From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau
Zamfara State Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle has received with shock, the sudden death of Malam Wada Maida.
This was contained in a statement by the Director General, Media, Public Enlightenment and Communication Government House Gusau, Malam Yusuf Idris and made available to Journalists in Gusau Today.
Governor Matawalle said he received the news of the passing away of the media icon in the early hours of yesterday, describing him as an idol in the media industry across the world as he was a member of various well known national and international media bodies and institutions.
He said the invaluable contributions of Malam Wada to the growth and development as well as encouragement of many Nigerian youth into media practice will ever be remembered in credible dissemination of information.
The governor recalled the good performance of the deceased when he served as Chief Press Secretary to President Muhammadu Buhari when the latter was military head of state.
Having served on the Board of Media Trust and as the CEO of Peoples Daily Newspapers, Governor Matawalle, said Malam Wada who died at the age of 70 years has left a great legacy in the media industry worthy of emulation.
He prayed Almighty God to grant him eternal rest in Jannatul Firdaus and his immediate family, his staffers in Peoples Daily newspaper as well the fortitude to bear the loss.
While also commiserating with President Buhari, Matawalle condoled with the NAN, Media Trust and Peoples Daily families in particular and the Nigerian media industry in general.
IPI: He fought for and stood for free press
The International Press Institute (IPI) described Wada as one of its pillars.
This was according to a statement yesterday by Kabiru Yusuf, Chairman IPI Nigerian Chapter and Raheem Adedoyin, Secretary, IPI Nigerian Chapter.
IPI said until his death, Mallam Wada was the member representing Nigeria on the executive board of IPI in Vienna, Austria.
“IPI mourns the passing into eternity of this doyen of Nigerian journalism and long- time member of the global network of media executives for a free press.
“IPI also commiserates with the family of our late leader and the media community. We pray that the Almighty Allah gives the family and the media community the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
“May Allah grant Mallam Wada Aljanah Firdaus. Ameen,” the IPI said.
NGE: He was a shining role model
Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) said in a statement yesterday it was shocked at the death of one of its former Presidents, Malam Wada Maida.
A statement yesterday by Mustapha Isah, President and Mary Atolagbe, General Secretary of the NGE said Wada Maida was a thorough-bred professional, who contributed immensely to the development of the Nigerian journalism profession. “His achievements as President of the Guild will never be forgotten. The death of this veteran journalist has robbed African journalism of the services of a man who was fully committed to the development of the profession.
“He was a shining role model for those behind him in the journalism profession, where he stood out as a defender of free speech, promoter of the finest ethics of journalism and successful media entrepreneur.
“Though, his sudden demise is painful, the Guild takes solace in the fact that Mallam Wada Maida left indelible footprints in the Nigerian media industry as a Reporter, Editor, Editor – in – Chief, Managing Director and Publisher.
“The Guild expresses its condolences to his family, colleagues as well as the government and people of Katsina State. May Allah grant him Aljannah.”
Information Minister Lai: Wada was good administrator, successful publisher
By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has condoled with the staff, management and Board of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) over the death of the agency’s Board Chairman, Malam Wada Maida.
In a statement issued by Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture yesterday in Abuja ,the Minister said he received the news of Malam Wada’s passing with profound shock and sadness.
He described Malam Wada as a great journalist, a good Administrator and a successful publisher who contributed immensely to the growth and development of the Nigerian media.
Alhaji Mohammed said Malam Wada, a former Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of NAN, will always be remembered for his service to the nation in many capacities.
‘’My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this moment of sadness. May God forgive his shortcomings and grant him eternal rest,’’ he said.