Why I made late Dimgba Igwe Vice Chairman of The Sun Newspaper instead of Mike Awoyinfa—Orji Kalu

 
Dr Orji Uzor Kalu with some aides consoling Mr. Mike & Mrs. Bukola Awoyinfa during a condolence visit to the late Dimgba Igwe’s home in Lagos

 

 For
the first time, former Governor of Abia State and publisher of The
Sun Newspaper
has revealed why he made the late number two of the
tabloid duo, Dimgba Igwe the Vice Chairman of the newspaper brand instead of
the elderly of the duo, Mike Awoyinfa who was a senior
partner with his post as Managing Director while the late Dimgba was his deputy
when both were running the media empire.

Orji Kalu
while paying Condolence
to the families of the late journalist at their Okota, Lagos home penultimate
Saturday September 13th recalled the sterling role the late Dimgba
Igwe
played in birthing and nurturing The Sun Newspaper brand
to outstanding success, describing him as a soul mate who gave his utmost
support to his twin brother, Mike Awoyinfa to ensure the
newspaper attained great height it achieved in the Nigerian media industry
within a very short time. Dr Kalu later revealed that the post
of Vice Chairman was actually offered Mike Awoyinfa the senior partner but the
later declined the offer advising the board to give the post to his long time
friend and business partner, Dimgba Igwe. This is how Dr. Orji Kalu described the
situation “Actually they (Mike and Dimgba) were inseparable because this post
(Vice Chairman) was offered to Mike Awoyinfa and he declined, he
said ‘give it to Dimgba’. He said ‘I am not a business man, Dimgba is the
business man’. Mike said it in our board room because I was preparing to start
moving away and face other things and we needed somebody who will go through
what I am doing and take over”.

Mike Awoyinfa and late partner, Dimgba Igwe inside their most creative environment, a Library

“These children will remain in school unless they are not ready to read. If they are ready to read, like my own children, anywhere they want to go to school I will be there for them at all times not at some times. I will do everything in my ability to train these children because that is the greatest challenge of life, sending the children to school and ensuring they succeed in their studies and become somebody in life. They will attain any level they want as long as they are ready to go to school”.

How I received the news of Dimgba’s
death

Turning
to the widow, Mrs. Obioma Igwe, Chief Kalu narrated how he got the
shocking news while away in London “I couldn’t believe it when Femi
Adesina
(MD of The Sun Newspaper) broke the news to me; I called him on
my own, I called him about ten o’clock (on Saturday 6th) on my own,
and he said to me ‘we have a bad news, we have a bad news’ and I said what is
it? Tell me, I was very anxious and he breathed in and said “Can I believe that
Oga Dimgba is dead and they are trying to move him to the mortuary? And I
screamed “Dimgba dead?”  And I was
totally devastated. I was in London and that moment became a very sad one for
me. It was very sad but I want us to take this (Calamity) as an act of God”.

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu (OUK)

I will give Dimgba’s children the
best of education

Still talking to the late journalist’s widow, Dr.
Orji Uzor Kalu
said “I want to assure my sister in-law that as long as
I am alive she will never suffer.  These
children will remain in school unless they are not ready to read. If they are
ready to read, like my own children, anywhere they want to go to school I will
be there for them at all times not at some times. I will do everything in my
ability to train these children because that is the greatest challenge of life,
sending the children to school and ensuring they succeed in their studies and
become somebody in life. They will attain any level they want as long as they
are ready to go to school. They will be able to work in any place they desire.”

