Remembering the OAU 5

George ‘Africa’ IWILADE

Saturday, July 10, 1999 the
promising lives of 5 students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife-Ife were cut short in cold blood in the hands of suspected cultists, allegedly unleashed on the Students’ Union leadership by Professor Wale Omole, the then VC…

The OAU 5 were George ‘Africa’ Iwilade, 21, 400-Level law student and the then Secretary-General of the Students Union, Eviano Ekeimu, 400-Level Medicine; Yemi Ajiteru, an extra year student; Babatunde Oke, 100-Level Philosophy, and Godfrey Ekpede.

That the suspected killers of these great souls, who were apprehended are yet to be brought to book till today is a true reflection of the Nigerian state, a land which sheds the blood of its future and boasts about the same to its shame.

That Professor Wale Omole’s alleged roles in the gruesome murder of these great souls is yet to be investigated to a logical conclusion is part of the characteristic complicit of the Nigerian state in aiding and abetting heinous crimes against her ‘citizenry.’

To the Nigerian state, I offer the following words of Walt Whitman:

Those corpses of young men,

Those martyrs that hang from the gibbets, those
hearts pierced by the gray lead,
Cold and motionless as they seem, live elsewhere
with unslaughter’d vitality.

They live in other young men, O kings!
They live in brothers, again ready to defy you!
They were purified by death—they were taught
and exalted.

Not a grave of the murdered for freedom, but
grows seed for freedom, in its turn to bear seed,
Which the winds carry afar and re-sow, and the
rains and the snows nourish.

Not a disembodied spirit can the weapons of
tyrants let loose,
But it stalks invisibly over the earth, whispering,
counseling, cautioning.

Liberty! let others despair of you! I never despair of you.

May the blood of the OAU 5 continue to speak until their killers and collaborators are brought to book in Jesus name.

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