The aspirant of the position of the Assistant Secretary General ( ASG) of the Great Ife Students’ Union in the last Students’ Union election, Adedapo Taiwo Emmanuel, who is popularly known as Network, has described George Yemi Iwilade, Afrika, as the student who paid the price of the freedom that all students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, now enjoy nowadays.
It should be remembered that on July 10, 1999, some unidentified cultists marauded OAU Campus and killed five students including the then General Secretary of the union, Afrika. Network said this in a release given out by him this morning. I
“Perhaps, all the victories we are enjoying today are battles that had been fought and won in our absentia. Well, maybe the battles we are fighting today are the ones some had failed to fight in our absentia”.
Martyr’ of Students’ Revolution.
George Iwilade Akinyemi, better known as Afrika who championed the July 10 Students’ revolution was a 400 level law student and the Secretary-General of the then Great Ife Students’ union. He was massacred by the Black Axe cult with other 4 great Ife students under the watch of the then vice-chancellor Wale Omole.
An account that led to the massacre is given by Prof. Roger Makanjuola’s book Water must Flow Uphill ( Adventures in University Administration). Makanjuola, following the massacre, became the vice-chancellor of the university.
Taking us back to the history of the mass massacre that took place against students of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria on 10th, July 1999. Which resulted in the deaths of five persons and left eleven others injured, all of whom were students of OAU.
It was perpetrated by an organized death squad of 40 members of the Black Axe Confraternity branch at the university. They invaded the Awolowo Hall of the university at around 4:30 A.M., clad in black trousers and black T-shirts, their faces hidden by masks; they carried and used shotguns and hatchets against students.
It was documented by Prof. Roger makanjuola that after the Students’ Union had received information about the secret cult members that were gathering in a house in the senior staff quarters, George Iwilade, the Secretary-General of the union mobilized students in response to the incident. They found them inside with guns, black clothing, an axe, and regalia of the black Axe cult. The university authority was informed and the members of the secret cult were handed over to the police, but to the greatest surprise, they were granted bail after two weeks, Prof. Makanjuola said.
To date, there is no complaint in the case because the then university vice-chancellor, Wale Omole took no action as regards the massacre of the students, aside from perhaps protecting known campus cultists. For the 8 years that Omole spent in the office, he did not show any seriousness in the fight against campus cultism, rather it was commonplace for cultists apprehended by students to get back to campus unscratched, while students activists were expelled for leading protests against the cult members, and in various demands, it is on record that no cultist was punished by the Omole-led management.
Perhaps, all the victories we are enjoying today are battles that had been fought and won in our absentia. Well, maybe the battles we are fighting today are the ones some had failed to fight in our absentia”. The big question is, are we leaving victories for the coming generations to enjoy or we are creating battles for them to fight? Afrika and 4 others fought and left us with a cultism-free society and the total freedom we are enjoying today on the OAU campus.
Do things, that will have your name written in the good side of history, as a union leader or officer, make sacrifice that will energise and inspire many generations to fight just like Afrika, with this, your death will be a statement, and an immortalizing death.
Though, Afrika is dead today, but his exploits and spirit live on in us, he paid the price of the freedom that we all enjoy on OAU campus today. He is our hero.
“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it”.
Apologies to Frantz Fanon. It behoves us all to know that whatever we do today, will become history tomorrow. Humanity shall reward us all, so, let not betray our generation, as exemplified by Africa and other massacred students of July 1999, though they have died, but they will forever live in our hearts.” He concluded.
©️Adedapo Taiwo Emmanuel- Network