Nigeria loses another journalism icon

Posted by News Express | 4 April 2016 | 4,063 times

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Nigeria on Sunday lost one of its journalism icons. Malam Rufai Ibrahim, Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive Officer of the Abuja-based Peoples Daily newspaper, died at about 4:00 p.m. on his 66th birthday at an undisclosed hospital in Gwagwalada, Abuja, following a protracted illness.

Yesterday evening, thousands of sympathisers poured into Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, to witness the burial of the veteran journalist.

Family members, friends and professional colleagues turned up in their numbers at the palace of the Emir of Lafia where the Chief Imam of the Lafia Central Mosque, Malam Dalhatu Dahiru, led the funeral prayer before the body of the late renowned journalist was buried at Anguwan Liman burial ground.

Shortly after the burial ceremony, the Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Isa Mustapha Agwai I, represented by the Andoma of Doma, Alhaji Ahmadu Aliyu Oga, in company of the Emir of Azara, Dr. Ibrahim Kabiru, paid a condolence visit at the private residence of the deceased at the GRA area, where the royal fathers condoled with the wife, Hajiya Aisha Rufa’i Ibrahim.

Among those who visited the residence to condole with the immediate family of the bereaved include: Senator Abdullahi Adamu, former governor of the state, Malam Wada Maida, Chairman, Peoples Media Limited, publishers of Peoples Daily, Alhaji Ibrahim Ismail, a director with the PML, among many others.

Commenting on the event, Senator Adamu described the passing away of Malam Rufa’i, who he said was “the best”, as a great loss not only to the journalism profession but the country at large.

For his part, Malam Wada Maida described the passage of Malam Rufa’i as a great loss not only to the journalism profession but the nation.

“Rufa’i has traversed so many areas and has made indelible marks, which I’m sure goes a long way to promote not only his profession of journalism but even other areas of social interaction in this country.

“Malam Rufa’i is a very humble, thorough professional, if you read his biography, he travelled across this country, serving in various media outfits.”

Also commenting, Alhaji Ibrahim Ismail, described the passing on of the veteran journalist as “very devastating and a big shock”.

“A large vacuum that will hardly be filled, especially at our organisation, the Peoples Media Limited. Rufa’i had been a founding member of the company, like most people know. He has contributed to the growth and development of especially, the people’s newspaper, the Peoples Daily. He had been very assiduous in his work, dedicated and very committed. Honest person, very frank with indebt of thought at every moment there was meetings. The chairman and the rest of us always tended to lean towards the direction Rufa’i has taken. He has been a wonderful comrade and a great man.”

Born  on April 2, 1950, Rufa’i Ibrahim was a 1974 graduate of Political Science from the University of Ibadan, and had been working mainly as a journalist since 1976 when he joined the New Nigerian newspapers as Executive Assistant (Editorial).

He was also a lawyer, called to the Nigeria Bar in 1991.

Rufa’i Ibrahim held many top editorial and management positions in the course of his journalism career. He was Political Analyst, Head of Editorial Board and later Editorial consultant of the Daily Times. He was the first Editor of the Sunday Triumph and also the first Editor of Daily Triumph. He was the first Editor of The Guardian On Sunday, and the First Editor of the Analyst Magazine. Rufa’i Ibrahim also served as the sole Administration and later CEO of the Plateau Publishing Company Limited, and was the Managing Consultant that established the Nasarawa Publishing Company from scratch.

Rufa’i Ibrahim had at various times worked as a stringer, contributing articles and stories to the London-based West Africa magazine, The Guardian of London, Africa Events magazine and has been consulted several times by the BBC World Service.

Among other things, Rufa’i Ibrahim also served as the Media Relations Consultant of the Oputa Commission on Human Rights Violation and Consultant/Resource Person for the National Population Commission during the 2003 National Head count.

•Partly based on reports from Peoples Daily. Photo shows late Rufa’i Ibrahim.

Source: News Express

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