A joint body of Nigerian journalists has announced a decision to name the newly built headquarters of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism in Lagos after Ismaila Isa Funtua, the businessman who died on Monday.
This was contained in a statement signed by Nduka Obaigbena, President of the Nigerian Press Organization on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the decision was jointly taken by the Nigerian Press Organisation – Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).
“For his untiring contributions to the development of Journalism and Freedom of the Press in Nigeria and around the world, it is the privilege of the Nigerian Press Organisation – Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) – to name the newly rebuilt Nigerian Institute of Journalism House, Adeyemo Alakija Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, as ISMAILA ISA HOUSE to honour the life and times of Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua, OFR, Mni, who died on Monday July 20,2020 after a life of dedicated service to Nigeria that spanned politics, business and media,” the statement read.
According to Mr Obaigbena, the contributions of the deceased to the development of journalism is innumerable: “including, but not limited to his co-founding of Democrat Newspapers; presidency of the NPAN at a time of national crises, and later a life patron; services to the international Press Institute where he served on the global board; contributions to journalism education as Chairman of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, ETC, ETC.”
“Samaila Isa Funtua, 1942 -2020, will be deeply missed but not forgotten,” he said.
Mr Funtua, a close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari and Second Republic minister, died on Monday evening while keeping a doctor’s appointment.
He is suspected to have died of cardiac arrest as he was not known to be seriously sick.
The Katsina-born newspaper publisher and industrialist was a minister under the civilian administration of Shehu Shagari.
A member of the 1994-1995 Constitutional Conference, he was also the founder of Bulet International Nigeria Limited, which built some of the iconic public buildings in Abuja.