Sunday, 21 June 2015



Retrospectively, Tuesday, July 10, 2012 can be described as a shocking day for Nigerian Muslim Ummah. That day, the Nigerian electronic media waves throbbed with a shocking and unbelievable news that the popular Islamic programme (e dide e mu saari je) presenter was missing. The waves added that whoever knew his whereabouts or heard any information about him should report to the nearest Police Station or any other relevant authorities. The breaking news sent jittery to millions and puzzled millions of others. Here was a well-known human being and not a chattel. Where and how do you start looking for him?

Brothers and sisters immediately went into action by taking up the matter as a knotty task that must be unraveled. Text messages and phone calls, e-mails and face-book communications began in earnest. In less than one hour after the outbreak of the news the entire world had known of it. And that evidently confirmed the global village created by the modern technology called internet. Thus, the search for ‘a golden fish’ in a turbulent ocean became a task for all and sundry.

Thereafter, the Nigerian factor set in. Rumors began to fly across boundaries as evil agents added their inputs. First, we heard that Gawat had been found and taken to his family. Then, a devilish rumor came in insinuating that the episode was a complicity in which his wife’s hand was vivid. The evil rumor mongers even had the audacity of sending text messages to me saying that his wife was already in Police gulag. I immediately called the innocent woman (Hajiya Fatima Gawat) to enquire about her whereabouts. And when she told me that she was in her husband’s home with her children I heaved a deep sigh of fervent relief. It was one moment of embarrassment at its topmost peak.

It is possible to be dead suddenly by whatever means but the body will be seen and the grave will be a witness. However, in a jungle-like country like Nigeria, it is possible for a prominent person of Gawat’s status to be kidnapped for a ransom by hoodlums and their godfather. But in this case, what is unimaginable and which remains a puzzle is for a person of Gawat’s personality to suddenly disappear so mysteriously within the city of Lagos without any trace.

And now, all said and done, three years after that agonizing episode, the common question that remains on the lips of all well-meaning people is: ‘where is Gawat?



No one can say categorically the whereabouts of the famous broadcaster, whether dead or alive. However, there were different speculations of what could have happened to him. It all started like a rumour, on that faithful day, until it was confirmed by the police.  The former Lagos State Police Command’s spokesperson, Ngozi Braide insisted that it was a case of a missing person and not kidnap, adding that, “investigations so far showed there was no sign of struggle where his vehicle was found at Apongbon end of Eko Bridge. The car was neatly parked.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Gawat Communications was said to be on his way to his Adeniji Adele home about 11pm when the incident occurred. Multiple sources said his black Toyota SUV, with Lagos registration number RE 77 AAA, was discovered on the Eko Bridge inward Apongbon about 11:45pm by LASTMA officials, led by the Zonal head, Mr. Akinpelu Ayuba during their safety checks on the bridge. 

All efforts to find him proved abortive, even though there were speculations that his corpse was found under the same bridge. Some reports even said he had been found by prominent Islamic activist, Prof. Lakin Akintola in Ibadan, Oyo State, a claim the scholar later debunked.

The once upon a time joyful Ramadan turned sour for the family of the eloquent broadcaster and Master of Ceremony. His wife, Alhaja Fatimah, children and sympathizers were in pensive mood when AL-FAHM visited his Lagos home recently. She declined to speak with our reporter.  

There were promises, assurances and optimism from the police and the Lagos State government that Gawat would be found. “I am optimistic that we would find him,” said Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), the former Lagos State governor, urging everybody to remain hopeful that Gawat would be found.

“I know the police are working. They have some useful information that they are sharing with. We are pursuing the leads, though it might take time. We are checking every information. So, anybody who has any information that may lead us to him should let us know. My number is 08034301122”, said the former governor.

Three years after, another Ramadan is here without Gawat. The question on the lips of many is where is Aremu Gawat, Dead or Alive? And the answer lies with Allah. But, then, it is our prayer that the government of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State Governor would re-open the case and order the security agencies to begin/or continue fresh investigation and unravel the circumstances that led to his disappearance. 

It is our believe that those who planned harm for him did it because of his activities. Hence, this should serve as a lesson to every journalist, Islamic cleric etc. We have to be cautious of what we say, write and where we say it. Some prominent Nigerians, including Islamic scholars have met the same fate, not to talk of many cases unrecorded. 

May Allah continue to protect us from all evil and free all the innocent people, including our brother, Aremu Gawat, from their abductors. ameen

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