Mallam Yusuf Alli is an editor by designation but a celebrated investigative reporter in Nigeria by design. He is widely traveled with a high network of connection among the elites, security agencies, civil society groups, traditional institutions and minority groups.
Yusuf Alli is currently the Managing Editor, Northern Operation of the Nation Newspaper. The anniversary of one’s golden jubillee is a day most successful people will set aside for celebration with family and friends.
Not for this workaholic journalist who, on August 8, 2012 when he clocked 50, merely spared a few hours of the morning observing private prayers with family members and thereafter rushed to the office filing exclusive reports for his medium.
In media circles, Yusuf is regarded as Mr. Exclusive because of his uncanny ability to dig out an exclusive angle (scoop) from any story and event that could make frontpage. Rather than sitting in the cosy atmosphere of his office to edit and approve editorial contents reported by his subordinates as an average editor is want to do, he is rather on the move gathering information from highly reliable sources.
Starting off with the Herald newspapers in 1989 where he was a sub-editor the investigative editor was at various times a legal writer, foreign affairs correspondent and then member of the editorial board. It was from there that he won a fellowship from the United States Information Agency to go to the US for training. On his return, Yusuf moved to AM News, a sister publication of The News magazine from 1994 to June 1996. He later moved to the Punch newspapers where he became one of one the top award winners for his investigative reporting propensity. Within 13 years, he rose from a correspondent to the editor of the daily edition of Nigeria’s Most Widely Read Newspaper after editing other its other titles.
It was at this period that Punch achieved over 100,000 daily copy production. The highpoint of his reign was the 2007 electioneering. Though advertisements and supplement make up for costs of production of newspapers, Yusuf ensured that news pages were never ovderrun by advertisers as he insisted on the increase of the pages to satisfy the commercial arm of the organization.
As a man who calls a spade by its name, whether in editorial opinions or newsroom politics, he voluntarily resigned his appointment at the Punch when he was promoted to Senior Editor Investigation, a position that had no clear mandates.
On the heels of his leaving the position, he was immediately offered automatic appointment as Managing Editor Northern Operation of the Nation newspapers.
Yusuf Alli is courageous journalist who exposes underhand hanky-panky and shaddy deals at risk to his personal safety. When it comes to investigative reporting, he has no mercy for crooks and criminals but have tremendous sympathy for the ordinary citizens who are victims of bad leadership. Though he had been harassed, intimidated and arrested by powerful forces, he remains steadfast in his quest to provide the readers with reliable information that promote accountability and transparency in governance.
One of his recent faceoff with the ‘power-that-be’ was his detention over his exclusive report on the allegation that former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote a secret memo to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to relieve some Northern politica lfunctionaries of their appointments in federal public service. And since the story was as accurate as ever, operatives had no choice but to release him rather than confront the truth in a court of law.
A disciplined and upright role model for budding journalists, he is humble and possess a tremendous sense of humour. Inhabited by a passion for truth and justice, Yusuf serves his daily expectant readers with stories that really matter. He is a reporter known of spending his last kobo to get a story.
Born on August 8, 1962 in the Ilorin Emirate of Kwara State, Yusuf Tajudeen Ali attended College of Education, Oro, Kwara State. He also attended Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and was also at the Language Arts Department of University of Jos. Having trained at home and abroad including Centre for Foreign Journalists, Virginia, USA in 1994 and BBC Workshop, he is a generalist who has broad general knowledge and good research skills on various economic, political, social and human angles with proficient dexterity.