Ismail Babatunde Jose - Online Memorial Website

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Ismail Babatunde Jose
Born in Nigeria
82 years
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Ssunday Tribune

The doyen of Nigerian journalism, Alhaji Ishmail Babatunde Jose, who died in Lagos on Saturday has been described as an embodiment of all that is virtuous in public and private life.

Ajose, former Chairman and Managing Director of the Daily Times Group of newspapers, died in Lagos at the age of 82.

According to Oyo State governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, ‘Babatunde Jose was a veritable doyen of print journalism in Nigeria. He bestrode the turf with discipline and courage, while he allowed the young journalists to flourish. His death is a minus to journalism.

The President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, said that the death of the veteran journalist and publisher was a great loss to the society.

He described Jose as a leader and role model, adding that the deceased rose to the pinnacle of journalism without any blemish.

He commended Jose for standing up to the military during the country's political interregnum.

Mr Sola Omole, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Press Council, said that Jose's death marked the beginning of a new era.

"He meant everything to everyone in the journalism profession," he said.

Alhaji Jose was born on Dec. 13, 1925 in Lagos. His colossal contributions to the development of journalism in the country are unprecedented as most notable practitioners of the profession are products of his tutelage.

The history of Nigerian journalism would be incomplete without reference to the man who has been named The Doyen of Nigerian Journalism; father of modern day journalism or simply Mr Nigerian Journalism.

He employed hard work and self development as tools to achieve mind-blowing success at The Daily Times Group, which he joined as a technical trainee in 1941 at the age of 16.

Through hard work and unwavering dedication, he rose through the ranks to become Reporter and later News Editor in 1957.

By 1962, he reached the peak when he was appointed Managing Director, Chairman/Chief Executive, a position he held till 1976.

From the evolution of journalism in Nigeria till modern day practice of the profession, no Nigerian, living or dead, has dedicated his entire life and career to the development and practice of the profession more than Jose.

In recognition of his contributions to the development of journalism, he was honoured with an annual lecture.

Eminent journalism scholars and professionals from around the world deliver the annual Ishmail Babatunde Jose Lecture on the media and the society.

Dr. Lateef Adegbite, Secretary-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, said Jose was a devoted Muslim leader who stood very strongly for the unity of the country and promoted decency in every sphere of life.

"Jose was an outstanding leader in journalism. He set standards in professional journalism which would be difficult for anybody to match.''

In his tribute, Mr. Wahab Oba, Chairman, Lagos State Council of the NUJ, described Alhaji Jose's exploits in journalism as a shining example for today's practitioner.

"All journalists should learn to work very hard like him. We have learnt from him that with hard work, dedication and commitment, the sky is the limit for every conscientious journalist,'' he said.

NAN reports that Jose did not have the opportunity of tertiary education as his educational exploits ended at the Yaba Methodist School and St. Saviours High School, Lagos.

What the legend of Nigerian journalism missed in the colleges, he made up for with his exceptional and intimidating success.

Jose was honoured with the national award of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic in October 1965.

He was decorated with the Pope Pius Medal for promoting religious understanding in Nigeria in 1973.

Jose was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Benin in 1978.

Among his publications are: ``Towards Mt. Arafat" (1956) and "Walking a Tight Rope" (1987).

Jose was the fifth president of Anwar-ul-Islam Movement of Nigeria in 1976.

He was the youngest person to hold the office of the President of Ahmmadiya Movement in Islam at the age of 42.

Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel ,has described the death of Alhaji Jose as an irreparable loss to the journalism profession.

The governor, in a statement issued in Abeokuta by Kayode Samuel ,Commissioner for Information and Orientation, said Alhaji Jose was a worthy example of all that is good in journalism. He said Alhaji Jose can be fittingly described as a pillar of the profession who was committed to the tenets and best traditions of journalism.

According to Oyo State governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, ‘Babatunde Jose was a veritable doyen of print journalism in Nigeria. He bestrode the turf with discipline and courage, while he allowed the young journalists to flourish. His death is a minus to journalism.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in describing Alhaji Jose said, “he was the doyen of Nigerian journalism. Indeed, on account of the role he played in using the Daily Times as a standard that inspired so many publications and nurtured media professionals who, today, straddle Nigeria’s political and economic sectors, he has been rightly given the accolade, father of modern Nigerian journalism.

“The departure of such a great man diminishes us all. We can no longer benefit from his encyclopaedic grasp of the news process that he acquired within two decades of rising from an employment as a technical trainee in 1941 to become the Managing Director of Africa’s most prosperous news organization in 1962. We can no longer invite him to those interesting sessions to relive his days and learn from his experience in walking the tight rope of business and politics within the organisation that he served so well. All that is left are the writings he left behind and those that were written about him. Putting these writings in a single volume should be a worthy way to immortalise this epitome of patriotism.

In my reflections of the life and times of this great educator and mass communicator, I have singled out three outstanding values that those of us who wish to follow his footsteps must imbibe.

These are the values of enterprise, dedication to work and faith in the Almighty.”

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) on Saturday described the passage of renowned journalist and former Managing Director of Daily Times of Nigeria Plc, Alhaji Babatunde Jose as the conclusion of a brilliant chapter in the history of Nigerian journalism.

Governor Fashola who was one of the early callers to the Samuel Manuwa, Victoria Island residence of Alhaji Jose, in the condolence register said that the chapter was characterized by “very high ethics, compassion, courage and exemplary leadership”.

While wishing the departed Alhaji Jose Al janah firdaus, Governor Fashola prayed that Allah will give all the loved ones he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss.

Governor Fashola was received at the Victoria Island residence of Alhaji Jose by respected journalists and TIMES men like former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba ,the former Minister of lnformation Prince Tony Momoh, Sir Odafe Othihiwa of African Independent Television and children of the departed including Mr. Babatunde Jose Jr and Mr. Rabiu Jose.

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