Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has sent his regards to Nigerian poet, novelist, playwright, journalist and Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Nation Newspapers, Mr Sam Omatseye, who clocked 60 on Monday.
The wishes were conveyed In a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu on Monday.
Omatseye was described by President Buhari as a renowned media guru who has done much to earn himself a space in the media hall of fame, both at home and on the international stage. The President acknowledged his contributions to sustaining the image of the media as an integral part of democracy.
“President Muhammadu Buhari extends his best wishes to the Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Nation Newspapers, 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.
“President Buhari prays God Almighty to grant the celebrant more years of good health and fruitfulness,” the statement read.
Sam Omatseye who hails from Delta State of Nigeria, is a 2019 recipient of the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) award.
Sam, who wrote recently on the Twitter ban in Nigeria, said: “Despite the Twitter rupture, Lai Mohammed is lucky it is not Instagram. Even his grandchildren would be erupting now in their homestead against their paterfamilias. Instagram ban would enlist even those who cannot spell Lai to burst open the quiet streets, protest with breast and bra, and express their first face of political rebellion.
“They will abandon photo-ops and twerking and swear in an accidental homage to liberty. Or those who only can identify Arsenal or Chelsea in a picture but can fan their embers as football fans into the political arena.”
Omatseye has published two collections of his columns, ‘In Touch, Journalism as National Narrative’ and ‘A Chronicle Foretold’. He has written two novels titled Crocodile Girl and My Name Is Okoro. He is also a poet with four books of poetry to his credit: Mandela’s Bones and Other Poems; Dear Baby Ramatu; Lion Wind And Other Poems; and Scented Offal. He wrote and staged a play In 2014 titled The Siege to mark Professor Wole Soyinka’s 80th birthday.