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Ex-OAU students’ leader confirms ritual killings in Ile-Ife

By News Express on 07/08/2015

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A former student union leader at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Osun State, Olu Ojedokun yesterday gave graphic details of ritual killings associated with an Oba’s rites of passage in the ancient town.

Ojedokun was responding to Segun Adeniyi’s column on The Ooni of Ife and Tradition, which was featured yesterday by News Express.

Addressing Mr. Adeniyi, Ojedokun wrote:

“I have just realised that we were at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife at around the same time, I was christened Panaf there and was a Student Union Activist. I note from your article that you were unaware of any human rituals when you were at Ife. As Welfare Officer of the Students Union in 1986, I had the unfortunate duty of identifying and retrieving the corpse of one of our students who had been murdered, his head almost severed. I cover the story in my book ‘I found my voice’, but I will share excerpts here for information.

“However, the incident that shook me the most was when one of our students was killed in the Ile-Ife Township, his head was almost severed from machete cuts.  I received a call to go to the Teaching Hospital to identify some remains, which, the hospital authorities thought might be our student. 

“Sunday, the Union driver drove me over to the hospital and as soon as I entered the cold and freezing morgue, the transience of life hit me in the face, seeing the row of corpses I gasped at the inexorable lowliness of mortality, which is usually obscured by the vibrancy of life.  “Instantly, I recognised the student, he was one of us I had dealings with him in the past!  Immediately I felt shivers running down my spine. It was a beheading gone wrong; the head clung on to the body but it was almost severed off. This brought memories flooding back of ’Bukola Arogundade who was beheaded a decade earlier. I suspected ritualists were at work and we were determined to seek justice.

“When the news filtered out to the students they urged us to invade the town, but taking lessons from history, we knew it would be unwise. We met with the University authorities who counseled restraint.

“We summoned a ‘Supreme Congress’ gathering of all students and gave emotional speeches, however, the students wanted action and only that would assuage them.

“Greaaaaaaaaaaat Ife, Greeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! In the nameeeeeee of every student martyr, in the nameeeeee of ’Bukola Arogundade, in the nameeeeee of Akintunde Ojo, in the name of Wemimo Akinbolu… I counsel your attention….”

“These were my emotive-laden words to a very charged audience of students in the Obafemi Awolowo Hall Cafeteria. In the end, our tactic of making speeches upon speeches had worked this time and calm was restored. Then as a cabinet, we took the decision to travel to Ibadan to visit the then Oyo State Military Governor, His Excellency, Colonel Adetunji Olurin and present him with a list of demands.

“After a few days, we were invited to the Government Secretariat in Ibadan. The governor dressed in his green military uniform received us listened to our demands and then responded. He counselled restraint and promised his government would take action.

“It was my responsibility as the welfare officer to liaise with the family in respect to the burial arrangements. I had the sad and painful task of accompanying the brother to the mortuary to identify the student’s remains.

“We made arrangements to transport the remains in our union Volkswagen Kombi bus to Ibadan, but when the coffin arrived, it was too small. We had asked the family whether they wanted us to arrange the coffin, but the family insisted they had the arrangements in hand.

“The wooden coffin they managed to purchase was unfortunately not the right size. Through the journey to Ibadan, the student’s remains kept on popping out of the coffin because its lid would not shut. However, despite that mishap we were able to give him a befitting burial. This time we had managed to contain a potentially explosive situation but that would not last long.”

Photo shows Oba Sijuwade.

Source News Express

Posted 07/08/2015 05:24:51 AM





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