This picture of Dele Giwa was the same used to publish his obituary edition of the now rested NEWSWATCH magazine of 26 October 1986.
Such an handsome, highflying man was bloodily cut down at the prime age of 39. That historic edition of the magazine was covered in the matryd blood of Nigeria’s foremost journalist of that era. It was covered in the tears and sorrow of a griefing nation.That picture adorned my own study for many years.
The assasination of Dele Giwa was the tragedy of my teenage years. I was 15 years old in that year of the locust-It was for me, a rude awakening to the reality of the geo-political space called Nigeria where life is short and brutish…more than most likely; Nigeria is the world capital of unresolved, high-profile murder.
Or is it not mind-boggling the endless list of lives wantonly wasted without remorse, without justice…It started with Dele Giwa in modern time. And we are yet; up till now unable to resolve the murder cum assassination of Chief Bola Ige, Alhaja Suliat Adedeji, Marshall Harry, Layi Balogun, Kudrat Abiola, MKO Abiola, Bagaudu Kaltho, Funso Williams, Dipo Dina etc.
We sowed a wind in covering up their murder, the harvest of whirlwind of mass murder is here with us.Dele Giwa my childhood hero was murdered right in his study room via a letter bomb on that red-lettered day 19 October!
It was most gruesome, most mindless. It was the first of it’s kind. It remained matchless in horror till today!And we still ask; who killed Dele Giwa.Dele Giwa was the guru of investigative brand of journalism in Nigeria who led the revolution in the front. He came bold, refreshing and stylish-with a bang! He also left in a bang.NEWSWATCH his creation was the flagship.
His team delivered and raised the bar. Were Nigeria a civilised polity, Dele Giwa would be immortalised and celebrated as a true hero that he was. His revolution gave birth to the paradigm shift in news reportage and journalism in Nigeria.
NEWSWATCH inspired TELL, TheNews etc. They in turn spearheaded pro-democracy and rights advocacy in Nigeria. The spirit of Dele Giwa lives on. He lives in me. And right inside of Nigeria’s finest crop of journalists. He lives inside millions. He was my first interest in writing. I read his weekly Parallax Snap write ups with relish. I read NEWSWATCH like my textbooks. I looked forward to be like Dele. Alas, he was cut short of his destiny.
His beautiful life became the defining definition of tragedy!Dele Giwa had since rested but his killer(s) (are) is dying by instalment-most furtively expecting the final call that is taking slow painful steps in coming. ‘K’aku l’omode k’o ye’ni; o san ju k’ad’agba lai l’adie irana lo’. Dele Giwa died in a blaze of glory and a memoriam of greatness.
But the reverse is the case for the other side whose best days have long passed…May nature continue to prolong (their) his days of misery. May (their) his days be continually long and (their) his nights darkest. May he live another 50 years in slow, painful daily instalmental death.
May Dele Giwa continue to rest in peace and glory. Amen.
- Kayode Adejumo-Bello, Professional Biographer and creative writer, Member; Biographer International Organisation. 19 October 2021