The Executive of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and some of its elders have paid a condolence visit to the families of Mallam Wada Maida, and Alhaji Isa Funtua, who both passed away recently.
Mallam Wada Maida was the Chairman of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), while Alhaji Isa Funtua was the President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria and Publisher of the Democrat Newspaper.
The visit commenced on Tuesday at the home of Mallam Wada Maida in Maitama, Abuja, where his wife and children welcomed the delegation.
The President of the NGE, Mustapha Isa, expressed deep sorrow over Maida’s passage. He described his death, as a big loss to journalism.
“We are grateful for what he did to our profession. His legacy lives on despite his demise,” Isa said.
Wada Maida was from Katsina State, Northern Nigeria. He was the Kaduna State Information Officer between 1971-1978, and became the zonal editor in 1978-1981.
Between 1981-1983, Maida became the Foreign Correspondent for NAN in-charge of Western Europe and London.
Between 1984-1985, Maida became the Chief Press Secretary to Buhari when he was the Military Head of State. Maida was also the Editor-in-Chief for NAN between 1985-1994, and later became the Managing Director in 1994.
“He (Wada) died as a good man, he could never hurt a fly,” Yusuf Alli, the Managing Editor of The Nation newspaper said.
Maida was also a member of several organizations, including the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Vision 2010, Foreign Press Association, London, and Amnesty International, among others. In 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Maida Chairman of NAN Board.
Funtua family visit
After the visit to the family of the late Mallam Wada Maida, the group continued to the home of Alhaji Isa Funtua in Garki, Abuja, where they were received by his wife and children.
Isa Funtua started his career in the Katsina Native Authority, where he eventually rose through the ranks working in the defunct North Central State.
He later joined United Textiles Limited in Kaduna, where he was the personnel manager of over ten thousand workers.
Isa Funtua later became the Federal Minister of Water Resources in the Second Nigerian Republic. He was a member of the 1994 Constitutional Conference under General Sani Abacha.
“He (Isa Funtua) lived all his life as a media man. He made a lot of developments in the media profession in Nigeria.
“We pray that journalists should emulate what he stood for; that is truth, justice and fairness,”Mustafa Isa said.
Funtau then retired into private business where he became a director of several companies. He was the founder of Funtua Textiles Limited, and Managing Director of the Democrat Newspaper.
He was also the founder and Chairman of Bulet Construction Company (one of the largest indigenous construction companies in Nigeria), responsible for building several federal buildings.
Funtua was a long time personal friend and close associate of President Muhammad Buhari, and was a very influential figure in the Buhari administration.
Source: Voice of Nigeria