By Our Reporters
Dimgba Igwe, veteran journalist of repute and Vice Chairman of The Sun Publishing Limited, was yesterday killed by an unknown driver while jogging in his Okota, Lagos neighbourhood.
In his tribute to the late journalist, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said the “death is a sad loss to the journalism profession in particular and the literary world in general.
Describing the late Dimgba Igwe as a trail blaizer, who along with his age long friend and partner Mike Awoyinfa, pioneered a refreshing brand of newspapering with the Weekend Concord, the Governor recalled the vibrancy which late Dimgba Igwe brought into journalism with his inimitable writing style and comments on contemporary issues as well as the stimulating biographies which he has authored.
According to the Governor, he had the opportunity to further observe the departed Igwe as a perceptive professional on the occasions he met with him and his colleague, in the course of an ongoing book project.
While condoling with the entire Sun Newspapers family, he beseeched God to grant the widow and the relatives left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss while praying for the repose of the soul of the departed journalist who died at the age of 58.
AREGBESOLA – A tragic loss
Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday expressed shock on the news of the tragic death of Igwe.
In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said Igwe’s death once again robbed the nation’s media family of a top-on-shelf journalist.
He described Igwe’s death as a devastating blow to not only to the media world but also to the nation.
Aregbesola, however averred that Dimgba Igwe’s death has again brought to the front burner the level of insecurity to lives and property in the country.
He noted that it is unimaginable to think that merely engaging in a harmless venture like regular morning exercise could lead to a tragic death like that of Igwe.
“It is indeed a tragedy of huge proportion not only to have lost this fine journalist and manager of men, but also to have lost him in such needlessly tragic circumstance.
This once again calls to question the level of insecurity of lives and property in this country.
“Dimgba Igwe, until his death, and with his closest friend, Mike Awoyinfa, established one of Nigeria’s highest selling newspapers, the Sun.
“His death brought back to mind in a flurry our last encounter. Last year I met him and his professional twin brother, Awoyinfa. And after launch, we had a prolonged and robust discussion about a new Nigeria of their dream.
“It is rather unfortunate that Igwe would be lost this soon. We pray for the repose of his soul.
“On behalf of myself, government and people of Osun, we send our heart-felt condolences to Igwe’s immediate and extended families, management and staff of the Sun Newspaper, Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) the proprietor of the newspaper, former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu,” Aregbesola said.
MIMIKO – A Colossal loss To Pen Profession
The Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko described the death of Mr Igwe as shocking, tragic and a colossal loss to the Pen Profession, the literary world and the Nigeria nation.
Reacting to the news of the death Governor Mimiko, in a statement issued by the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, said the columnist of repute bestrode the journalism profession as a colossus winning many professional awards and distinguishing himself as a worthy practitioner of the Fourth Estate.
According to him, the late Journalist took his job as his passion and his passion as his job.
The Governor expressed the condolence and sympathy of the people and government of Ondo State to the bereaved family, Publisher of the Sun Newspapers, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, the Management and the entire staff of The Sun Newspapers and Entertainment Express.
Senator Ekweremadu –He was a quintessential journalist
THE Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, also expressed shock and deep sorrow over the death of Pastor Dimgba Igwe
Senator Ekweremadu, who described the late Pastor Igwe as a “quintessential journalist”, said the death was a “typical thunderbolt from the blue, serene, sky”.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu said :”I am short of words to describe this sad event. Sometimes, life could be cruel beyond measure, and this is one of such instances. It is a grievous loss to not only the Sun Publishing family, but our media industry and the nation as a whole.”
“Pastor Dimgba was one of the finest hands in the nation’s media industry. Besides leaving footprints of excellence on many of the nation’s leading media houses, including the Sun Publishing Limited, his regular column, “Sideview” was a prototype of excellence and professionalism.
“He was a flawless writer, a compelling analyst, and God-fearing media guru. He told the truth, as he knew it, in a sermon-like manner that held his readers addicted and spellbound. He will be highly missed,” he added.
