Mrs Nkechi Okoronkwo, Acting Editor-in-Chief, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), has lauded the retiring Editor-in-Chief (EiC), Mr Yusuf Zango, for successfully piloting the affairs of the editorial department during the most difficult time.
Okoronkwo, who gave the commendation at the send-off party held on Thursday in Abuja, urged staff members to emulate him by working harder so as to take the agency to greater heights.
She noted that the agency had a tradition of sticking to its mandate, saying the outgoing EiC did not relent in upholding the statutory mandate with tenacity despite the paucity of funds to carry out many assignments.
“The Editor-in-Chief is one of many who have made this agency a training ground and have succeeded in training a lot of editorial staff under his leadership.
“NAN is a place where the EiC has spent the better part of his life and has been able to mentor others pursuing their careers.
“I am sure that even as he leaves, he will not forget NAN.
“Mr Zango used his personal money to enhance the welfare of the staff of the agency,’’ she said.
Okoronkwo described Zango as a hardworking and a committed officer who gave his best to sustain the agency.
Contributing, Mr Matthias Ajidua, Deputy Director and Head of Technical Services Department, said that the retiring NAN chief was a patient and humble professional ever ready to mentor his subordinates to achieve their best for the agency.
“Zango is a very patient and understanding man and I have learnt from him how to solve issues in a very diplomatic way,’’ he said.
Ajidua thanked Zango for impacting on the lives of many junior staff members.
Also speaking, Managing Editor and Ombudsman, Mr Chukwudi Ekezie, also lauded the retiring EiC for striving to ensure the agency remained a reference point in dissemination of credible information in the face of daunting challenges.
The Ombudsman described the outgoing EiC as “a calm individual” with a unique style of directing the workforce to accomplish tasks with meagre resources at his disposal.
On his part, Mr Olise Ifeajika, the Deputy Director in charge of politics, said that the agency’s staff members would remember the tenure of the outgoing Eic with nostalgia because of his uncommon knack to work at odd hours.
“Mr Zango is one that has shown immense passion for the job; he works on the portal up to 12 midnight and yet the following day, he is up to work on the portal at 5:00a.m. He spurred us to work harder by personal example.
“That is a quality of a good leader who is ready to work and not just push others to work. He is a true leader by example,’’ Ifeajika said.
He said that staff members received the retirement of the outgoing Eic with mixed feelings because the celebrator would be sorely missed.
He, however, assured the retiring NAN chief that the rest of the editorial management staff would do their utmost to sustain the glory of the agency from where he had stopped.
Responding, Zango expressed confidence that contrary to the predictions of some officers who had departed before him, the agency would grow from strength to strength considering the crop of officers taking over the mantle of leadership.
“From the managing editors, editors, correspondents and reporters, I believe there are enough capable hands to move the agency forward.
“I want to advise that whatever you are asked to do as reporters, I appeal to you to do it to the best of your abilities even when the intention is to serve as a punishment.
“Even if you feel you are being punished, I want you to carry out the job and prove whoever is punishing you wrong,” Zango said.
He advised reporters to remain committed, diligent and passionate about their jobs because the rewards would come, citing some notable examples of the agency’s staff doing well outside, including the Presidency.