The chairman, board of directors of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and member of the executive board of International Press Institute, Malam Wada Maida is dead. He passed on last night at the age of 70.
The late Maida who was the chief press secretary to President Muhammadu Buhari when he was Head of State in 1984 was chairman, People’s Daily newspapers, before he was appointed chairman of NAN board of directors.
As of the time of filing this report last night, the cause of his death was still unknown, but family sources said Maida, who was in his office earlier in the day, did not show any sign of sickness before slumping around 10pm on Monday.
Maida, who was the chairman, Board of Directors of People’s Media, was also a former Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of NAN.
Family sources confirmed to LEADERSHIP that the deceased will be buried today,.
Maida was born on March 5, 1950 in Katsina State where he studied at Government College, Katsina, from 1964 to1968.
His love for journalism led to his admission into the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) in 1971, Indiana Institute of Mass Communication between 1972 and 1975, and Aberdeen College of Commerce, UK from 1975 to 1977.
He later became information officer of Kaduna State in 1971. He subsequently served as zonal editor from 1978 to1981 and later foreign correspondent of NAN in-charge of Western Europe, London between 1981 and 1983.
With a robust experience in journalism, he was appointed the chief press secretary to then head of state, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, from 1984 to1985.
At the end of the regime, he became editor-in-chief of NAN in 1985 and was later promoted managing director in 1994.
Maida was chairman, People’s Daily newspapers, before his recent appointment as chairman of board of NAN.
He belongs to several local and international organisations, including the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Vision 2010, Foreign Press Association, London, and Amnesty International.
He was one of the distinguished Nigerians conferred with a fellowship award in December 2011 by the NIJ, Lagos.
President Buhari had in a congratulatory message to Wada Maida when he clocked 70 years in March this year said the chairman of NAN achieved a lot in journalism and public service.
President Buhari commended Maida’s efforts in mentoring and inspiring a generation of journalists within and outside Nigeria, praising the media icon for his contribution to the growth of journalism in the country.
“I believe that Maida’s patriotism, dedication, and commitment to peace and unity of the country, through his chosen profession, would always be remembered,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his senior special assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.