Dimgba Igwe’s last Church sermon ‘I will interview God and ask him questions’


Iconic newspaper journalist and media administrator, Dimgba Igwe, prob­ably had premonition of his death. Something in him might have told him time to ship out was close and he was go­ing to continue journalism – the industry he loved and gave every ounce of energy in in heaven. And in keeping with the te­nets of the trade to which he belonged and made his eternal mark, he broke the news of what might appear to be his departure when he delivered what has now come to be Dimgba Igwe’s last earthly sermon.

Dimgba, who was the Deputy General Overseer, Evangel Pentecostal Church, Okota, Lagos, had delivered the sermon on Sunday, August 24, 2014. Looking resplendent in his trade mark, well-tailored suit, he took to the rostrum to deliver the message, “Delighting Yourself in the Lord,” and drew the admiration of his flock. But it never occurred to anyone that, that was going to be his very last.

Dimgba had told the congregation that he had a basketsful of questions to ask his creator when he finally met Him – a surprise declaration that gave generous hints that he was unarguably close to his last days.

Barely two weeks after the message, which is still bugging the minds of those who listened to it, Dimgba died in the morning of Saturday, September 6. He was brutally hacked down by a reckless driver, while jogging around his neigbourhood (Okota, Lagos). Frantic efforts made to retrieve him from the grips of death failed, as a private hospital he was taken to for medical care offered only first aid treatment before referring him to Isolo General Hospital. Reports had it that sadly on arrival, there was no doctor on duty at the government facility to attend to him, resulting in further delay in treatment. He was then rushed to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, where he underwent surgery but died shortly.

One of the late Dimgba’s daughters, Victory, on Sunday recalled how she had prepared her dad’s favourite dish – jollof rice on Friday – which he ate gladly. She was still sleeping on Saturday when he took off for the early morning jogging that led to his death. She said she received the news of his death with shock as there was no premonition of the tragedy and described him as “a fearless, godly and courageous man, whose devotion to his children remained unparalleled till death.”

Our reporters gathered that Dimgba held tenaciously to life, confessing loudly: “I will make it; I will make it,” but never did. He died at the hospital, leaving everyone devastated beyond words.

His shocking death which went viral on the social media, cast a cloud of sorrow over the media space. Until his death, he was the Vice Chairman of The Sun Publishing Ltd, an organisation he previously served as its pioneer Deputy Managing Director.

Since news of his death broke, tributes in his honour have been pouring in. Shock and disbelief were written on the faces of the members of Evangel Pentecostal Church, on Chidi Okafor Street, Okota, who barely dragged themselves to church yesterday sad and sorrowful. They had wished that Saturday, August 6, never was. Their mood had aroused deeper recollection of last message where he harped on the need to believe God in the face of all odds. Sadly, that last message to his depressed brethren was poorly recorded, as the recording equipment of his church had suddenly developed a fault during the service.

However, our reporters exclusively obtained a-24minute part of the message, where the late Dimgba said: “Truly, truly, as far as I am concerned, when I see God, He has some explanations to make. I will tell him, ‘God, tell me something, why did you do this? Why did you do that? I would interview God and ask him questions.”

Dimgba recalled that after visiting Banana Island in Lagos, he returned to his Okota residence with a ‘very sad’ heart. According to him, he became dissatisfied with everything in his area, notably the deplorable state of the link roads, which was in sharp contrast to the beauty of Banana Island, with all the luxuries money could buy.

Dimgba had admitted in the message that it might be difficult to delight in the Lord when prayers returned unanswered, but he still urged the congregation not to lose sight of eternal glory.

With their eyes set at heaven, some church members told our reporters that the late Dimgba sowed all his life for an eternal harvest. Pastor Okechukwu Anyanwu, who led the praise session during service yesterday, urged the mourning members of the church to put on their garments of praise.

“Dimgba looks at us from heaven. He is with the father. Over there, there is no sorrow, no pain, no tears,” he said.

The General Overseer of the church, Pastor Paul Toun, confessed that members of the church were struggling to praise God in the face of their misfortune. He described the late Igwe as a devoted teacher of God’s word.

Among the early callers at his residences yesterday were the Managing Director of the Sun Publishing Limited and President, Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Femi Adesina.

Managing Director, Daily Telegraph, Eric Osagie, the Executive Director, Special Services, Steve Nwosu; the Human Resource Manager, Mrs. Ogechi Uche among others.

Dimgba’s wife, Obioma, was visibly shaken by the loss. It was reported that she had gone to visit their son at Covenant University, Otta, last Saturday, but she was forced to cancel the trip when she got a distress call from her husband to rush to the hospital. On arrival, she held the hands of God in faith, confessing that her husband would not die.

Emboldened by Dimgba’s optimistic confession that he would make it, she never wavered in her faith. Sadly, when her husband breathed his last, she refused to accept defeat, insisting that she would not leave the hospital without him.

Returning home without him seemed to be the longest, lonely walk of her life. At home, she struggled to put up a strong front while welcoming sympathisers. But intermittently she relapsed into sobers as she sank in a sofa benumbed by the shock.

A portrait of her departed heartthrob hanging above her head, was a constant reminder that he lives only in her mind. Words of comfort from Christian brethren fell on her weary spirit like dew on rock, as she bowed her head in deep thought of her irretrievable loss.

Members of his church had refused to accept the daunting reality of the loss. They held an all-night intercessory prayer in their church on Saturday, asking God to wake him up to continue his work on earth.

A member of the prayer team, Mrs. Ify Anyaelechi, told our reporter that they had presented their reasons to God, pleading with Him to bring Pastor Dimgba back to life.

The General Overseer of the Church, Pastor Paul Toun, said he did not doubt God’s ability to raise Dimgba from the dead if it pleases Him. However, he maintained that only God’s would must prevail, as He does all things to His own glory.

While the church prays for a miracle, a deluge of tributes has been flowing from sympathisers and former media colleagues, extolling the virtues of the late icon. In a condolence register opened by the bereaved family, Dr Ngozi Anyaegbunam, said: “Hello, Dimgba, words fail me. There are still too many questions I have for you on the project and many other issues. My brother, Dimgba, you were such a man of wisdom. We looked up to you for advice, guidance, even for stability. You were indeed a pastor, even though I never came to your church.”

Also Mr. Uche Isaac said he proposed coming with his wife to thank Igwe for his many beneficences towards them, but only ended up mourning him.

For Pastor Agbade Ademoroti, Dimgba’s death was a heavenly gain. He said: “Not a loss but a gain. You lived well for the Lord. You lived for his church. You finally joined the cloud of witness.”

Aliu Mohammed described Dimgba’s death as “shocking,” recalling that he was “a restraining voice for everyone, especially those in the then Weekend Concord.” Also, Otunba Awoyinfa Moses, described him as “a great journalist and writer, who had set his feet in the sand of time. A peace-loving person, rest in peace.”

A medical practitioner, Dr Uche Ezeani, lamented the failed health system in the country that led to Dimgba’s death. His words: “How safe are we in this country-to think that our hospital system failed you? It was always a pleasure attending to you and family at our hospital in those days.”

Editor, Entertainment Express, Azuh Amatus, described him as a kind and generous boss, who would be missed by those he had touched their lives.

In his message, Bishop Lawrence Osagie, of Powerline Bible Church, Lagos said: “I was pained by the news of Dimgba Igwe’s departure to glory. He was such a gracious soul. May the Almighty God comfort everyone he left behind.”

Source: Sun

Publish Date: 

Monday, 8 September 2014