Thursday, May 23, 2024

[#WinterIsComing] – The true-life story of the winter that never arrived at OAU.

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This event holds special memories for the OAU veterans. It was one of the most significant occurrences at OAU in 2019. While the old cats reminisce about this story, the new cats can only try to imagine how it looked like .

In 2019, Obafemi Awolowo University experienced a terrifying incident that left the returning students shaken. It all began on May 3rd when the zanku corner , Zlatan Ibile organized a music tour at the university’s Amphitheatre. However, what should have been an enjoyable event turned sour for the university community. Suspected cultists from Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu (OUI), were displeased with Zlatan’s alleged disrespect towards their cult group. They accused him of being a member of the ‘OJU’ cult and criticized him for not paying a visit to their base in Ile-Ife. This infuriated the cultists, prompting them to disrupt the show. Their distinctive yellow outfits raised suspicions among the attendees.

The situation quickly spiraled into a chaotic clash between the cultists and OAU students. Eventually, the students managed to overpower and apprehend seven cult members, who were subsequently detained in the university’s security facility. A few days later, the school received a chilling message from the cult, filled with alarming threats. The cultists vowed to spill blood on the university grounds, drawing parallels to the tragic incident that occurred on July 10, 1999, which claimed the lives of the ‘OAU Five,’ particularly George Iwilade, known as Áfríkà.

Excerpt from the letter:
“Never forget how you take helpless for 1999. Ta àwọn ọmọ okùn dúdú bá ayé yín jé. For every of our people that you take, we go take 7. Blood for blood”

oau winter is coming letter

The term “winter” gained significance during this time, drawing inspiration from the popular TV series Game of Thrones. Although everyone expected a winter-like catastrophe, it never occurred. This incident left a lasting impact on the OAU community, reminding them of the threats they faced and the measures taken to ensure their safety.

 

A wave of fear swept over the students, causing many to make plans to return home to their families. The university authorities took the threat seriously and increased security measures. They only allowed students with identification cards to enter the campus, and security officials were seen in different areas. Because of this, students left the campus for almost five days, from May 30th to June 3rd, although some stayed behind. Even the fellowship gatherings were affected. As June approached, some students started getting ready to travel because they were afraid of being attacked by cultists. Despite this, the almight Yellow house , MTH 101 & 105 still held a test as planned,

During that time, people came up with funny phrases like “GOT: the long night is coming to Ife! Winter is coming,” which became popular. It was a time filled with tension and uncertainty that left a lasting impact on the university.

 

However, it was disappointing for some that the long awaited attack never came. At least, the authorities made highly commendable provisions for the security and safety of students only on campus.

About a year after the incident, InsideOAU media reporters decided to gather thoughts and opinions from students on the incident and a few came out as most striking:

Banjo, a student of Linguistics and African Languages expressed his thoughts while talking to InsideOAU and said:

When Zlatan Ibile held a show on campus, we did not go. Na gist we hear.Then Mr. And Mrs. color yellow sent letters saying June 1, they will clear everyone. Campus was empty for good three days, Saturday June 1,Sunday June 2 and, Monday June 3. Naso I no watch Champions league finals”

Another student who didn’t deny the fact she was scared also relayed her experience

“June 1st 2019 was a day a lot of students of Obafemi Awolowo University looked forward to. Asides students, even staffs and residents of the environs of the varsity.
I was not excluded as the tension in the air found its way into my heart a few days before June 1st.
I remember vividly that I had called my parents and relayed the situation on ground because as a part 1 student, I was scared for my life and was not ready to be a victim of cultist attacks, and not that I’m still not scared. Looking back at the event now, I want to believe the fear creeped in finally when a stop and search mode was adopted by the security unit and an identity card was necessary to pass through the huge gates of the university.Truth be told, on the 2nd day of June, though I had locked myself up in safety the previous day, I was a little bit disappointed that nothing happened because apparently, the threat messages were all a lie. A huge prank played on the management, students and guardians of the school even though it wasn’t April 1st.”A lot of people didn’t hesitate to lament at the kind of fear they experienced due to the threats.

Jolade told her story and amidst stifled laughs, we saw reasons for tension. She said:

“My experience:
It wasn’t a fun moment being directly threatened from a secret organization to my university which basically affected me.

I had a test to prepare for, MTH105.
I wanted to ditch the test to travel back home since it carried just twenty marks but twenty marks in OAU is like an extra live in a game.

I wasn’t quite sure of what the day might be like after hearing numerous stories of the massacre in 1991 i think.

Waking up that morning, i dressed fit putting on jeans and a shirt to allow easy running and jumping fences and the likes if it came to the worst.

The funny thing was the Friday before June 1st, i was skeptical yellow house would fix a test date on that day but they did relying on the presence of security agents in the university.

I did my test in fear with ears alert and hair standing. To cut the long story short, we were delayed by the invigilators for exam malpractice, i wanted to cry, having to stay in the hall for an extra hour.

Immediately i was cleared, i hurried home not glancing backwards.

Never have I felt so insecure.” Obafemi Awolowo University would have taken off already the pride of ‘No more Cultism’ if the threats were loaded. We were both relieved and disappointed as Winter themed by Game of Thrones fans never occured.

We expected winter, but Winter didn’t come, I hope you understand when anyone talks about  now.

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