LONDON: June 17, 2010
Former Military leader and 2011 Presidential dream lord, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida is urging Nigerians to put behind the issue of the death of Dele Giwa, adding that the former Newswatch Editor has become part of history. According to him, Nigeria has moved on since his death and no reason should anyone be having sleepless nights about who killed the vibrant journalist who then was just reaching his prime.
Dele Giwa, former Co- Founder of Newswatch Magazine and former Editor of Sunday Concord Newspaper was killed on October 19, 1986 when a parcel bomb was delivered to him in his Ikeja home in Lagos. His death has created many questions unanswered with the former dictator accused of links to his death, while confessions has been made by those in the know on how Mr Giwa met his untimely death.
Babangida, a guest of the London weekly Political programme, You Decide, held on London based black Television Station, Ben TV claimed Mr Giwa should be treated as history.
The programme was anchored by the Chief Executive of the Station, Dr Alistair Soyode.
Mr Dele Giwa died in in 1986 after he was sent a parcel bomb in his Ikeja residence in Lagos during Babangida’s Military regime and his killers after almost 25 years are yet to be traced.
Several people have accused the ex General of taking an important part in the assassination while the issue of why the journalist’s killers have never been identified keep creeping into the front wheel of political and social events in the country, especially now that Babangida is seeking a new political office and a fresh ever-holy- me image.
Responding to questions from Alistair Soyode during the programme, Babangida trivialized the issue of Giwa’s death, claiming that “Nigeria is bigger than Dele Giwa and that the issue of his death should be forgotten for ever”.
Why are people fond of talking about Dele Giwa and linking his death to Babangida?.
“It is like saying that it was OBJ who killed Bola Ige. If Bola Ige’s death cannot be linked to Obasanjo, why should Dele Giwa’s death be linked to Babangida’s?”, he grinned.
“Nigeria has moved on and the nation is bigger than a single individual”, the former military ruler said asking the reason why the nation is not sleeping because of only one person who met his death long ago.
Mr Soyode had put forward to the former ruler many issues of national concern during the interview, requesting him to provide answers, especially those issues that are traceable to his almost nine year regime which ended in 1993.
“Nigeria is bigger than a single individual. The nation should look on and move forward”, he said.
Dele Giwa was a Nigerian journalist (editor and founder of Newswatch magazine) who was killed by a mail bomb in his home on October 19, 1986. He attended Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and travelled to the USA for his higher education. His wife and infant daughter were upstairs when the bomb exploded, and were unharmed.
According to Giwa’s lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, State Security Service (SSS) officials summoned the popular editor to their headquarters on October 17, just 48 hours before he was killed. Giwa was accused of planning a social revolution and of smuggling arms into the country]
The government’s coat of arms appeared on the outside of the package, according to Nigerian press reports 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..
Babangida commended the Nigeria youths for taking a centre -stage in National affairs and development tracing the history of that success to his regime and youth motivation.
He commended himself for a job well done during his regime having motivated those youths and directing them towards their route of success.