How I met and fell in love with Dimgba Igwe at Weekend Concord—Dele Momodu + Set to release new book “Fighting Lions”

‘Dimgba was such a meticulous writer’ Chief Momodu Confirmed to asabeafrika

Ovation
International
Magazine publisher and
former Presidential aspirant Bashorun (Dr.) Dele Momodu has revealed
for the first time some of the intimate things that transpired between himself
and the late veteran clergy-journalist and book author Pastor Dimgba Igwe  during
their Weekend Concord Days under the leadership of late  business mogul, Bashorun MKO Abiola.

Sharing his experience with your Africa’s
number 1 Celebrity encounter blog asabeafrika  penultimate Saturday inside his diplomatic
suite at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, Bashorun Dele Momodu who was
returning from Benin City, Edo state, South-South Nigeria where he went to
cover the 80th birthday ceremony of the Nigeria’s business mogul and
 Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion and was equally preparing to visit
Dimgba Igwe’s family in Okota, Lagos before flying out of the country to London
 shared the story of his encounter with
the late veteran journalist who was killed on Saturday September 6th
by a hit and run driver during his early morning jogging exercise around his
Okota, Lagos neighborhood.  The
Ovation International Magazine publisher told asabeafrika how he became the Number 2
man to late Dimgba Igwe during their Weekend
Concord
publishing Days. Chief
Momodu
also recalled how he got the rude shock of Dimgba Igwe’s death in
London and how himself and his friend, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi were the first
Nigerian to console Dimgba Igwe’s twin brother, Mike Awoyinfa who was equally
in London at the time of the unfortunate event. He shared with us so many other
things as well. Enjoy the excerpts
.

Chief Momodu….’Next year i wont contest election, i will publish a book’
My encounter with Dimgba Igwe 
The well travelled and
busy publisher started by narrating how his part with that of his late boss
crossed “I met Mr. Dimgba Igwe through his writings before I joined Concord
Newspaper
. I used to see Dimgba Igwe in Sunday Concord and I used
to imagine that he was an old man because of the level of his maturity when he
wrote those things. He was always very succinct, very lucid; straight to the
point, analytical, logical and bold. I later met him when I joined the African
Concord
magazine which was also owned by Chief Moshood Abiola; and
the first day I met him I said ‘so, this is the man’, you know he looked
smallish in nature but you could see seriousness on his face. 

 “They
started The Sun Newspaper with a good
friend of mine, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu
and The Sun Newspaper became a blast again. 
It tells you how professional these guys were; although they later
quarreled at the board level and left but Dimgba
later returned as Vice Chairman to Chief Orji
Kalu and Mike Awoyinfa remained a writer; they co-authored several books. They
were working on more books and then tragedy struck”.

The great journalist & book author extra-ordinary, Pastor Dimgba Igwe

One thing you
will ever see on his face was his seriousness; he was a very serious character.
Then, later, fate would bring us together. A new paper was started in Concord
called The Weekend Concord and the managing Director (Dr. Doyin
Abiola) decided that she was going to pick some of the best reporters from the
different titles. So, Mike Awoyinfa was picked from the
features desk, Dimgba Igwe was brought from Sunday Concord, I was brought from African Concord, there was Omololu Kassim from the features desk
and there was Aliu Mohammed and a whole load of us. And then fortunately for
me, I wrote the very first cover (Exclusive interview with Wole Soyinka’s first
wife) for Weekend Concord Newspaper and you can imagine, Mike
Awoyinfa
was the editor, Dimgba Igwe was the Deputy and I was
a staff writer. The paper came out in March 1989. 

Late Pastor Dimgba Igwe and his soulmate and creative partner, Mike Awoyinfa endorses their boy, Dele Momodu’s brand, Ovation International
The late Pastor Dimgba Igwe, the GDA with Dimgba’s best friend, soulmate & business partner, Mike Awoyinfa

