A Wish Unfulfilled

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Elekhia Ayisat Giwa
Elekhia Ayisat Giwa

Elekia Ayisat Giwa dies at 87 after waiting in vain for 27 years to see the killers of Dele Giwa, her son, brought to justice

|  By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Jan. 21, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

SINCE 1986, her greatest wish was that the killers of her son, Dele Giwa, a veteran journalist and one of the founding members of Newswatch magazine, be brought to book. But 27 years after, Elekia Ayisat Giwa died without accomplishing her wish. She died at the age of 87, on January 8, at Aruna Ogun Hospital, Ikorodu, Lagos, after a brief illness.

Born on July 7, 1927, in Ugbekpe-Ekperi village in Auchi, Edo State, late Ayisat Giwa was a trained tailor, married to Dele’s father, and was blessed with six children of which Dele was her first born. She was a great encouragement to all her children. It was the gruesome murder of her first son, that punctured her joy, and ever since that unfortunate incident, she became a sad woman.

Abibat Ronke Aboaba, her daughter in Lagos, confirmed her mother’s state of mind when she said that Elekia developed hypertension as a result of the trauma she suffered during the death of her son. “My mother was a great woman, loving, caring and had a large heart for everyone. But she was devastated when the news of Dele’s death was broken to her in 1986 and the shock was so terrible that I have to take her in…,” she said.

Aboaba said the only sorrow her mother carried all through her life was the death of her son and the fact that justice was not done. “Just like my mother did, I have handed over the death of my brother, which eventually led to the death of my mother, to God. He is a righteous judge and the only one who can bring justice out even when men are trying to cover up.”

Dele Giwa was murdered by unknown persons through a letter bomb delivered to his house in Ikeja, on October 19, 1986. His death raised speculations that the then military government had something to do with it. But Ibrahim Babangida, military head of state then, denied any complicity in the murder and went ahead to institute a panel to find the killers. Nothing was heard thereafter.

Ray Ekpu, co-founder of Newswatch magazine and a veteran journalist, said the death of Elekia Ayisat Giwa is a big loss to the Giwas family and Newswatch in particular. He told Realnews that they (co-founders) have asked the family to brief them on the burial arrangements. “Her death is a loss to all of us. It is sad because the woman has gone through a lot of stress because of the death of her son. I called one of her daughters, Abibat Ronke Aboaba, and told her to inform us on the burial arrangements. We are wishing Mama’s soul a peaceful rest in the Lord’s bossom. She was a compassionate woman, somebody who loved children,” he said.

Yakubu Mohammed, another co-founder of Newswatch magazine, said it is always painful to lose a beloved one and prayed for her soul to rest in peace. He said they have contacted the family to notify them on the burial arrangements. “She was a gentle woman and like a mother to all of us. Already, we have informed the family to involve us in the funeral arrangements. We have been supportive of the family and will continue to do so even after her burial,” he said.

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