Even though the Nigerian history is characterized by ups and downs, progress and regression, peace and tumults, development and corrupt practices, the most paining situation and aspect of this history, for me, is the rising and death of Nigerian celebrities. The worst part of it is that the history of fallen great men lasts shortly as their killers are never brought to paper. Most a times, the culprits are almost known, but the law is so weak that it cannot assure their prosecution.
Among those unresolved puzzles in the series of human right activists murdering in Nigeria is that of Dele Giwa. The death of this great man, who has always remained the symbol of freedom of expression in Nigeria, still remain a mystery after 29 years. Today being the anniversary of his death, Bayo Oluwasan raises the same question that has always remained unanswered for years. Sahara-Reporters has published this question that, I also pose to my dear compatriots and our well wishers.
Who Killed Dele Giwa?
Dele Giwa shortly after he wass killed by a parceToday is the 26th anniversary of the assassination of Dele Giwa, the
unapologetically brash journalist, the founding editor of Newswatch
magazine.Every October 19 Nigerians are forced to lock their eyes on screaming newspaper headlines: “Who Killed Dele Giwa?”For a quarter of a century now, the same question had burned like acid
in our brains. The gory picture of a badly shattered body of Giwa
continued to plague our minds after 25 years. And oddly enough, the
Nigerian judicial system had successfully tap danced around the
question.Giwa was a flaming journalist with a fiery message of rebuke for the
oppressive military regime of Ibrahim Badamosi Babaginda (IBB). Giwa
was the pioneering journalist in Nigeria who blazed the path for
investigative journalism bottled in a weekly authoritative brand known
as Newswatch.He was a watchman with bravura and strong moral fiber committed to a
strong sense of right and wrong. Giwa’s creative message and method
earned him reputation as a skilled writer, tough, and uncensored in his
style.He had a knack for packaging stories that injected sleeplessness and
nightmares in the tyrants of his days. Needless to say, his fierce and
uncompromising style made him a natural target of IBB administration.Giwa writes with the supple grace of a swan and the boldness of a beaver.Giwa, on that fateful day of 1986, had been extracted from our midst
through a parcel bomb. We all felt the ripples of the bomb and we
sobbed like milk-less baby.The indefatigable legal surgeon, late Gani Fawehinmi was bent on
finding the killer (s) of Giwa. Fawehinmi literally armed with a
defibrillator as it were, relentlessly shocked back to life the
question: Who killed Dele Giwa?Two days before the arrival of the death parcel, Giwa had been
accused by a senior member of the Directorate of Military intelligence
of “illegally importing and stockpiling arms and ammunition for the
purpose of staging a socialist revolution in Nigeria.”In one of his columns, Giwa had criticized the Structural Adjustment
Program (SAP) which the government believed would recalibrate the
sagging economy.To assuage Giwa of the trumped up accusation by the government,
Colonel Halilu Akilu a top security chief of IBB administration told
Giwa not worry of anything.Furthermore, Akilu had told Giwa that he should expect a parcel – an
invitation- from the Commander-in-Chief for official function.Sooner than later, a man with a parcel arrived Giwa’s house. The
parcel was received by Giwa’s son, Billy. Billy handed the parcel to his
father. The parcel “bore the seal of the Presidency, was marked: “To be
opened by addressee only.” Receiving the parcel, Giwa said “this must
be from the Presidency.”Giwa had placed the parcel on his laps while it was being opened.
The parcel exploded and torn Giwa into shreds. Giwa’s life expired on
the way to the hospital.Who killed Dele Giwa?
The denial of Giwa’s death by his killer (s) had gathered such velocity
and punch to the extent that the rest of us have been rendered helpless
and powerless.Who killed Dele Giwa?IBB and his henchmen had before the act relentlessly breathed
threats and murder against Giwa. IBB the procurer of wickedness and
destroyer of our nation is of a deceiving spirit and doctrines of demons
full of lies and hypocrisy and with a conscience that has been “seared
with a hot iron.”Who killed Dele Giwa?“If one person tells you it’s a horse, “goes the adage, “may be it
is a horse, but if three people tell you it’s a horse- saddle up!”Who killed dele Giwa?The killing is done
Dele Giwa is gone
The harvest is past
The mourning continues.
”The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said”. ALISON.