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More tributes have continued to trail the demise of the legendary newspaper man, Alhaji Babatunde Jose, who died last Saturday
More tributes have continued to trail the demise of the legendary newspaper man, Alhaji Babatunde Jose, who died last Saturday at 82.Former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday eulogized the late veteran newspaper administrator, Alhaji Ismail Babatunde Jose, describing him as a beacon of hope for the new generation publishers.
In a statement signed by his Special Assistant Media, Mr Emeka Obasi, Kalu, who was recently crowned Man-of-the-Year by the Anambra State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), toned down his celebration mood as news of Jose’s death hit him.
"Alhaji Jose’s days in the Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN) were fruitful. Those were the golden years of the conglomerate. It was a success story that encouraged some of us, the new generation of publishers," he said.
The Jose example, Kalu explained, would continue to guide media practitioners in the country and ginger them to higher responsibilities.
"At 16, in 1941, he joined Daily Times as a Technical Trainee. And that was two years before Nigeria’s first graduate journalist, Abdulkarim Disu, earned a degree from the University of Winconsin, United States in 1943. By 1948, Jose was already a political correspondent, in 1957 he was appointed Editor, Daily Times. In the next five years, the man rose to the position of Managing Director and to cap it all, Chairman of the Daily Times group in 1968," Kalu recalled.
According to the ex-governor, Jose also trained some of the best managers in the history of Nigerian journalism. Men who raised many of those managing the media today.
"By these, I mean people like Prince Henry Olukayode Odukomaiya, Chief Emmanuel Adagogo Jaja, and Aremo Olusegun Osoba. Some of the newspaper chiefs in our country today, passed through them."
Kalu, who is also Chairman Board of Trustees of the Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA), added that the former Daily Times Chairman belonged to the robust old school of journalism that included the likes of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, Chief Victor Olabisi Onabanjo, Hadji Alade Odunewu and Ikpehare Izedome Aig-Imoukhuede.
Also, the Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, eulogized Jose’s death as the glorious end-of-an era in Nigerian Journalism.
According to a press statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odfumakin, Afenifere captured Jose’s life as, "the rise from obscurity to stardom through dint of hard work and perseverance.
The statement goes further: "Babatunde Jose was an exemplar as he did not get involved in any act that could tarnish his reputation.
We salute the spirit of this great Yoruba son and indeed a Nigerian indefatigable patriot. Though he is no longer with us physically, his moral grandeur shall be eternally with us.
"Afenifere commiserates with his biological and extended families, the men of the pen profession and the Islamic faith in Nigeria on this irreparable loss."
The Action Congress (AC) in its tribute to the man, widely regarded as the ‘Doyen of Nigerian journalism, described Alhaji Babatunde Jose’s death at 82, as a testimony to the power of good leadership and purposeful living.
In a statement issued in Abuja Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the late Jose impacted positively on his chosen profession and presided over what was one of Africa’s most influential newspapers - The Daily Times - because of his rare vision and good leadership.
The statement further reads: "Were Alhaji Jose as inept, selfish and corrupt as those parading themselves as leaders today, whether in the public or private sectors, the Daily Times would not have attained the height it reached, and journalism in Nigeria would have been the worse for it.
"It is no longer news that Alhaji Jose rose through the ranks to reach the highest echelon of the newspaper - and the profession of journalism - by sheer dint of hard work, perseverance and honesty."
AC also hailed Alhaji Jose’s contribution to the growth of Islam and religious tolerance in Nigeria, saying it was in recognition of his efforts in ensuring religious harmony that he got a rare award from the Pope.
"We commiserate with his immediate family and his extended family of journalists over his death, and pray that Allah will grant repose to his gentle soul,’’ it added.
In his reaction Chief James Ibori described the late media administrator as a man who has paid his dues to nation building. Ibori made the statement through his personal secretary, Emmanuel Esemedafe, in his country home in Oghara, Delta State .
He further noted that his death has created a vacuum in the journalism space and he would be dearly missed by all. "But it is consolatory that he lived a great life committed to nation building and service to God," said Ibori. He prayed God to grant his family the fortitude to bear this loss and to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.
Moreover, Dr Adinoyi Ojo-Onukaba, former Managing Director, Daily Times, in his tribute described Alhaji Jose as an extraordinary human being, a strong and principled character, a devout Muslim and a loving family man. He was my hero and role model throughout my four years at the helm of affairs at DTN. Although he had been gone some 23 years before my arrival at the Times in 1999, he always loomed large in our consciousness."
According to the former media aide to V.P Atiku Abubakar, Jose was larger than life, the quintessential man of humble beginning, who became a legend in his life time by dint of hard work, perseverance and courage in the midst of intimidating odds. I have always believed that two broad categories of people passed through the Times - the builders and the wreckers he eulogised. Jose was the foremost builder."
In his reaction, Kwara State Governor, Dr Bukola Saraki, described the death of Alhaji Ismail Babatunde Jose as one death too many for the Nigeria’s media industry.
Dr Saraki in a condolence message to the family of the deceased said the late Jose was the greatest media doyen of our generation. No doubt, the passage of Jose represents the end of a generation of a media guru, whose high professional touch would be missed by all.
He was a great disciplinarian, who exhibited exemplary commitment to the development of modern journalism in Nigeria, Saraki said.
While also commiserating with the entire family of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr Saraki prayed God to grant the deceased’s family the fortitude to bear the loss.
The newly elected President Nigerian Guild of Editor (NGE), Mr Gbenga Adefaye, said: "Without doubt, the Guild, like the entire Nigerian media, will miss the exemplary leadership and direction that Alhaji Jose provided for the Nigerian Press.
According to Adefaye, the Guild acknowledges that many of the leading lights of the journalism profession today either passed through Alhaji Jose or were directly influenced by him.
"As a newspaper editor, media manager, Chairman Board of Directors of the Daily Times Group and an elder statesman, Alhaji Jose exemplified the dreams and possibilities of every journalists.
"It is our belief that every Nigerian journalist and the institution of journalism in Nigeria will continue to be guided by the values and philosophies heartily laid down by Alhaji Jose," he said.