Who is AfriKa?

My nephew and I were recently chatting about the state of things in our tertiary institutions. He is a year one student at OAU (Obafemi Awolowo University), well, in a normal world he would have been in year 2. He had since beginning of his course of study spent 6 solid months at home courtesy of ASUU strike actions. When the last strike ended we all rejoiced but I was quick to warn him that another one is round the corner as that is the way the system has been operating for the best part of 20 years. Anyway this time, OAU is closed because students protested the high increase of tuition. If it wasn’t that, it sure will be something else, this time we don’t know yet how long OAU students will be at home. Well, since the state governorship election is round the corner, the word on the street was that OAU is unlikely to open its gates until the election is over, so give or take another six weeks at home.

I digress, but it’s hard not to talk about university closures when we all know what the implications are on the quality of our graduates.

During the chats with my nephew, one thing led to another and I made an example referencing the case of Afrika – George Iwilade and his mates murder case. I expected Ade, my nephew to join in, I didn’t find it funny when he asks ‘Who’s Afrika’ I thought he was joking but he said he could not remember the incidence. Yes, he was a lot younger when the horrendous murder happened but for some reason I was under the illusion that Afrika and his mates’ murder case should have being imprinted all over OAU buildings and indeed in all of Nigeria higher institutions to serve as constant reminders of why students cults have no place in our schools. More importantly of the facts that youths were the ones being brainwashed and then used as tools to instil fears in the minds of their mates.


It was July 10 1999. I happened to be on campus this night. I had talked to George Iwilade a couple of times before, he was young with that ambitious mind of someone who really was determined to change the world starting from his school. You could see the piercing look in his eyes. I really did not have any business with him but he contacted me as he wanted to have a dialogue on issues that I had no control over.  Just like many change makers in history, sometimes they were grossly misunderstood. What is painful in our country though, is that over the years bad people have perfected their tactics in every aspects of our society that the easiest and fastest way of dealing with someone you disagreed with is to get rid of them, quicker as there is no fair justice system in place.

Like in any management, usually the boss is talked about but not often do we hear about the team that are working underground to make sure the boss’ work get the right recognition. It was Babatunde Oke that I knew quite a bit among the slain students. He was very energetic and positive guy. He was Afrika’s first hand man and very loyal man at that. If it wasn’t for his loyalty to Afrika, he wouldn’t have been killed that day. It was shortly after I saw him that he made his way to join Afrika where Tunde met his untimely death. Tunde Oke would have made an excellent leader as he was patience and worked hard to present Afrika in positive lights, to me at least.  Instead of them reaching their full potentials in life, they were mercilessly butchered, it was horrific to put it mildly. Their offence – Afrika and his team were exposing cultists on campus so the school authority could deal with them appropriately. Should this not be the job of school administrators to fetch out bad students so everyone can be safe and focus on their primary aims of being on campus?

I have never in my life felt so much hopeless and helpless as I could not for the life of me imagined why these students deserved to be butchered just because they raised their voices against cultism on campus. Days later was the biggest crowd I have ever witnessed on campus gathered on Sports Centre field chanting:

Oro nla le da, eh eh oro nla le da (great loss you’ve bestow on us)

eyin te pomo wa te je o dagba (those who killed our children, devoid of growing old)

oro nla le da (great loss you have caused)

Afrika and his mates murder were not the first case of unresolved murders in Nigeria and certainly hasn’t been the last, actually, it has since gotten worse. No one has been brought to justice for their murders. Sweeping all murder cases under the carpet and pretend as if nothing has happened is the most painful part of remembering this incidence fifteen years on.

I really hope OAU students will do more to remember Afrika and others and if there is one request to ask for their government is to make sure these guys’ murderers were made to pay for what they did.

26 thoughts on “Who is AfriKa?

  1. Thank you for this piece…It is a shame that our legal institutions is compromised.Our legal practitioners are Janus-faced and the justice system is an Augean-stables…It’s twenty one years and these marauding beasts that killed these hapless students have not gotten their comeuppance.It is a shame that these criminals roam freely with us in the society.


  2. I was forced to leave OAU when this incident happened ,i know Eviano,his room was next to mine in my first year,i talked to Legacy in America,still has some activism in him,may the soul of the brothers lost in peace

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That was scary and eye opening day.

