Dimgba Igwe was an ace journalist, publisher, author, biographer and pastor. His death on Saturday, September 6, was shocking to most Nigerians, especially his colleagues who saw him as a role model. The manner the respected journalist and vice chairman of The Sun Publishing Limited kissed the world goodbye was equally curious and most cruel. He was knocked down that Saturday morning by a hit-and-run motorist while he was jogging near his residence in Okota, Lagos. Help could not come from three different hospitals he was taken to, due to inadequate facilities and incapacity to stop the bleeding. He finally gave up the ghost at the Lagos State University Hospital, Ikeja,Lagos.
These circumstances call to question the nation’s preparedness for emergency situations, citizens’ obligations and social order. It is equally an indictment on the nation’s security and the unreliability of the country’s healthcare service. While the police and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) seem to be at a loss as to how to apprehend his murderer, the citizens around where the sad incident occurred are, up until now, askance.
As days roll by, it is likely that this may go into the same ocean of unsolved murders in our justice administration system. Indeed, given his calling as a critic of obscene practices in society and as an inveterate columnist, the conjecture that he might have been killed by a hireling needs to be taken into account by the concerned authorities. No one has been able to give details of the agents of darkness that snuffed life out of a bubbly citizen just out to exercise.
Igwe’s demise at 58 has, no doubt, created a void in responsible journalism. His legacies would serve as a template and a reference point for present and future generations of Nigerian journalists. But, as the nation mourns, conscious efforts must be made by all security forces to address the menace of reckless driving in the country, and apprehend recalcitrant drivers with penchant for contravening traffic rules and regulations. More importantly, they should demystify this hit-and-run theory in the death of someone known for his acerbic expressions in his writings.
Almost everyone acknowledges the celebrated columnist’s excellence, his thoughts and prose style. But a more fitting tribute will be to find his murderer(s).
Dimgba Igwe made a mark in his total devotion to his first love, journalism. He was also a pastor, the deputy general overseer of Evangel Pentecostal Church, Okota, Lagos. Igwe would be missed by all, especially his soul mate, Mike Awoyinfa, with whom he added verve to Nigerian journalism when they set up Weekend Concord in 1989. The duo pioneered The Sun Newspapers in 2003; Igwe was appointed vice chairman of the company last year.
He was a Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors and is survived by his wife and four