By May, that is two months
after the paper came out, they gave me double promotion. I should have moved
from staff writer to Senior Staff Writer but they moved me straight from Staff
Writer to Literary editor. Mike said I was too much and if Dimgba
had protested, Mike would not have been able to do
it but through the cooperation of both of them, they gave me double promotion.
Six months after that, I sat down one day, they call me again and said I am getting
another promotion. And I became news
editor
and that was how I became the next in command to Dimgba;
so, Mike
Awoyinfa
was number one, Dimgba Igwe was number two and Dele
Momodu
was number three and that brought us closely together. We worked
to produce the best weekend paper ever in Nigeria. In fact at that time, our
Lagos edition on Saturday was selling about eighty thousand copies; nationwide
we were doing about a quarter of a million copies. I have never seen anything
like that. In fact, it was such a blast. My respect for Mike and Dimgba
doubled after we have left Concord many, many years later and these
guys were still writing. They started The Sun Newspaper with a good friend
of mine, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu and The Sun Newspaper became a blast
again.  It tells you how professional
these guys were; although they later quarreled at the board level and left but Dimgba
later returned as Vice Chairman to Chief
Orji Kalu
and Mike Awoyinfa
remained a writer; they co-authored several books. They were working on more
books and then tragedy struck. All I can say is that Nigeria has lost one of
her finest journalists ever. One of the very best and it is only God that can
console us, only God can replace Dimgba but I don’t know how you
replace that kind of brain. He was quite a phenomenon and I can only wish him
eternal rest. May he rest in peace.

Chief (Dr.) Dele Momodu with the G D A in session
Mike Awoyinfa and late Dimgba Igwe with the Awoyinfa twins whose graduation ceremony in London warranted Mike Awoyinfa to be out of town before Dimgba’s untimely Death
How I got the news of his death
Chief Momodu went ahead to describe
how the news of the sudden death of Dimgba Igwe met him on the street of London
“Every death is a shocker” the Ovation publisher began and continued “but this
was particularly shocking because it was closer home. I was in England when the
news came and I tried to reach Oga Mike I couldn’t reach him immediately.
Someone had mentioned to me that ‘Mike is in England’ and I didn’t have his
contact in England, so eventually, one of his sons, I think Kehinde was on
twitter and I now send him a message on twitter ‘can you get me your father’s
number?. And the son now sent me his number and I called, and we spoke at
length. The man was so devastated; he said ‘my life is finished with this man’s
death. I don’t know why him? Why Dimgba?’ That Dimgba was close to being a
saint and that was a shocking fact that nobody can erase.  I think his death was not just a loss to Oga
Mike alone; it is a greater loss to the Nigerian nation, to journalism as a
profession and to the entire media industry. It is a sad loss.”

Chief Dele Momodu being welcomed by his friend, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu into his late boss, Dimgba Igwe’s home while Mrs. Obioma Igwe looks on
The Ovation Publisher with the G D A after the encounter

Why I supported Aregbesola against
Omisore in the Osun August 9 election
We
quickly took the Publisher of one of Africa’s richest celebrity magazine, Ovation
off the issue at hand and drove him straight to the politics of his support
during the last gubernatorial election in Osun state for Incumbent governor
Rauf Aregbesola instead of his long time friend and school mate, Senator Iyiola
Omisore. The publisher gave us his candid opinion “Iyiola Omisore and I went to
the same secondary school in Ile-Ife, we have been friends for ages but we are
in opposition; he is in PDP and I am in NCP, so there should be no question
about that. I am closer to Iyiola even than Aregbesola but like I said I am in
the opposition, he is in PDP. I supported him in my own little way. Ovation
(International Magazine) gave him a lot of pages free of charge, we
didn’t charge him one penny. We gave him a platform for him to talk, to express
himself and that is it”.
The G D A with late Pastor Dimgba Igwe during an interview session with the great journalist before his September 6th 2014 demise
Late Pastor Dimgba Igwe with his friend-for-life Mike Awoyinfa with Ovation’s celebrity photo-journalist, Solomon Ekhaiyemhe
2015 & Dele Momodu
“By
the grace of God, we will be in Nigeria and we shall cast our vote for a
candidate but definitely if what you want to ask is if I am contesting, no. I
am not contesting any position in 2015. My message to my flowers and lovers  is let us all walk for the good of Nigeria and
if we shall believe that this country will be great and we conscientiously work
towards achieving it, then we will be happy for it”.
Dele Momodu….’My becoming the third in command @ Weekend Concord was by the sheer compliance of Dimgba Igwe
 Dele Momodu
& the Lions

Rounding up the encounter
with the question on his book project, the Ovation publisher who has been
trying to document his experience during the 2011 presidential election gave asabefarika
a bright answer “Yes, we have a couple of books in the works and we hope we
would be able to publish them in 2015. It is not easy to write a book; that is
why I admire the gift in Dimgba Igwe and Mike Awoyinfa. I mean I
don’t know how they manage the pressure. But definitely some books will come
out very soon; one of them is almost ready, it is called Fighting Lions it is
written by my Presidential Campaign Manager, Ohimai Godwin
Amaize
who is now working with the minister of state for defense, Musiliu
Obanikoro
in Abuja. So, we have a lot of interesting things coming up. Fighting
Lions
is a reflection of my presidential election experience in 2011
because what I did is tantamount to fighting lions with bare hands”.

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