Note: Alex Ibru, who comes from Agbhara-Otor, in Delta State, was a pioneering founder of Nigeria's possibly most respected newspaper, the Guardian. He passed away on 20 November. The paper started as a weekly in 1983, supported by an idealistic group of young intellectuals and writers. One of them was Dr. Femi Osofisan, who brought copies of the new publication in 1983 to the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a visiting fellow...and enthsiastically shared them with the students and staff. During Nigeria's darkest years under the dictator Sani Abacha, the Guardian cleverly concealed the "real news" contained in its stories under bland -- and sometimes deliberately misleading -- headlines. One of the paper's veteran editorial writers, Ruben Abati, is now President Jonathan's chief of communications. - DL
21 November 2011
By Debo Adesina
“I MAY be the publisher,” he always said, “but you are the experts.”
With those words, Alex Ibru, indeed, gave the journalists who worked for him their most prized possession: freedom to ply their trade. He neither asked nor ever interfered with what was published. That freedom allowed the newspaper to become the most formidable voice in the land and in turn put him, to use the words of another renowned publisher, Henry Robinson Luce of TIME magazine, in command of the most potent weapon in the battle for freedom and democracy.
For Alexander Uruemu Ibru, all battles ended yesterday at about 1.30pm in
. On the day the 12,016th issue of his newspaper hit the newsstands and on a day his beloved wife, Maiden, turned 62, the publisher of the flagship of the Nigerian press died in the course of an illness. He was aged 66. Lagos