Following the death of Pastor Dimgba Igwe, Vice Chairman of The Sun newspapers, yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan and other eminent Nigerians have expressed shock over the sad development.
The president in a press release said that he received with shock, the sad news of the untimely death of Mr. Dimgba Igwe.
“On behalf of himself, his family and the Federal Government of Nigeria, President Jonathan extends heartfelt commiserations to the publishers of the Sun newspapers, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, and all friends and associates of Mr. Igwe, for whom his unexpected death must be exceedingly painful,” said a statement by Media Adviser, Reuben Abati.
The statement reads: “President Jonathan believes that the late Mr. Igwe will always be remembered as a hardworking and dependable professional, who, through his various writings as columnist, author and public speaker, demonstrated a special ability to convey the truth and his convictions in lucid, compelling prose, and in a style that was shorn of cant and foppery.
“As they mourn him, the President enjoins Mr. Igwe’s family, friends and associates to be consoled by the knowledge that he put his God-given abilities to the best possible use in a very purposeful life that was wholly devoted to the defence of truth and the public interest, as well as the promotion of the highest standards of his chosen profession of journalism.
“President Jonathan prays that God Almighty will grant them the fortitude to bear the loss of the very forthright journalist and media administrator, and also grant his soul, peaceful repose.”
The Chairman of The Sun Publishing Limited Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu described the day as the darkest day in the history of the organisation.
“He was too much of a gentleman, fine brain and mind to die tragically like this,” Kalu said.
Shortly after the news filtered in, he was quoted to have said in a telephone chat with an entertainment publication: “I just left my office this morning. I was actually on my way home when I got a call that my oga is dead. As I’m talking to you now, I’m heading for his house; it’s a sad news my brother,” he lamented.
In his condolence message to the family, Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, described Igwe’s death as shocking and heart-rending. Ajumobi, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo said, “Igwe was one of the beacons of journalism. 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 made remarkable contributions to the cause of journalism in Nigeria.
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.
Ondo State governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko described Dimgba’s death as a colossal loss to pen profession, the literary world and the Nigeria nation. In a statement issued by the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, Mimiko 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.
Governor Mimiko 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, management and the entire staff of The Sun Newspapers and Entertainment Express.
Reacting, the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi said he was devastated by Igwe’s death. Recalling the last conversation he had with Mr. Igwe, who was bent on organising a forum for him to tell the young ones his experiences as the Governor of Anambra State for leadership lessons therein, he said that one of the most resourceful Journalists had died.
Obi, who said he had already called to commiserate the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. Femi Adeshina on the death, prays to God for the repose of his soul.
Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday expressed shock on the news of Igwe’s death.
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 devastating blow to not only to the media world but also to the nation.
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.
Expressing shock and consternation, Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria, HURIWA, called on the governments to restore the once admired right of way for pedestrians and bicycle ridding citizens in the planning and execution of city and township’s infrastructure. This, according to the group, will save pedestrians from the menacing threats of extinction by rough and sometimes drunken drivers in most Nigerian cities.