By Egena Sunday Ode
President Muhammadu Buhari has received, with deep sorrow, the news of the passing of a close ally, friend and associate, Malam Wada Maida, 70, whose stewardship and loyalty to the President and the country over many years had been with great distinction.
In a condolence statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari said:
“I am profoundly shocked by the sudden death of Malam Wada Maida, my former Press Secretary, a man who possessed one of the highest qualities of professional integrity throughout the course of his journalistic career.”
According to the President, “Wada Maida was a very dedicated, hardworking and loyal professional for whom I have the deepest respect and admiration.
The President said that “the passion with which Maida did his job accounted for his professional success in life, making it possible for him to attain the pinnacle of excellence in his career.”
The President, the statement said, joined the Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, members of his cabinet and the family of late Malam Wada Maida in mourning the sad loss, and called for prayers for the State and country as they accept the will of the Almighty God, who determines the fate of everyone.
President Buhari commiserated with staff and management of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), where Malam Maida served as Chairman of the Board until his transition, having worked there extensively as European Bureau Chief, based in London, before honouring – the national call as Press Secretary to the Head of State, 1984, and returning to the agency to continue as Editor-In-Chief and Managing Director.
The President also sent condolences to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Guild of Editors, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, International Press Institute, Peoples Daily Newspapers, which Malam Wada established and chaired, and Pan African News Agency (PANA), where he played a pioneering role in founding and remained an inspiration for many years.
While sympathizing with friends and family of the former Managing Director of NAN, the President, according to the statement, undoubtedly believed Malam Wada left a legacy of modesty, loyalty and commitment to the goals of national unity and development that will continue to resonate with everyone who crossed his path.
The President prayed that the Almighty God will forgive his shortcomings and grant him a home in jannatul firdaus.