It is with all sincerity, joy and happiness that I congratulate you on your attainment of the age of 80 years. Your life has been a great testimony that continues to shine as a model of integrity, diligence, hard work, honesty, simplicity, excellence and a mentor to many you may not be aware of or remember.
I am particularly joyful to recall your counsel/mentoring that changed my career and life positively to the glory of Allah using you.
Sir, may I recall that I was a reporter with the New Nigerian Newspaper [NNN] when you were the Managing Director of the newspaper group. I resigned in 1978 to join the News Agency of Nigeria. You sent a message to me to see you at the Ikoyi Club, Lagos. When I met you at the appointed time, you started by explaining to me that you sent for me because you had keenly observed/followed my career as a reporter and impressed by my potentials. You went on to advice that my decision to work as a reporter in a news agency was not to my interest at my young career and age in Journalism. You took time to explain the difference between a reporter in a newspaper and news agency [which you said should come at a later age and indeed, after retirement from newspaper journalism].
During the discussion, I told you that I had just turned down the Group News Editor position in the then emerging Concord Group of Newspapers being established by Chief MKO Abiola. In your usual calm and loving disposition, you urged me to go back there [Concord] and take the position or whatever they could offer me. I did go back to Concord to accept the position they had offered me. I recall that one of the pioneer Editorial Executives in Concord was miffed that I had earlier turned down the Group News Editor position he had invited me to take up. [I had worked under him in NNN Lagos office].To cut a long story short, Sir, other people who still wanted me there [after an earlier interview] decided that I should take the Deputy Group News Editor position if only to appease the opposing executive. I accepted that because of your counsel.