Dele Giwa


Dele Giwa

Dele Giwa (16 March 1947 - 19 October 1986) was a Nigerian journalist, editor and founder of Newswatch magazine, who was killed by a mail bomb in his home on 19 October 1986. The assassination occurred two days after he had been interviewed by State Security Service (SSS) officials,

Contents

Background

Dele Giwa was born on 16 March 1947 to a poor family working in the palace of Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the Ooni of Ife. He attended local Authority Modern School in Lagere, Ile-lfe. When his father moved to Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife as a washer man, he gained admission to that school.[1] Dele Giwa travelled to the USA for his higher education.[citation needed] Giwa's first wife was Ita Giwa, who later went on to become a Senator and an Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo.[2]

Dele Giwa and fellow journalists Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohammed founded Newswatch in 1984, and the first edition was distributed on January 28, 1985.[3] A 1989 description of the magazine said it "changed the format of print journalism in Nigeria [and] introduced bold, investigative formats to news reporting in Nigeria".[4] However, in the first few months of the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, who took power in August 1985, the magazine was shamelessly flattering. It printed his face on the cover four times and even criticized "anyone who attempted to make life unpleasant for Babangida".[5] Later, the paper took a more hostile view of the Babangida regime.

Assassination

According to Giwa's lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, SSS officials summoned Giwa to their headquarters on 17 October 1986. just 48 hours before he was killed. The Deputy Director of the SSS, Colonel A.K. Togun, accused Giwa of planning a social revolution and of smuggling arms into the country. The day before the bombing the Director of Military Intelligence, Colonel Halilu Akilu, had telephoned to confirm Giwa's home address. After the bombing Akilu denied any connection.[6]

The government's coat of arms appeared on the outside of the package delivered to his home on 19 October 1986, according to Nigerian press reports. His second wife, Fumi, and infant daughter were upstairs when the bomb exploded, and were unharmed. Ita Giwa's only son with Dele, Billy was 16 years old when Dele was bombed. It was Billy who brought the parcel to his father,from the messenger of death, the bike man.[citation needed]

Aftermath

Afterwards, there were calls for a formal investigation. At first, the Minister of Information Tony Momoh agreed with this, but later he change his mind and said "a special probe would serve no useful purpose".[6] Graffiti of the time implied a belief that the SSS had been responsible.[7] Gani Fawehinmi later reported that he had been sent to prison or military detention centers six times when he tried to prosecute the security agents who were involved in the murder.[8] Although police investigated the murder, no one was ever prosecuted. In 2001, former Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Babangida, who ruled the country from 1985 to 1993, refused to testify before a national human rights commission about the Giwa murder[9].

In 2008 along with other activists such as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Ken Saro Wiwa, the Government of Nigeria named a street in the New Federal Capital Abuja after Dele Giwa[10].

References

  1. ^ Charles Soeze (20 Oct 2009). "Dele Giwa: 23 years after". The Punch. http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art20091020024659. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  2. ^ Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye (05/31/2007). "Florence Ita-Giwa: What Next?". Nigerians in America. http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/articles/1813/1/Florence-Ita-Giwa-What-Next/Page1.html. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  3. ^ Ndaeyo Uko (2004). Romancing the gun: the press as promoter of military rule. Africa World Press. p. 100. ISBN 1592211895. http://books.google.ca/books?id=Abm-v6wGWOQC&pg=PA100. 
  4. ^ James Phillip Jeter (1996). International Afro mass media: a reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 30. ISBN 0313284008. http://books.google.ca/books?id=uLenDhrLQ8oC&pg=PA30. 
  5. ^ Lyn S. Graybill, Kenneth W. Thompson, White Burkett Miller Center (1998). Africa's second wave of freedom: development, democracy, and rights. University Press of America. p. 150. ISBN 0761810714. http://books.google.ca/books?id=V0FYXwY2sc8C&pg=PA150. 
  6. ^ a b Lyn S. Graybill, Kenneth W. Thompson, White Burkett (1998). Africa's second wave of freedom: development, democracy, and rights. University Press of America. p. 121ff. ISBN 0761810714. http://books.google.ca/books?id=V0FYXwY2sc8C&pg=PA121. 
  7. ^ John Downing (2001). Radical media: rebellious communication and social movements. SAGE. p. 123. ISBN 0803956991. http://books.google.ca/books?id=_0C_W0BZaXIC&pg=PA123. 
  8. ^ Pade Badru (1998). Imperialism and ethnic politics in Nigeria, 1960-1996. Africa World Press. p. 104. ISBN 0865436045. http://books.google.ca/books?id=VYSWHnSe7qgC&pg=PA104. 
  9. ^ "CPJ urges former Nigerian dictator to testify in journalist's unsolved murder". IFEX. 28 August 2001. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/14400. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  10. ^ KORNEBARI NWIKE (September 23 2008). "Govt names streets Saro-Wiwa, Dele Giwa, Fela and others". https://lists.mayfirst.org/pipermail/friends/2008-September/004042.html. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 

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