Founding director and editor of Newswatch magazine, Mr Dan Agbese clocks 75 today, Monday.
President Muhammadu Buhari in a message Sunday joined the media world in celebrating the media titan and congratulated him for years of consistency, resilience and patriotism.
In a statement by media adviser, Femi Adesina, President Buhari affirmed that Agbese’s passion for journalism reflects his deep love for Nigeria as depicted in the subjects of his columns and books, and the analytical and investigative prowess given to the treatment of national issues.
Buhari commended Agbese for sacrificing his time and talent in pursuit of a greater future for the country.
“The President believes the veteran journalist made sacrifices for Nigeria’s return to democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions that must be acknowledged, and which will remain indelible in the sands of time.
“President Buhari extols his virtues of humility, discipline, focus and exceptional brilliance that have contributed to the dynamism and vibrancy of the Nigerian media industry.
“The President prays that God will grant Agbese longer life, good health and more wisdom to keep serving the country through his profession”, Adesina said.
Dan Ochima Agbese started his journalism career at the New Nigerian in 1976, rising to become the paper’s editor. He was also editor of the Nigerian Standard.
Agbese was born on May 20, 1944 in Agilla, Benue state. He was educated at the Native Authority School in Otobi, Government Teachers Training College, Keffi and worked thereafter as a teacher and library assistant.
He also worked with Nigerian Standard, owned by the Plateau State government.
In between, he attended University of Lagos, where he studied Mass Communication.
In 1976, he earned a diploma in journalism from Columbia University where he was awarded the John Taylor prize.
In 1985, Agbese joined Dele Giwa, Yakubu Mohammed, Ray Ekpu to found the Newswatch magazine, now defunct.
Agbese served as a board member and board chairman of Benue Cement Company in 2001. In 2000, he wrote a book documenting the various military regimes and personalities that have governed the country.
He was detained in 1994 by the Abacha junta, following an interview he had with exiled David Mark, who later returned home to run for senate in 1999.