HONOUR UNCLE SAM
We would wish to join friends, family, associates and admirers across the world in congratulating our elder statesman and patriot, Sam Amuka-Pemu (Uncle Sam) on his 88th birthday.
A man with indomitable spirit and midas touch, Sam Amuka-Pemu bestrides the newspaper publishing industry like a colussus just as he has re-defined journalism practice.
Starting out as a young reporter pounding the streets of Lagos, Sam Amuka-Pemu worked his way up the ladder writing features and columns (one of which was Sad Sam) before getting involved in media management. He co-founded The Punch before founding the Vanguard , the most consistent newspaper on the street to date.
Sam Amuka-Pemu, a thorough-bred pro, has mentored generations of journalists as well as provided job and training opportunities to not a few including some trade unionists who proved their mettle in the trade union movement, especially at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the global labour federations. Amongst them were Comrade Owei Lakemfa, former Acting General Secretary of NLC and General Secretary, Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU);
Comrade Joe Ajaero, current President, NLC, and Titular/Executive Board member Public Services International (PSI) representing workers in over 150 countries of the world. Chief Sam Amuka-Pemu also contributed to the growth of the economy as well as stabilised the polity.
It is difficult to find one more faithful or committed to journalism profession or practice than Sam Amuka-Pemu. Today, he is not only a leading player in the industry, the history of journalism in Nigeria cannot be complete without him.
In spite of the Olympian height he has reached, Sam Amuka-Pemu leads a simple life laced with humour and witty stories, easily accessible to both young and old, preferring to be addressed simply as Uncle Sam.
As glasses are clinked in honour of this elephant, we wish him more years ahead with good health, more wisdom and humour.
We also call upon various institutions, organisations and governments to honour this great Nigerian while he is still alive. The least they could would be to name streets, buildings, institutions (as the case may be) after him.