Wada Maida preached virtues, fairness in journalism – Agbese

Mr Dan Agbese, a veteran Journalist, has said that Malam Wada Maida, Chairman, Board of Directors of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who died on Monday, preached and promoted fairness in journalism.

“Wada was a thorough-bred professional who preached virtues and fairness in the journalism profession during his lifetime. I am still in shock over his demise,” Agbese said in a statement he personally signed.

The statement was made available to NAN on Wednesday in Makurdi.

NAN reports that Maida, Chief Press Secretary to then military head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, later served as Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of NAN, before he bowed out in 2003.

He was aged 70 when he died peacefully in his residence in Abuja.

“I am still in shock over the death of my friend and media icon. Death has, without warning, terminated our friendship,” Agbese wrote.

He said that Maida’s illustrious career focused on promoting and upholding the ethics of the profession.

Agbese, who recalled with nostalgia, the good old days of their relationship and how they met, said it was hard to absorb the shock.

“I am trying to recover from the shock over the death of my most cherished friend, Malam Wada Maida.

“I first met him in Dodan Barracks, Lagos in 1984 when he was the Chief Press Secretary to the then Head of State, Major-Gen Muhammadu Buhari.

“I was the Editor of the New Nigerian newspapers and had called on him to confirm an important story. He handled my quest with care and a sense of balance.

“He also had his way of balancing his job between his constituency, the news media, and his job as the head of state’s spokesman and chief media adviser.

“He was a thoroughly professional journalist. His professional decisions preached the virtues of fairness and balance to those who worked with him in NAN and his other high-profile appointments.

“His death has robbed younger journalists of a great mentor.”

He said that Maida would be greatly missed in the Nigerian media industry, especially the News Agency of Nigeria

“I last spoke to Wada to condole him over the death of Malam Ismaila Isa. That was  last month. We also exchanged Sallah greetings.

“Wada wore his cool mien and unassuming nature on his sleeves. We joked a lot. His laughter matched his cool, almost shy nature.

“All of us, who were close to him, will greatly miss him. May his soul find favour with the Almighty and may He grant him the eternal rest he deserves in his bosom.”

NAN reports that Maida, before becoming Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of the Agency, had served at various times as its Regional Editor in Kaduna, Political Editor and London Correspondent. (NAN)