Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February 18th My Saddest Day

Hi Folks,
I am sad, very sad!

One of the most intelligent and honest Nigerian, the Director, Army Public Relations and one time aide-de-camp (ADC) to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is dead.
Just like his saddest day in his life was when he lost his bestman at his wedding six months after in Liberia, mine is February 18th when Giwa-Amun died. I lost my own mum on February 28th four years ago, so February for me is going to be full of terrible memories that I will never forget no matter how I try.
I am so pained because just two weeks back he had called me to see him after my report on the Army Consolidated salary but somehow I never found the time. There was a little tension between us and I really wanted all to calm down before I go see him but it will never be.
My prayer is for God to help his young family in this period of pain. When you have a dotting husband and father, the pain will be too difficult to handle.
Live each day as if is your last and ensure you impact as many lives as possible just as Giwa-Amun did.
This is the full story of how he died.
Brigadier-General Solomon Giwa-Amu died Monday February 18th in a motor accident that occured at the Abuja-Kaduna road on his way to Jaji, Kaduna State, for an official assignment.
News about the death filtered into Abuja around eight O’clock in the morning. It was gathered that the Army spokeman, who was in a Toyota Hiace bus with some soldiers left Abuja in the morning for the journey, and along the way, the back tyre of the vehicle suddenly bursted at Dikko, a village in Niger State.
The driver was said to have tried all he could to control the vehicle and bring the bus to a stop but could not due to a trailer which was ahead, going at a slow pace.The driver, in his bid to prevent the bus from running under the trailer, reportedly lost control, which resulted into the vehicle somersaulting several times before coming to a halt.
It was gathered that Gen Giwa-Amu, who was sitting in the mid-section of the bus, was suddenly flung out, and smashed his head on a stone.When the bus finally came to a stop, the soldiers embarked on a search for their boss, and found him on the ground, with his head on the big stone, bleeding. They carried him to the bus before making contact with Army authorities to tell them what had happened.
It was further gathered that Gen. Amu was still alive when they picked him from the ground, and he was rushed to the Suleja General Hospital.It was on the way to the hospital that he gave up the ghost, a fate confirmed by doctors on duty.
As soon as the news of the accident got to the Army Headquarters in Abuja, they quickly dispatched three ambulance vehicles with the medical team to the Suleja hospital to see what can be done to save Giwa-Amu and the other wounded soldiers from dying. But it was too late as they were told that he died as soon as they got to the hospital.The medical team, led by Dr. Lieutenant-Colonel Agada, who is also the medical officer to the Chief of Defence Staff, then took the body of the late Giwa Amu into a Peugeot Expert ambulance car, covered it with an orange colour blanket, while his orderly, Salaudeen, who was in a very critical condition and in coma, was transfered into a Peugeot station wagon car, along with the remaining five soldiers, and driven to the National Hospital, Abuja.
A press release issued by the Army authorities Monday announcing the sudden death of Gen Amu, and signed by one Lieutenant-Colonel M.M. Yerima reads: “The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenat-General L.N. Yusuf, regrets to announce the death of the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Solomon Giwa-Amu. He died today as a result of injuries sustained following a road traffic accident along Kadun-Abuja road. Burial arrangements will be announced by the family later”.
It's been shock expressed everywhere you turn, from his office, to his house, the pain can be sliced with a knief.
The Chief of Army Staff says “Solomon, was supposed to be with me here in Singapore, but had to stay back because of our programme on the barrack foundation that is coming up in March. I was shocked when somebody woke me up this morning to tell me that Solomon is no more. Well, the Bible says in everything we should give thanks, but I tell you I am so devastated by the news, I just cant believe it”.
U.S.A, as he was popularly called among close friends and course mates, had only on Sunday, February 10, organized a thanksgiving service on his promotion to the rank of a Brigadier-General, and for his wife, who only few weeks ago bagged a PHD in Biological Science from the Lagos State University.Solomon Giwa-Amu, who was appointed Army spokesman sometime last year, had said in an interview that his greatest priority was to bridge the gap between civillians and soldiers and make the average Nigerian love the military.
He was the first as Aide-de- Camp to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and later Defence Attachee to the Nigerian Embassy in New York, U.S.A.

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