The Publisher of Leadership newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, is dead.
Multiple sources from his family and the newspaper organisation confirmed that he died on Friday “after a very brief illness.”
“Yes, it is true. I was just told now,” a family member told Punch on the telephone on Friday evening.
When asked if he had been sick, the source said, “Yes, but very briefly.”
The late publisher was said to be at his duty post in Abuja on Thursday during the inaugural meeting of National Economy’s Board of Economists at the corporate head office of the media organisation.
A senior management staff of his company was said to have broken the sad news of his death on the company’s staff WhatsApp, saying “Today is a sad day for Leadership.”
An editor with the Leadership, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said Nda-Isaiah did not show any sign of sickness when he appeared at the office on Thursday.
“He did not show any sign of sickness. It was not the coronavirus that killed him. Maybe it was cardiac arrest. It is indeed a sad day for us.”
He said the family and the company would issue a statement to announce the death of the former pharmacist.
On his Facebook page, Nda-Isaiah described himself as a leading pro-good governance advocate and a consistent voice on contemporary and domestic policy issues.
He also described himself as “one of the most respected men in the Nigerian media.”
He was chairman of the Leadership Group and Editor-in-Chief of Leadership newspapers, a daily newspaper organisation that publishes Leadership, Leadership Weekend, Leadership Sunday, Leadership Confidential, Leadership Edge and Leadership Hausa.
Nda-Isaiah was a member of the Vienna-based International Press Institute; a member of the World Association of Newspapers, Paris, France; and a member of the Institute of Directors.
He was a member of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria; Chairman, Oakhouse Forte Limited; Chairman, Banana Republic; Chairman, Clayfields and Harrow; Director, Empire Securities Limited; Director, Societa Generale Fondazini; Director, Maitama Amusement Park Plc; Member governing council of Kaduna International School; Chairman, Robertsham Hotel and Group Ten Ltd, Johannesburg, South Africa.
A trained pharmacist from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nda-Isaiah ventured into politics and newspaper publishing. He was also a newspaper columnist.
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, he was one of the party’s presidential aspirants for the 2015 election. He alongside former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; former Governor Rochas Okorocha and former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso among others lost the APC presidential ticket to Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who later won the election by defeating the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Goodluck Jonathan, in the 2015 election.
As of the time of filing this report, the deceased’s family and the Leadership newspaper had yet to announce his death formally.
According to an online encyclopedia, Nda-Isaiah was born in Minna, Nigeria. He attended UNA Elementary School before switching to Christ Church School, Kaduna in 1968. He later studied at the Federal Government College, Kaduna, from 1974 to 1979. After graduating, he was admitted to the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State where he studied Pharmacy.
He also enrolled in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
Nda-Isaiah briefly worked as a pharmacist at the Kano Specialist Hospital before moving to the General Hospital, Minna. He worked at Pfizer Products Limited from 1985 to 1989.
In 2003, he headed 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.