DELE GIWA: Remembering The Martyr Of Journalism

Kingsley Momoh - Lagos

On that fateful day; October 19th 1986, I got home  and met the NTA news at noon on air and my dad was glued to the TV he kept saying, "they killed him' repeatedly with a sad tone. Who killed who I wondered. I dropped my bible on the table with my eyes glued to the picture of an apartment which I later discovered to be that of late Dele Giwa which seemed to have been burnt.
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I sat next to my Dad, a patriotic Nigerian police officer wondering what is connection was with the man who was killed. I took my chance when he was quiet for a while.
"Who is the man that was killed?", I asked.
"Dele Giwa was...no, I pray he is not dead....he is the editor.."
"He is the editor in chief of Newswatch Magazine, his other colleagues are Yakubu Mohammed, Dan Agbese and Ray Ekpu", I blew out, exhibiting to my dad that I have not been wasting my time reading his collection of magazines. 
"Good, you know him".
"Yes sir".
" Dele Giwa was killed this morning with a letter bomb", he further said.
I was confused and devastated. I knew what a bomb was but could never imagine that a bomb could be so "compressed" into an envelope. The smallest explosive device I was aware of that could explode was a grenade. In subsequent bulletins, I discovered how Dele Giwa became the first victim of letter bomb in Nigeria.
Weeks after a song became popular across schools with the tune of popular song "oh my darling" that goes thus (I skipped some words, I can't remember, he don tay!) :

In Nigeria, West Africa,
there was one bad occasion
On the 19th of October,
When they killed our journalist
He was eating in his palour
When they brought him a parcel
He was filled with xxxxxxx and the bomb blew over him
Dele Giwa, Dele Giwa
Dele Giwa you are gone
xxxxxxx
We shall never forget you!

And its been 30 years since he passed on and his killers are yet to be caught. Is there any hope for them to be caught when other similar cases have cropped up over time. Bola Ige, Funsho Williams and others have also been assassinated without the case resolved. So what gives me an inkling that the killers will ever be brought to justice.

In the course of my career, I have spoken with various personalities many of whom are very senior colleagues on the issue and I deduced that justice delayed may really not be justice denied as nature itself has a way of paying every deed with similar deeds.

Fingers were pointed and various theories were said and 30 years later, esa lo ba de (nothing concrete came of it). 

However, the death of Giwa created a charge in the hearts of many journalists and would be journalists to see it as a career worth living and probably dying for.  

Rare & engaging interviews and some more by a team of experienced & hungry pen users.