      Good for you for getting out of there, I am sure many would do exactly the same if they could.
      I watched something on the subject by Legacy on YouTube…

      Thanks for reading and comments.


  3. Nice write up. Could you please tell me some of the things the SUG representatives did wrong on their on part? I heard most students didn’t like their way of leadership too. Also why did the PRO then accused Legacy of conspiracy theory? Please help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Over the years I have realised that it’s no use blaming students/ SUG. The school administration is the one to be held responsible – they were hired on the basis they can handle students, both easy and difficult ones. If students become unruly, it is the admin’s job to deal with those selected students in order to protect the majority who are there to learn.


  4. Am a graduate of OAU but I never thought this issue of afrika was such a tragedy not until I watched the film “omo university” and this made me to dig deeper.I cried for this generation!…I wail for our country!! Only God can purge this generation…RIP George Akinyemi Iwilade aka afrika and other victims…….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I don’t think Nigeria has ever had tragedy of that magnitude on students’ hostel ever. I am surprised myself that nothing major has been done for the memory of those guys. Oh well, we ordinary people will keep telling the story as we remember…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hmm, i was 8 when this happened, i just remembered today and decided to check if the assailants were punished and cane across your blog, it’s really sad to see how it turned out. I cried when i saw the story on ‘wiki’ It’s really sad that Prof Omola is walking free without a scratch, i wish i had some super power but what can i do?…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by. It was indeed a terrible day for OAU and Nigeria. Well, I am not so sure if Prof Omole has anything to do with the murder, but you are right that he should have been made to give accounts on the students under his care.
      Sad reality of our nation is that this could happen to anyone and the case will be just as forgotten as this one too.


  6. 16 years after, we remember you today as always Afrika. You did not die in vain as your death brought about the necessary awareness on the menace of cultism in our higher institutions. Your death and that of the other ‘Ife four’ has led to a drastic reduction in cult incidences in our ivory towers. Continue for Rest in Perfect Peace Afrika and may your killers, dead or alive, never know peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hmmm,i’ve neva heard any news of such in my life not until i watched Omo university by Lala and i decided to dig deep into the story. Sure d story was not well told cos d so called devilish vice chancellor Wale Omole wasn’t included. What a sad occurence,R.I.P Afrika! We love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Owolabi for the comment.

      As you know, we all see this issue differently however the main point is the loss of lives of students in their dorm where they were supposed to be protected.

      As for the chancellor at the time, he failed as a leader and left the university after the incident – case closed. Did Omole shot those guys? All the suspects were adults, why were they released?

      Why is the case closed despite this horrible incident? Well, the students are from normal everyday family and no one really cared about the welfare of ordinary citizens with ideals

      Well, as you probably are aware, by now students murder on campus has become the ‘thing’ and tens of students have been killed on our campus across the country since Afrika and his mates all in the name of cultism.


  8. never knew a terrible thing like dis ever happened, it was a film I saw recently that caused me digging deep into this to know how true it is.I am not n wasn’t a student of the great ife, just couldn’t stop imagining what the lives of those fallen heroes would have been.the late George Iwilade,Eviano n odas, it’s so sad n pray the family would have found solace in Christ. may the souls of those fallen heroes find rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I never heard this story before. Such a tragic loss for something that should not even have been their concern, had the University stepped up to its mandate of providing a holistic education for students, and that includes the provision of a safe and conducive learning environment devoid of cultist intimidation.

    Nigeria’s issues no be today o. Thanks for this information. I wish OAU would create something that would keep this story in circulation for many years to come.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you.

      This incidence shook the whole of Nigeria in 1999. Who am I kidding? Only shook the victims family and friends…after a few outcry by the students, the school closed given them 3 months to vent by the time the school re-opens, students did not forget but too terrified of being sent home again – I …. Nigeria and everyone causing grief for the innocent lives!

      We have issues in every facets of the society, no be small.

      I totally agree with you, if Iwilade’s and his mates were given fair attention as citizens, and their names imprinted in all of our tertiary institutions with the murderers names (not hard to get the guys that were responsible, they were mostly local guys), cultism in our schools would have been a thing of the past. Today, it is a ‘thing’ in all of our schools.

      Liked by 1 person

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