Lagos—Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and the deputy governor of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi, yesterday, paid tribute to the Chairman of Vanguard Media Limited and veteran journalist, Chief Sam Amuka-Pemu, who turned 80 on Saturday.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, the Lagos governor conveyed warm felicitations, saying that Amuka-Pemu has contributed largely to the uplifting of the profession of journalism in the country.
Governor Ambode said his strides towards the growth of the Nigerian press are not only evident in how he has led his newspaper to enviable heights, but also his stance on political stability, accountability and the rule of law.
The governor said, “Nigeria has benefitted immensely from the presence of Uncle Sam Amuka in the media, both as a journalist and columnist from the days of the Daily Times group, where he rose to be the Editor of Sunday Times”.
“His then column, ‘Sad-Sam’, stood tall among equals as he continuously kept his readers glued to his satirical and literary-styled articles, a model he has maintained over the years”. “It is not surprising that he has brought his wealth of experience to bear on the Vanguard newspapers, one of the newspapers to reckon with in the country today.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Lagos, I wish you a Happy 80th Birthday and many more years of good health, good speed and new heights going forward.”
Also, Awoniyi in a statement he signed personally eulogized Amuka for his teamwork in achieving desired goals, saying his contribution to the progress of the Nigerian Press is commendable. He described him as an unrivalled doyen of journalism profession.
“I commended the professionalism and consistency of the Vanguard Newspapers.
At 80, the contributions by Chief Amuka as a thorough breed professional would remain indelible, his consistency and principled stand on national issues stands him tall.” “I wish Uncle Sam good health and more prosperity in his future endeavours.””
Also, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has described the Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr Sam Amuka on his 80th birthday, as the authentic “Uncle” of the Nigerian media industry.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, the governor said: “Your attainment of 80 in today’s Nigeria, where life expectancy is below 50, is a testament of God’s grace upon your life and the prayers of the hundreds of lives and families you have touched since the existence of the Vanguard newspapers.
“As a young man, I was privileged to read some of your “Sad Sam” columns and was enthralled by the fluency of your language and flow of your thoughts. Even today, at 80, your sense of humour, rare intellect and the simple lifestyle are some of the qualities that have continued to endear many to you.
“Vanguard, the refreshingly different newspaper, which you birthed in 1984, has remained true to being the voice of the masses and conscience of the people and your dream for the newspaper has remained true in spite of the harsh investment climate in Nigeria.
“In other climes, you would have long been awarded the seat of a Professor of Journalism in an Ivy League university, however, the hundreds of young reporters, columnists and editors who passed through you at The Punch and Vanguard ‘Schools of Journalism’ would readily agree that, indeed, you truly deserve to be a Professor of Journalism as you remain the indisputable leader of the Nigerian media today.”
“Uncle Sam, at 80, you remain an exemplar in humility and industry and I pray God to grant you many more years in active service to humanity.”