By Ime Silas


President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to use his tenure and cause security agencies in the country to uncover and bring to justice the killers of the former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Late Chief Bola Ige. Chief Ige was murdered on 23rd December, 2001.


The Executive President, Bola Ige Centre for Justice, Comrade Awa Bamiji, who stated this in Lagos, yesterday, at the symposium to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the assassination of the former Justice Minister, also recalled how the late Ige’s cap was “rudely removed” at the Palace of the Ooni of Ife, few days before his assassination.


Bamiji, while noting that previous administrations in the country had tried but failed to solve the “who killed Bola Ige” puzzle, reasoned that if Chief Ige was alive, he would have been a progressive leader.


The speech is presented in full below:

BOLA IGE CENTRE FOR JUSTICE: THE JOURNEY SO FAR

Being a speech delivered by Comrade AWA Bamiji, Executive President, Bola Ige Centre for Justice, at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, on Thursday, 17/12/2020.


All Protocols duly observed.


You will recall that Chief Bola Ige cap was rudely removed on December 15, 2001, at the Palace of Ooni of Ife by a set of well known Hoodlums, and a few days later, precisely, 23 December, 2001, assassination that shocked the whole Nation took place, on that fateful Sunday’s night, in his living Room, at Bodija, Ibadan.


We learnt that all his Security Aides went out to eat at the same time, without taking into cognizance the life of their Principal and that of his family members.
This was the peak of assassination in Nigeria and Africa as a whole and the foundation for various security challenges that we have been confronting with since then till today.
Therefore, our organised Struggles for Justice started immediately, 19 years ago, and we came out publicly with the formal Inauguration of the INSIGHT Magazine at the Western House of Chiefs, Ibadan, Oyo State, to commemorate the first year remembrance of Asiwaju of Esa – Oke, Chief Ajibola Ige (SAN), in December 2002.
 Bola Ige Centre for Justice was formally inaugurated in December 2004, at Oranmiyan Hall of this Lagos Airport Hotel and it was borne out of the need to start having a coordinated action across various interest Groups to press home our demand for Justice on the murder case.

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WHO KILLED BOLA IGE? This is a riddle for his close friend of decades, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, despite his bold statement to fish out the Killers after the assassination, between December 2001 till May 29, 2007, when he became the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Thereafter, neither the Late President Musa Shehu Yar’adua, nor former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan could break the jinx.


It is now time for President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), who came into power through a Progressive Platform. If Bola Ige were to be alive, he will definitely be a strong Leader of All Progressives’ Congress (Party).


It was a general belief that he was killed by his Political Rivals so as to have in road to the Southwest Region in the 2003 general elections.
We thank you all, the general masses, for rallying round the family of your Benefactor, in terms of Chief Obafemi Awolowo led four cardinal Programme of fee Education, free Health, Rural Integration and Employment for all, in time of need.
Yoruba adage goes, “eni to s’oju ko da bi eni s’eyin”, “the People who show you love in your presence couldn’t be in any way compared with those who think of you when you are not around”

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While we in the Civil Societies across the Globe had given a pass mark to President Muhammadu Buhari for recognising June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy day, it is equally important for him before he completes his 2nd term tenure to resolve the question of “Who Killed Bola Ige?” 
Otherwise, the history would have the great list of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari as those who couldn’t resolve Bola Ige murder case for a period of 24 years, by May 29, 2023.


Bola Ige families, friends, associates and the masses are ready to assist this Governments at the Federal level and in Oyo State, where the murder took place, any time, any day, in the investigation.
These Killers are among us and they are increasing in number through enjoyment of “injustice” that they are getting since 2001 till date. 
This explains why while we are not at peace any more in Nigeria.


It was even ridiculous in 2003, when former Governor Rasheed Ladoja asked the Oyo State High Court to forget about the murder case because the State didn’t have interest any longer. This is what they called nolle prosqui in legal term. Perhaps, we should ask him does he have any emotion for human life at all, not to talk of his Political Leader and Predecessor as the former Governor of Old Oyo State and the former Minster of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation
Kidnappers, Murderers, Rapists, Bandits, and others carry out their evil operation mostly in the night and jungle.


Therefore, our Governors that are closer to us should make sure that policing the jungle day and night must be the responsibility of our Security Agents while the  security network in the town must equally be excellent.

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Our annual Budget must be such that we will give security of lives and properties a priority.
We need to improve in our foreign relationship so as to overcome our inability to purchase sophisticated weapons from leading World Powers. We need to overcome the barrier of international Politics
Native intelligence is key. If you fail to report a crime, what goes around always comes around.


If the Palaces of our Traditional Rulers, Private and Public Properties have become objects of attack in the hands of Hoodlums, in the name of Protests, it means, a lot to the common man on the Road. “Iku ti o npa Ojuba Eni, Owe nla ni o npa fun ni”.
We must not forget this Great list that includes Chief Bola Ige, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Chief A.K. Dikibo, Chief Harry Marshal, Chief Layi Balogun, Admiral Tunde Elegbede, Hon Odunayo Olagbaju, Captain Jerry Ayegbe, Mr Dele Giwa, Barrister Olanipekun, Barrister Barnabas Igwe and his Wife, Iyalode Tejuoso, Alhaja Suliat Adedeji, Pa Alfred Rewane, Kudirat Abiola, Alabi Olajokun, Funso Williams, Dipo Dina, Ayo Adaramola, Charles, Nsiegbe, Andrew Agom, Ogbonnaya Uche, Temitope Olatoye Sugar. The list is endless.


It therefore means life of everyone is in danger and teaming up with Bola Ige Centre for Justice is the only way out.
This Centre has been building and consolidating upon the laudable legacies and ideas of the Late Attorney General and former Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, since its emergence in December 2004 and we won’t rest on our Oars until Justice is done.


Thank you all, for your rapt attention.