The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom, today expressed sadness at the death of Nigerian media executive and former IPI Executive Board member Mallam Ismaila Isa, who passed away on July 20 at the age of 78.
Isma’ila Isa Funtua was born in 1942 in Funtua Katsina, Nigeria. He studied at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, University of Manchester, UK and later at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria.
In January 1975 he became personnel manager of the 10,500 strong United Nigerian Textiles Ltd. (now Plc). Later, under Nigeria’s civilian government, he was appointed Federal Minister of Water Resources. In 1987 he joined the New Africa Holdings Ltd. (publishers of The Democrat newspaper) as managing director and chairman of the editorial board. He also served as publisher of the paper.
Isa joined IPI as a member in 1992 and served on the IPI Executive Board as a special adviser from 1997 to 1999 and as a full member from 1999 to 2007. He was named an IPI Fellow by the General Assembly in Belgrade in 2008.
“Mr. Isa’s demise is a huge loss to the global IPI community and journalism in Nigeria”, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said. “His contribution to IPI and press freedom will always be remembered by our network.”
Mr. Isa was a generous contributor to IPI’s Press Freedom Fund and hosted the IPI Executive Board Meeting in Abuja in 1999. In 2018 he headed the Host Committee that organized the first ever IPI World Congress in Nigeria.