Saturday, February 9, has been tentatively picked for the burial of Mrs Elekia Ayisat Giwa, the mother of Former Editor and co- founder of Newswatch Magazine, Dele Giwa, killed in cold blood by a parcel bomb while in the peacefulness of his Ikeja Lagos house about 27 years ago.
The riddle of the killing till this day is yet to be unraveled as government upon government dock and dive over the real truth about the elimination of the vibrant journalist whose death shook the journalism world because his case was the first calculated letter bomb in Nigeria and perhaps in the entire Africa.
The 87-year-old mother of the late Dele Giwa last Tuesday gave up the ghost at a private hospital, Haruna Ogun in Ikorodu, Lagos State. She died after a brief illness.
Dele Giwa, a veteran journalist and the editor and co-founder of Newswatch Magazine, was killed on October 19, 1986, left with a dismembered body following the impact of the bomb delivered to him in his home in Ikeja, Lagos, and was buried in his village, Ugbekpe-Ekperi, in Edo State.
His mother reportedly agonized over his death till the last day. He body has been deposited at the Ikorodu General Hospital.
Following a short meeting, the family picked February 9, as the tentative date for the deceased’s burial and she will be taken to Ugekpe Ekperri,her home village in Auchi, Edo State of Nigeria.
“Mama’s death was the build-up of the crisis she suffered when Dele Giwa was brutally murdered. She was always a healthy woman until Dele’s death.
“His death broke her up. It was then she became hypertensive,” Mama’s last born, Mrs. Abibat Ronke Giwa-Aboaba said to THISDAY.
According to her, more than his brutal and senseless death, the fact that more than 25 years after, his killers were yet to be found and brought to book did more harm to mama’s spirit.
Giwa’s assassination occurred two days after he had been interviewed by State Security Service officials during the regime of the former president, Ibrahim Babangida.
She added, “It was a very sad incident and the experience was most traumatic for her. She always cried bitterly each time she remembered him.
“It was until few months ago when she started letting go but by then the damage had be done. Months before she died, she made her peace with his death and said she had forgiven those that wrongful killed him in his prime.”
Narrating the chain of events that led to the death of the mother, Giwa-Aboaba, whose house mama stayed till her death, said the deceased had suffered a stroke on December 22, last year and was expected to recover after treatment.
She said, “Mama had a stroke on December 22 and I initially took her to the General Hospital in Ikorodu where she stayed for a week.
“But when I discovered that their services were not okay for me, I moved her to a private hospital and she was there for one week too before she died this morning (Tuesday).”
She described the deceased as a wonderful woman, very gentle, tolerant and always concerned about her children.
On the actions carried out by the family with Giwa’s death, she said they tried to bring the killers to book but gave up later after deciding to leave them to God’s judgment.
She however said the Late Gani Fawehinmi had truly championed for the cause, a fact that led to his death. “Gani was one of the major persons that spearheaded the fight to fish out those that caused my brother’s death.
“He was even imprisoned for this sake and it later led to his death because he became ill as a result of the continuous imprisonment. Before he died, he gave his family instructions to hold a rally at Edo State in his honour.
With the octogenarian’s death, the family moved her corpse to the General Hospital morgue in Ikorodu. They however complained bitterly about the state of the morgue.
Giwa-Aboaba said they had wanted a private morgue but since that wasn’t readily available; they had no choice but to deposit the body at the General Hospital.
She however quickly added that they have put plans on ground to have her moved to the morgue of a military hospital in Lagos today. “No, mama wouldn’t have wanted her body to be kept at the general hospital, especially in its present state,” she muttered almost to herself.