OSUN NUJ – A great loss
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun state council, has described the sudden death of veteran Journalist and Vice Chairman, The Sun Publishing Limited, Pastor Dimgba Igwe as a great loss to the Journalism profession.
The union in a condolence message by its Secretary, Bamigbola Gbolagunte, said the vacuum left by Igwe would be difficult to fill in the Journalism profession.
Osun NUJ also described the sudden death of Igwe as shocking and unexpected, but takes solace in the landmark achievements recorded by the deceased in the Journalism profession.
The union said “the death of Igwe has again thrown Journalists into serious mourning as we have no doubt lost another icon in the profession.”
Also, the statement said the death of Igwe would deny upcoming Journalists the necessary experience needed to do exploits in the profession.
The union sysmphatized with members of the Igwe family, the chairman, management and staff of The Sun Newspapers on the death of Igwe, praying God to console them.
APC – shining star of Nigerian journalism
The All Progressives Congress (APC) condoled with the management and staff of The Sun over the death, in very tragic circumstances, of Pastor Dimgba Igwe, on Saturday, saying with his death, Nigerian journalism has lost a shining star.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also condoled with the family and friends of the late Pastor Igwe, and prayed that God will give them the strength to bear their loss. It expressed shock and sadness at the sudden death of such a vibrant, cerebral and wonderful person, who has been a constant star in the constellation of Nigerian journalism for decades, without compromising
his personal and professional integrity. APC called on the police to find and bring to justice the driver of the vehicle that knocked down Pastor Igwe while he was jogging around
‘’Words are not enough to describe the huge loss, to his family, friends, profession and indeed our entire nation, that Igwe’s death represents. But we are sure the achievements he recorded in his lifetime will forever be a source of pride – and indeed a soothing balm – to all.
‘’May the good Lord grant repose to his soul and comfort those he left behind,’’ the party prayed.
Ajimobi commiserates with Sun family
The governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, also sent his commiseration.
In a statement signed by Dr. Festus Adedayo. the governor said the death of the veteran journalist was shocking and heart-rending.
“Igwe was one of the beacons of the journalism profession. He was one of the leading lights of the profession.
That a man of peace like him could be visited by the violence of the road is one of the contradictions of life,” the governor said.
He recalled Igwe’s “deep, incisive and fluid” commentaries on the back page of the Sun and said that he had made remarkable contributions to the cause of journalism in Nigeria, stating that the country would miss him greatly.
The governor also recollected Igwe’s days at the National Concord and his contributions to the founding of the Sun which he and his friend, Mike Awoyinfa, pioneered, stating that the country would not forget him in a hurry.
While commiserating with the Publisher of the Sun, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu and the Sun family, Ajimobi urged them to take solace in what he called the uncommon intellectual strides of the late Igwe and take his death as an act of God.
“He came to the world for the purpose of enriching journalism, discourses at the public sphere and he did this very remarkably. He left when the ovation was loudest. We should all bother less about him as he has fulfilled his destiny but bother more about what marks we are making in our various endeavours,” he said.
Governor Ajimobi also urged the late Igwe’s family not to mourn the late journalist, stating that death is a necessary end that all would face at some point in the journey of life.
Atiku – Journalism lost a gem
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has mourned the demise of the deputy chairman, Board of Directors of the Sun Newspapers of Nigeria, Mr. Dimba Igwe.
A press statement personally signed by the former Vice President on Saturday described the death of Igwe as a shocking development and hearth wrenching.
Atiku recalled that he last saw Dimba Igwe in January this year, “while his demeanour was as lively as ever and full of bluster.”
The statement said further: “The demise of Dimba Igwe, who was a personal friend of mine will leave a huge hole in the spectrum of journalism profession in Nigeria.
“The sudden nature of his death came as a rude shock and journalism in Nigeria has lost a gem and will surely miss one of its finest minds.
“My condolences go to the Nigeria Press Organisation (NPO), the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Nigerian Guild of Editors and the Sun Newspapers of Nigeria, where he was deputy chairman of the board of directors and his family. It is my prayer that God almighty gives them the fortitude to bear the loss.”