Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari, House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Deputy Senate president Ovie Omo-Agege and Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, have extended their best wishes to The Nation Editorial Board Chairman Sam Omatseye, on his 60th birthday.
According to the statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari lauded Omatseye for what he called his contributions to sustaining the image of the media as an integral part of democracy.
He noted that the renowned media guru had done much to earn himself a space in media hall of fame, both at home and on the international stage.
The statement said: “President Muhammadu Buhari extends his best wishes to the Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Nation, Sam Omatseye, on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
“President Buhari joins members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm and the literati in celebrating one of their own, who has distinguished himself in his career and gained recognition nationally and internationally for diligence, excellence and professionalism.
“As an advocate of good governance, free and independent press, the President commends Omatseye for contributing his quota to advancing the role of the media as a vital part of democracy in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria.
“The President, like many other lovers of good journalistic works, looks forward to reading more inspiring stories, ideas, perspectives and reliable information by Omatseye.
Buhari prayed God to grant the celebrator more years of good health and fruitfulness.
In a statement by Gbajabiamila’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said Omatseye’s life is worthy of emulation.
He said Omatseye’s contributions to Nigeria’s democracy are many, noting that the columnist has used his pen for the good of society.
Gbajabiamila said Omatseye’s name deserves a special mention when the history of Nigerian journalism is written.
The Speaker prayed for more fruitful years for the renowned journalist cum poet in good health.
Calling on Omatseye to continue with his good works of promoting democratic tenets, Gbajabiamila urged the new generation of journalists to see him as a role model. Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege described Omatseye as a personification of the popular saying about the pen being mightier than the sword,.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, in Abuja, , Omo-Agege also described him as a good friend with whom he had come a long way.
“My friendship with Sam has come a really long way. Like many have written about him, his commitment to progressive national ethos amid the challenges besetting our nation is writ large in his poetry, essays and columns over the years.
“I may not necessarily agree to everything he writes, but I must admit that Sam has always been a master at putting pen to paper in the expression of very thoughtful perspectives that provoke deep thoughts.
“Since his days at the now-defunct Concord newspapers, he has never shied away from registering a unique presence within the daily swirl of public discourse.
“Now, as he joins the sexagenarian club which various African cultures accord high esteem and respect, I felicitate with my dear friend, Omatseye.’’
Plateau State Governor and Chairman, Northern States Governors Forum Simon Bako Lalong also greeted Omatseye, on his birthday.
Lalong, in a message described Omatseye as a strong voice in the media landscape, who has used his talent to contribute to national discourse and project fresh perspectives on issues.
The governor said Omatseye also demonstrated enormous capacity for critical thinking and engaging various segments of society, using his journalistic instincts and contributing in holding the government accountable to the people.
Lalong, in a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Makut Simon Macham, wished him many more years of God’s protection and favour.
“I also wish him a long, happy and fulfilling life as he moves on to a higher pedestal in age and impactfulness of his journalism career,” Senator Omo-Agege said.