Malam Wada Maida, Chairman, Board of Directors of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), is dead.
A member of his family, Lawal Sale Maida, said Maida died in Abuja on Monday. He was aged 70.
He was not ill when he died Monday night. He went to the office as usual in Abuja after returning from Katsina. He signed checks for his newspaper People’s Daily and didn’t betray any sign of illness.
He just slumped on his chair, while at home at about 8pm.
His family thought he was sleeping. By the time they found out otherwise, it was already too late. He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors certified him dead on arrival.
On Sunday, he travelled to Katsina to see his family and returned to Abuja early on Monday.
Maida, former Editor-in-Chief and later Managing Director of NAN, was one of the pioneer editors of the agency and served as various times as its Regional Editor in Kaduna, Political Editor and London Correspondent.
He was Chief Press Secretary to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari when he became military Head of State on 1 January 1984.
After the Babangida coup in July 1985, Maida returned to NAN to become its Editor-in-Chief for eight years.
Maida, from Katsina State, was appointed NAN Managing Director in 1994 and served in that capacity for nine years before he bowed out in 2003.
Until his death, he was a member of the Executive Board of the International Press Institute and also a shareholder of Media Trust Limited.
NAN Acting Managing Direct0r, Mr Dele Ojo, while reacting to Maida’s death, described the news as “shocking and devastating”.
“It is difficult to believe this news. It is very devastating. God knows best,” Ojo said in a telephone interview.