In a long-awaited move, President Muhammadu Buhari has posthumously honoured the late Founding Chairman of LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group, Sam Nda-Isaiah, by awarding him the prestigious national honour of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).
Last year, many expressed surprise that Nda-Isaiah’s name was conspicuously absent from the national honours list, despite his significant contributions to President Buhari’s administration.
It would be recalled that in a letter dated October 14, 2022, the Senior Vice Chairman and Editor-In-Chief of LEADERSHIP, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, wrote a letter to Buhari calling the government’s attention to the omission.
In the letter addressed through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Ishiekwene said, “Sam Nda-Isaiah meets the fundamental criteria for the conferment of the award, from consistency and meaningful participation in community national development to the defence of the national interest and outstanding patriotism.”
However, the President has now rectified this oversight, acknowledging the late newspaper publisher’s invaluable service.
The friends and associates of late Nda-Isaiah, who passed away on December 11, 2021, after a brief illness, had fervently called for this posthumous national honour on his 61st posthumous birthday on May 1.
His influence extended beyond journalism, as he was also a prominent figure in politics, having aspired for the presidency and being a notable member of the governing All Progressive Congress (APC).
This belated recognition serves as a testament to Nda-Isaiah’s remarkable legacy and his enduring impact on the nation.
The President’s decision to bestow the OFR award posthumously acknowledges his outstanding contributions to Nigeria and highlights the respect and admiration he garnered throughout his distinguished career.