The presentation awards, which is part of the activities to celebrate the 91st anniversary of The Daily Times, Nigeria’s oldest newspaper publication, will take place on Tuesday, May 16, at the prestigious International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Late Yar’Adua, who was born in his home state of Katsina, North Central Nigeria, on August 11,1951, and died on may 5th, 2010, was also a one-time civilian governor of Katsina state, between 199 – 2007, during which he enunciated and executed several developmental projects, including road, education, health, housing and agriculture, in his desire to increase the standards of liviing of his people.
The late President, who was born into an aristocratic family in Katsina, by the older Yar’Adua, a former Minster in Lagos during the First Republic (1960-1966), attended Ruffuka Primary School, in1958; Katsina Boarding Primary School, Government College, Keffi,1969; Barewa College (1971), and the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State (1972-1975) graduating with Bsc (Edu), Chemistry.
Yar’Adua, who was married to Turai, and were blessed with seven children (five daughters and two sons) had held various managerial positions, including General Manager, Sambo Farms; and Chairman of several boards, including Katsina Investment Limited and Madara Limited, respectively.
Elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, first as governor, President, Yar’Adua, who was challenged by a protracted illness, was a true democrat who meant well for Nigerians.
Also, to be conferred with a post humous award, is late Alhaji Babatunde Jose, OFR.
Alhaji Jose, was a former and first Nigeria’s Managing Director of Daily Times Group in 1962. A foremost journalist, and, indeed, one of the respected Doyens of Nigerian journalism, Alhaji Jose rose through the ranks to become a colossus in the media industry.
The history of the Nigerian journalism industry cannot be complete without the mentioning the critical role of eminent and highly distinguished Nigerians, such as the late Alhaji Babatunde Jose, OFR.
Alhaji Jose, as he was fondly called by his admirers and colleagues during his highly enviable and distinguished life as a journalist, astute manager of human, financial and other material resources, was an enigma of some sort, one man, who was also a moulder of human resources; uncommon Islamic devotee and a newspaper gurus.
Born on November 13,1925 in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, to the late Hamzat and Hajarat Jose, his mother being of Nupe, North Central Nigeria extraction, and his father was renowned for his trading acumen, Alhaji Jose, who died on August 2nd, 2008, was, to his family, friends, media industry and his numerous admirers, a quintessential man, who contributed immensely to, and added greater value to the Nigerian project, especially, from the pre-colonial times till the time he passed on gloriously nine years ago.
His educational career was also a distinguished one; starting at the Lagos Government School, Yaba, Lagos; Lagos Methodist School, also in Yaba, he capped it all with a remarkable stint at the Saint Saviors’ College, all in Lagos, where he excelled.
Indeed, Jose’s life was so dynamic and worthy of emulation because, at a time when his peers were still tied to the apron string of their parents, he was daring, trying to explore the outside wall of his family circle and his homestead, for greater challenges, which he achieved so remarkably too.
A foremost media man, popularly called one of the ‘Doyens’ of the Nigerian journalism, like many of his peers and his subordinates , Jose was the Managing Director of the Daily Times of Nigeria Limited, the same medium, which though, has gone through dynamic transformation and repositioning in the last few years, moulded him and his career. He was not only a focused man, he was also patient, rising meteorically from the ranks, even at age 16, as a trainee in 1941 in the Daily Times, before being transferred to the editorial department as a reporter in 1946.
Interestingly, and in 1947, the Daily Mirror Group bought a majority share in the fast-growing and influencing DAILY Times; and from 1948 -1950, even during Nigeria’s agitation for self rule, he was promoted as the Political and later Industrial correspondent of the Times; and again, in 1950, he became the News Editor of the same paper.
He was a man who knew Nigeria very well, interacted with people of different divides across the country in particular, having being transferred to work as a Daily Times correspondent in the then Eastern Region, and later, Northern Region, thus affording him to become a Pan – Nigerian.
Indeed, he worked for several papers, including the Daily Mirror on Fleet Street, London, United Kingdom, in 1951, and a year later, due to his nationalistic fervour and his love for Nigeria, he returned to the country to become an Assistant Editor in 1952; on December, 13, 1957, three years before Nigeria’s independence, he became the Editor and Board Member of the Daily Times, in 1958.
In fact, and significantly too, Jose, became the first African to be appointed as the Managing Director of Daily Times in 1962, following the departure of the white-managed Times, a few years after independent.
Remarkably, he grew the paper to hit over a million mark in sales of the paper, and, indeed, became Nigeria’s best selling paper, which became the bedmates of readers’ homes across the country.
Following the Military Coup of 1975 and his eventual easing out by the ‘Khaki Boys’, he later sets up trainee school, which trained many budding journalists, including the chairman of today’s occasion, Chief Olusegun Osoba, a one-time Executive Governor of Ogun state, South west Nigeria.
It is little wonder, therefore, that the Board and Management of the Daily Times have found it worthy to accord this eminent Nigerian, a well-deserved post-humous award, as a result of his distinguished service to humanity.