The Authority Icon: SAM ORURU AMUKA-PEMU
For his broad vision of life expressed in unique mentorship and for considerably impacting the media space in Nigeria by grooming many of its later day top-notch professionals and industry captains; for his significant interventions in the evolution of the Nigerian state, his unassuming simplicity, professional liberalism and accommodating spirit for excellence and scholarship - critical features in grooming future leaders, Mr. Sam Oruru Amuka-Pemu, OON, is The AUTHORITY Icon.
He navigates life with a pen and a twinkle in his eyes. He is an unconventional wordsmith and social crusader and remains one of journalism’s most durable icons.
President Muhammadu Buhari described him as “Gentleman of the Press,” during his 80th birthday on June 13, 2015. He is the oldest practicing media professional in Nigeria today whose peers cite him with reverence and regularly. Meet Mr. Sam Oruru Amuka-Pemu, OON, journalist’s journalist, columnist, editor and publisher of Vanguard newspapers.
He was born in Sapele, Delta State, into the family of the late Pa. Amuka-Pemu and Madam TeshomaAmuka-Pemu, who died on May, 2014.He was formerly a Daily Times of Nigeria’s editor.
He established The Punch with his friend, the late, OluAboderin in 1971and was the first editor of the Sunday Punch. He later established Vanguard Newspaper in 1983, with three other Nigerian Columnists.
Sam Amuka was described as “Gentleman of the Press” by President Muhammadu Buhari on his 80th birthday. He was described as an icon and a leading light in Nigerian journalism by Nduka Obaigbena, President of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria. He is the oldest practicing media professional in Nigeria today who had been cited by peers.
A book titled, From 1939 to the vanguard of modern journalism written by Kola Muslim Animasaun, who also trained under him acknowledged his immense contributions to Journalism in Nigeria.
Due to the depth of his knowledge and unique grasp of issues, he was drafted into the National Peace Committee for the 2015 general elections and in no small way helped in providing reasoned moderation to derail doomsday prophesies on Nigeria for that period.
The committee was headed by former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and had several prominent Nigerians as members. Some members of the committee were the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, the Sultan of Sokoto, AlhajiSa’AdAbubakar III; the then President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Revd.
Nicholas Okoh; Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan; and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mrs. Priscilla Kuye.
In all, it could be said that Sam AmukaPemu keyed into the English sage, George Bernard Shaw’s philosophy: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
He simply never bordered with finding himself but created himself. Today, something of a lion in winter, he will surely look back on an eventful life that helped in no small way to shape a nation.