By Chinelo Obogo
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday showered praises on the late Deputy Managing Director of The Sun Publishing Limited, Dimgba Igwe, describing him as a man who cannot die because of the number of lives he touched.
Speaking at a book launch entitled: ‘50 World Editors’, authored by the former Managing Director of The Sun, Mike Awoyinfa and the late Igwe, the President said the latter was a man, who stood for the people.
President Buhari, who was represented by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Information, Mrs. Oluseyi Abegunle said Igwe believed in Nigeria and was not a tribalist, because he had friends from different ethnic groups.
“Like all Nigerians, I was shocked at Dimgba’s death, but we should know that he died a hero. Dimgba and Mike’s story is the story of a Nigerian dream where two people from different tribes live together and are friends for years. I planned to be at the launch personally, but because of my visit to France, I could not make it. I urge Awoyinfa to carry on and prove to the world that despite our differences, we can still co-exist peacefully.”
Veteran journalist and former governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba said Igwe’s legacies cannot be forgotten. He recalled: “Before he died, we were in Katsina and we discussed the future of newspapers, little did I know that the meeting would be our last.”
Osoba urged newspaper publishers and media proprietors to ensure that journalists were not owed salaries . He lamented that non-payment of salaries to journalists had caused an increase in ‘fake journalists’ and had turned genuine journalists into ‘area boys’. According to him, “publishers should not allow the journalism profession to be ridiculed because journalists are being owed salaries. A worker is worthy of his wages, and no matter what it takes, no journalist should be owed.”
Explaining the reason behind the writing of the book, Awoyinfa, said the book was packaged because of the hunger and thirst for knowledge and the passion they had for journalism.
“We wrote this book because of our passion for journalism. The idea was to come up with a book that journalists could benefit from. I promised that I would keep Dimgba’s dream going on, and as long as I am alive, he is alive. I hope to launch a book every September in his memory and every book I write would bear his name. I would not allow his name to be forgotten.”
The Managing Director of The Sun Publishing Limited, Eric Osagie while reviewing the book said the work covered the journalism profession. He said the book encapsulated the painstaking devotion from the masters of journalism. “Journalism is painstaking, excruciating and gruelling. You need energy to be a good journalist and that was what Dimgba and Mike represent. The book covers the gamut of the profession and it is full of artistry. It is inspirational and comes with a simple but arresting style.”