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu with Mrs. Obioma Igwe & her two daughters

Why I broke my foreign business trip

On why he made the trip to Lagos, Orji Kalu
who was in London and preparing to cross over to China to sign a multi-million
dollars deal with a telephone producing firm said “I purposely came today I
could have said ‘no, I will wait till I finish my business schedule abroad; I
was to go to China from London, I had to cut the trip short just to see you and
I am heading back to China tomorrow night. Please, accept my sincere
condolence. You can see the best friend of your husband here (Points to Mike
Awoyinfa) I used to quarrel with them and say ‘I will buy knife and cut two of
you to separate both of you’. We are not separated because we are going to meet
him (Dimgba) at the appropriate time. Let us accept this as purely the will of
God because if anything could have saved him he would have been saved but it
was purely the will of God, he wasn’t sick, he wasn’t playing, he wasn’t on the
express road. He was trying to be fit but the unbelievable happened. So, I want
you to accept it as the will of God.

There is nothing anybody can do. We will
ensure we give him a befitting burial, we will ensure everybody in our village
(Igbere) give him a befitting honor and I commit all of you to the hands of God
both yourself and the children and the extended family of the Igwes. It is
actually difficult to bear the loss of such a great man because life itself is
a riddle. If we start looking at life, we cannot know where we are going or
where we are coming from. There are two seasons that marks the mystery of life;
it is the beginning and the ending. The birth is the beginning and the death is
the ending. So, we thank God for his soul and also thank God that we are here,
we need to celebrate because many people will die weather suddenly or
un-suddenly. They have nobody to celebrate them and he left four children and
your humble self with many other family members. It is not a good omen in our
land, it is a very unripe death but we are praying to God that the remaining of
us living will end up meeting with him (Dimgba) at God’s own time because we
must meet again, this is not the final stage. So, please, take my heartfelt
condolence”

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu consoling Dimgba Igwe’s widow, Mrs. Obioma Igwe

My Flight was delayed at Abuja….

Dr
Orji Kalu who flew in directly from Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja and landed
at the Igwe’s Lagos home at some minutes to Twelve noon equally apologized to
the widow for coming a bit late to the house instead of the 9am agreed time, he
gave the reasons for his lateness “I am also very sorry; I wanted to be here at
about 9:30 am to 10 am but there were little hitches. They had aviation fuel
challenge at the Abuja airport and the aviation people couldn’t open up
properly because they were doing something early in the morning at the airport,
they were carrying out the hajj operation at the airport.

They said they could
not fuel aircraft when the hajj people are boarding, so I waited in the house
until the pilot called me and said we can now take off and I started coming to
the airport. So, please, accept my sincere condolence. With all heart of
sincerity, with all mind of sincerity I made it clear that I have to be here. I
couldn’t hold it myself but I just said I have to be here weather they like it
or not because life is a journey, it starts somewhere and ends somewhere.
Please, accept my profound sympathy and condolence (Holds her hands tightly as
he started consoling her in Igbo language)

Family reaction

Elder
brother to the late Dimgba Igwe, Prince Hansen Madukwe Igwe later
spoke on behalf of the family. He thanked Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu for finding the
time out of his busy schedule to pay a condolence visit to the family in their
lowest moment in life “I want to thank you so much for finding time to come and
visit us today; Dimgba we know is your brother, I am most relieved now that you
came here to say some few words and make some comments about my brother’s children.
The burial will go and so many other things will go but the main thing is that
these children are still young, they are still in school. But I thank God for
your comment, I thank God for your coming, I believe you have made a good
decision by promising them scholarship and I want to thank you again and hope
God will give us the strength to bear the entire loss”.

The Inseparable twins of tabloid journalism, Mike Awoyinfa & Dimgba Igwe

What I want Fashola to do for Dimgba
Igwe

During a brief interaction
with news men on his way out of the Igwes’ home,  Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu disclosed his
earnest intention to appeal to Lagos state Governor Barrister Babtunde Raji Fashola
(SAN) to immortalize the late distinguished  journalist “Well, when I am back from China I
am going to meet Governor Fashola, and ask him to  reconstruct  this road (Dele Orisabiyi Street, Okota) and
make sure it is named after Dimgba Igwe; that one will be good enough and I
would also ask people of good will to continue to remember him”.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here