The Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN), will confer posthumous awards on the late former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the former Managing Director of DTN, the late Alhaji Babatunde Jose (OFR) on Tuesday.
The conferment of the awards on the distinguished Nigerians will take place at the organisation’s “Heroes Award’’ in Abuja as part of activities to mark its 91st anniversary.
DTN said in a statement on Monday in Lagos that they were being honoured for their individual contributions to the country’s development.
The presentation of the awards by Nigeria’s oldest newspaper publication, will take place at the prestigious International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.
It said late Yar’Adua, Nigeria’s President between May 29, 2007 and May 5, 2010, carved a niche for himself as a democrat and selfless leader who gave his all to re-building not only his home state, Katsina, but Nigeria as a whole.
“The late Yar’Adua, born in Katsina, North Central Nigeria on Aug. 11, 1951, died on May 5, 2010, was a one-time civilian governor of Katsina State between 1999 and 2007.
“During the period, he enunciated and executed several developmental projects, including roads, education, health, housing and agriculture in his desire to increase the living standards of his people.
“The late president, born into an aristocratic family in Katsina by the older Yar’Adua, a former Minister of Lagos during the First Republic (1960-1966), attended Ruffuka Primary School, in 1958.
“He also attended Katsina Boarding Primary School, Government College, Keffi,1969; Barewa College (1971) and the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, 1972-1975, graduating with a Bsc. (Edu), Chemistry.
“The late Yar’Adua, was married to Turai, and they were blessed with seven children — five daughters and two sons.
“He held various managerial positions, including General Manager, Sambo Farms; and Chairman of several boards, including Katsina Investment Ltd and Madara Ltd, respectively,’’ the statement said.
He was elected governor and president on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but was challenged by a protracted illness during which he died.
The statement said that Alhaji Babatunde Jose, a doyen of journalism, was the first indigenous Managing Director of Daily Times Group in 1962.
“A foremost journalist and indeed, one of the respected Nigerian journalism rose through the ranks to become a colossus in the media industry.
“Jose, an astute manager of human and material resources, was born in Lagos on November 13, 1925 to Hamzat and Mrs Hajarat Jose, both of blessed memory.
“He was educated at the Lagos Government School, Yaba, Lagos Methodist School, and St. Saviours’ College, also in Lagos, before becoming a trainee at 16 years of age.
“At various times, in 1946, when he was transferred to the Editorial Department of The Daily Times, Jose later became a Correspondent in the then Eastern and Northern regions, when the Daily Mirror was created and bought a majority share holding in the Daily Times.’’
The statement said Jose rose again, to become the News Editor of Times, Assistant Editor, and later Managing Director of The Daily Times.
“He grew the paper as the best to beat, churning out over one million copies and making sales that ran into millions of Naira.
“He was later eased out, following the 1975 coup, and he went into some other endeavours, including training and manpower development of young journalists.
“One of his products is the distinguished chairman of the awards and former Times man, as well as, former civilian governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba.
“The history of the Nigerian journalism industry cannot be complete without mentioning the critical role of the late Jose,’’ it said, adding that he died on Aug. 2, 2008. (NAN)