Death, the five-letter word, is an inevitable end that no man born of a woman can prevent. It is painful when someone dies but more painful when a very close associate is said to be no more.
11th December 2020 shall remain green in the memory of my life. This is the time a political icon, pharmacist, social crusader and the publisher of LEADERSHIP Newspaper was announced dead.
I couldn’t believe it, though I know death is an inevitable phenomenon that everything with life must taste.
Days after he was announced dead following a brief illness, I am still not myself. Even as I write this tribute, I am confused about Sam Ndanusa’s death.
That Sam, of all good people I know, is gone from the face of the earth is shocking and unbelievable. Well, after all said and done, we are told not to be sad over whatever happens and instead, we are to pray for both the living and the dead. Indeed, no amount of cry and thinking can bring him back to life.
I knew Sam during the days of Yar’adua led administration when he was arrested. Then, I was the President of the Protection Rights of Journalists of Africa. I fought tooth and nail to ensure that Sam was released from detention.
That was the beginning of my relationship with the late Sam. Since then we became intimate friends until recently when he gave up the ghost. God is Great!
Sam Nda-Asaiah was a man of the people who hardly discriminated against any primordial sentiments. He accommodated everyone, irrespective of tribe, creed or religion. His insatiable desire to assist whoever he came across knew no bound.
When it comes to Sam Nda-Isaiah, both Muslims and Christians are given their due respect without any atom of discrimination. He had always ensured social justice and equity among the people. He did not allow one to use the class difference to mistreat the other. The conglomeration of different ethnic groups and religious faiths in the employ of his company and the responsible manner he treated them speak volumes of Sam Nda-Isaiah’s benevolent gestures. He was such a type of personality with enormous knowledge of the socio-economic and political aspects of Nigeria.
Sam Nda-Isaiah was one of Nigeria’s most consistent voices on contemporary and domestic policy issues. He subscribed fully to the Achebe’s creed that everything stands or falls on leadership and had maintained this position in his punditry for well over a decade.
His column, which dwelled mostly on politics, economy and global affairs, started at the Daily Trust Newspaper on Mondays and was later transferred to LEADERSHIP newspapers. His book, entitled Nigeria: Full Disclosure, was a compelling narrative on the audacity of the Nigerian paradox.
Indeed, Sam Nda-Isaiah lived a fruitful life. Born on May 1, 1962, he attended Government College, Kaduna. He also attended the then University of Ife, Ile-Ife where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy. He was the national Editor-in-Chief of the Pharmacy Students’ Magazine, Student Pharmacist. Perhaps the early stirrings of his journalistic passion could be traced to that student magazine, though his modest role was elsewhere.
Sam Nda-Isaiah, as a minority Christian from Niger State, had the propensity to nip most of Nigeria’s ills in the bud. But he is gone today. It is hoped that most of his thoughts would be researched to use in resolving the country’s problems.
There is no doubt that Sam Nda-Isaiah, until his death, had acquired vast experience that could have helped Nigeria out of her socio-economic and political doldrums but the inevitable death has snatched him from us.
As a matter of fact, the man with these rare qualities is gone and lives no more. But his spirit of goodness shall continue to shine as stars of heaven and on the faces of the downtrodden. We have really missed a titan, an educator and a social crusader. May the soul of Sam Nda-Isaiah rests in peace. May God forgive him and give all of us that he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss. Adieu SAM NDA-ISAIAH. Ameen.
Professor Adamu Abubakar Gwarzo was the President, Protection Rights of Journalists of Africa and currently, the President/Founder of the prestigious Maryam Abacha American University of Niger Republic.