Remembering Dele Giwa, the trailblazing journalist killed by a letter bomb

Deborah Dzifa Makafui October 25, 2022
Dele Giwa. Image via Wiki

The title “journalist” calls on you to be incredibly honest and, more significantly, impartial in how you conduct yourself throughout the journalist’s office. In order for citizens to make the best decisions for their lives and overall community, a  journalist must therefore make it their utmost priority to give them the knowledge and education they need. 

Sumonu Oladele “Baines” Giwa was a gift to Nigeria over 40 years ago. He stood out right away for his unwavering dedication to producing high-caliber journalism and for having what many consider to be a “full command of what it takes to be a good writer.” During his little time on earth, he completely changed the way that people view media. In one of his publications, he said that “Nigeria is on fire and the people are amused.” 

Giwa’s death is well-known in Nigerian media history for a number of reasons, including the fact that it was the first of its type in the nation and the horrifying circumstances surrounding how he died. It was carefully planned with the goal of entirely eliminating him in mind. It was a well-executed plan that used cruel technology means of assassination. It was via a letter bomb. A type of death that was unheard of in the history of the country and still gives those who are familiar with the tragic event the chills. 

He was born in 1947 to a family who worked in the palace of Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the Ooni of Ife, and is known to Nigerians as Dele Giwa. He attended secondary school in Ile Ife before moving to Brooklyn College in the United States to study English. He wed an American nurse in 1974. He went to Fordham University for graduate school after graduating in 1977. 

He was hired by the Daily Times newspaper when he got back. The marriage between him and former senator Florence Ita Giwa lasted 10 months. In hindsight, Giwa was one of the best developments for investigative reporting in Nigeria throughout the 1980s. After making a name for himself at the Daily Times and Africa Concord, he collaborated with fellow front-line reporters Dan Agbese, Yakubu Muhammad, and Ray Ekpu to launch Nigeria’s first news magazine, Newswatch. 

General Ibrahim Babangida’s military regime worked to discredit and suppress the magazine. He served as a watchdog on the government at the time and kept it on its toes. However, at some point, the government began to view him as a problem, which led to his awful death and the tragic way in which he passed away. 

A source claims that the dying journalist, who was reportedly in excruciating pain, looked at Dr. Tosin Ajayi, the Medical Director at First Foundation Hospital, Ikeja, and stated, “Tosin, they’ve got me.” These were Giwa’s final words before he passed away on Sunday, October 19, 1986, at the age of 39, ending his great journalism career and exciting life.

After 36 years, there are still unsolved concerns concerning who killed Dele Giwa and why he was brutally murdered.

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