Photo: Agba Jalingo during his trial
Agba Jalingo, the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch newspaper, who has had a controversial relationship with the Cross River State government over the years has raised an alarm over threat to his life.
Jalingo in press release on Thursday categorically accused his state governor, Ben Ayade of. plans to eliminate him, stressing that the governor and his agents should be held responsible if anything happened to him.
“I’m bringing this issue up following credible information at my disposal that governor Ayade and some persons in his government are planning to “kill Agba Jalingo.”
“Yes I say that because the situation now warrants that I say it openly. Having been frustrated in their many attempts to ruin me using the police and the court system, information available to me now is alarming and calls for this public notice.
“The new ADC to governor Ayade planted two ammunition in my cigarette pack on June 12, 2021 and wanted the police to arraign me in court again for illegal possession of ammunition, while my trial for treasonable felony, terrorism, cultism and attempt to overthrow Buhari and Ayade is still ongoing.
“Like Dele Giwa, the police have taken me in on false allegations of gun and bomb running. All these under hand tactics appear not to be working and they are contemplating the worst. I have every reason now to be deeply concerned and bring this to public notice.
“No one, I repeat, no one will chase me out of my home State because I am not a criminal, I have never been and I will never be one. It is those who steal from the public, misuse and misappropriate our public till for family luxuries, and are afraid of my constant scrutiny of their actions that should prepare to run away from the State when their days in power are over.
“The general public should hereby be on notice and hold Governor Ayade and his brother and co-governor, Franko Ayade, responsible should one strand of hair fall from my head,” Jalingo wrote.
Narrating and comparing his fate to the fate that befell the late Dele Giwa, Editor-in-Chief of the defunct Newswatch magazine who was gruesomely murdered through a parcel bomb in October 1986 by suspected state agents, Jalingo wrote further:
“Nigeria’s Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (HRVIC), in its report to President Olusegun Obasanjo in May 2002, recommended the prosecution of General Ibrahim Babangida and two former intelligence chiefs for the murder of Dele Giwa by parcel bomb in his Lagos home on 19 October 1986, when Babangida was Head of State and President of Nigeria.
“HRVIC was set up by Obasanjo soon after he was elected President, to investigate human rights violations in Nigeria since the 1960s. He appointed a special committee in May 2002, to oversee the implementation of its recommendations.
“Dele Giwa, the founding editor of a leading Nigerian weekly magazine, Newswatch, was having breakfast in his study on October 19, 1986 when a parcel addressed to him arrived. Journalist, Kayode Soyinka, who was with him at the time reported him as declaring that the parcel was “from the President” before it exploded and killed Dele Giwa but Kayode Soyinka survived the blast.
“Suspicion of government involvement in his gruesome murder was fueled at the time by the fact that *Giwa had three days before, been taken in by state security officers for questioning on suspicions of gun-running and planning to “foment a socialist revolution* “. On the morning he died, his wife said the then director of military intelligence had called to ask from her the way to the Giwas’ residence.
“Babangida subsequently filed a suit to stop Obasanjo from “considering or accepting observations and recommendations” of the committee concerning him.
“But whether the court stopped Obasanjo or not, what most Nigerians now know clearly, is the person that murdered Dele Giwa. What we do not know yet is the day that person will pay for his atrocities. But he will surely pay.
“What has also happened is that regardless of what good Babangida may have done in power, he remains eternally stigmatized by the 1986 murder of Dele Giwa and the annulment of June 12, 1993 elections. And those will remain as his most reminiscent landmarks till many generations.”
Periscope International recalls that the ECOWAS Court of Justice recently ordered the Federal Government to pay Jalingo damages of N30 million as compensation for the violation of his rights and maltreatment when he was earlier detained for 179 days some years ago.