Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, a media entrepreneur, on Tuesday described late Malam Wada Maida, as an example of a gentleman, thorough professional, a man of integrity and humility.
In a condolence message on Tuesday in Kaduna, Baba-Ahmed said late the Maida, who was the Chairman of Board of Directors, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), had served as a beacon to many.
He had also served as Managing Director of NAN. He died on Monday in Abuja.
Baba-Ahmed, who is the Chairman of DITV and Alheri Radio said, “For the entire period that I have known him he has never demonstrated any negative attitude, he was calm and always available.
“I have not really known a human being who is more accommodating than Alhaji Wada Maida.
“I have never worked with him, but I have known him for over 30 to 40 years and I have nothing but positive things to say about him.
“He was a great man, a great northerner and may Allah restore mercy on his soul and help look after his family,’’ Baba-Ahmed said.
Also, the Kaduna State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), said it received the news of his death with great shock.
In a statement by its Chairman, Adamu Yusuf, the union described the late Maida as a sound professional, who contributed immensely to the media industry and served Nigeria in different capacities.
“NUJ as a body, particularly Kaduna council, will also remember late Malam Wada Maida as someone who stood for the freedom of the press and humanity.’’
Yusuf prayed Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him abode in paradise.
Similarly, the General Manager Liberty TV and Radio Kaduna, Abdulaziz Kadir, described Maida’s death as the end of an era.
“Nigeria has lost one of its finest journalists and media managers. The North and indeed Nigeria has lost one of its finest journalists.
“It is the end of an era. Malam Wada Maida belongs to the class of late Isa Samaila Funtua, Mamman Daura, Muhammed Haruna.
“With his death, a whole generation of the finest of journalists is being lost.
“From his days as information officer in the old Kaduna State where he penned for New Nigerian Newspapers to NAN, rising to the peak as Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director, establishing the People’s Daily Newspaper and later NAN Board Chairman, late Wada Maida proved his mettle.
“May his soul rest in peace,’’ he added.
A veteran journalist, Ibrahim Hassan-Mahmood, said Maida lived an exemplary life as he rose to the pinnacle of the media industry.
“His death has truly left a yawning gap in the media industry, especially in the North,’’ Hassan-Mahmood, who is also the Sardaunan Hayin Banki Kaduna said.
Malam Yahaya Sarki, Special Adviser to Gov. Atiku Bagudu on Media, said the media industry has lost a gem.
“Although I have not worked with him, but his records of achievements in the profession is so evidently open that even younger generation of journalists know him on that,” he said.
Sarki also described the deceased as gentle, honest and a bridge builder.
On his part, a veteran journalist with FRCN, Malam Sadisu Kwantagora, recalled his first encounter with late Maida in 1984 during the state visit of the then Military Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to Niger State.
He recalled that late Maida coordinated the coverage of that visit professionally which made all newsmen happy.
“Maida was an exceptional leader and a professional journalist of repute whose legacy of hardwork and dedication would remain indelible,” Kwantagora said.
Another journalist with the Leadership newspaper, Malam Faruk Umar, said that the late Maida contributed a lot to the development of journalism in Northern Nigeria and the country at large.
“My last encounter with Maida was in Dec. 2012 in Lagos during a disaster management training programme organised by the European Union in collaboration with USAID.
“I was so confused with the trend, composition of the training and the materials distributed to us, but when late Maida observed my discomfiture he gently came to me and guided me.
“I ended up coming out among the best 10 participants of that training,” he said, and prayed Allah to have mercy on Maida and give his family the fortitude to bear the loss.