Barely two weeks to the commencement of his one year National Youth Service Scheme, a graduate of the Yaba College of Technology, Oluwamuyiwa Oluwagbemileke, aka Spartacus, ended his life.
The 27-year-old graduate of electrical engineering reportedly took a poison on Wednesday after he was blamed for damaging a car in a sachet water factory in Ojodu Berger, Lagos, where he worked.
PUNCH Metro learnt that he had hit the vehicle on another one on the factory premises while trying to help the owner re-park it.
The Osogbo, Osun State indigene, was said to have become desperate to raise N50,000 to repair the damaged car.
In a suicide note he posted on Facebook, a few hours before the incident, he hinted that he was depressed.
He wrote, “When a man’s life is unstable, worried, downcast and destabilised, things he does right before will become wrong no matter the best he puts in. He loses focus and strength; he becomes unhappy and angry at everything even if he tries to wear a smiling face.
“Thoughts of death will come in the scene. He keeps asking the question, ‘why me?’ He becomes helpless and even if he’s among people, he still feels lonely. Life can be truly unfair.
“Advice: Never let your ugly situations weigh you down. When you notice things are not going well, check yourself before it makes you feel worried.”
About an hour before he took the poison, he wrote another note on his Facebook wall at 10.16pm, asking his family to look after his mother.
“Please, help me stand by my mother. She’s the reason why I have lived this far. Thank you. To my loved ones,” it read.
He was buried on Saturday at the Atan Cemetery in Yaba, Lagos.
His nickname, it was learnt, evolved from his determination to become a graduate, which made him to engage in one menial job or another to sponsor himself.
His elder sister, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone on Sunday, confirmed that he was reserved.
The woman, who did not want her name in print, said Oluwagbemileke had called her on the telephone on that day around 11am, saying he was in Osogbo and wanted to discuss an issue with her.
She said, “I was monitoring him on the telephone and asking when he would come.
“I was surprised when he told me that he was on his way back to Lagos. I asked him what he came to do in Osogbo and he said I should not worry. He promised to call me back when he got to Ibadan, Oyo State. When I didn’t see his call, I called him and he said he had boarded a bus en route to Lagos. I asked him what happened. He said he would call me when he got home. I called him several times, but he said he was not at home, not knowing that he was lying. After he didn’t pick my calls again, I went to bed.”
The sister said she called him about 15 times the following day, but he did not pick his calls.
She said she later learnt that he had visited Osogbo to tell their mother about the damaged car, adding that the mother promised to follow him to the factory on Thursday.
She explained that their mother was preparing food for him when he left home, noting that the hard copy of the suicide note was found in his apartment at the factory in Lagos.
The sister said, “I passed out when I was told he poisoned himself. His neighbours said they received a message from him, saying he wanted to poison himself, but they did not take him seriously. His girlfriend said he was gasping when she called him around 11pm. Our mother said he typed the suicide note on his phone in her presence but she did not know the content because she has no formal education.
“I was surprised Muyiwa (Oluwagbemileke) could not wait to be celebrated. He struggled all through, but he never waited to reap the fruits of his labour. He worked as a carrier to survive. Our father died a long time ago. He was going for NYSC on November 21. He was the only graduate in our family.
“When I went to the factory, I was told that a laptop had fallen from his hands and damaged three days before he damaged the car. They must have chided him, which is normal, although his boss denied it. He was collecting over N50,000 monthly at the factory and a gym there.
“While he was living with me, if he spoilt something and I scolded him, he would abscond from home for three days and sleep in schools. At times, I would know he was the one who damaged an item, but I would still ask him. Instead of him to talk, he would just walk away from home. I would beg people to talk to him before he would return home.”
A friend of the deceased, Morountayo Akinyetun, condemned his decision, saying it betrayed his courage and hard work.
“I refuse to believe all that everyone is saying. Haha! You that always advised people to struggle. Ha! After all your up and down; the struggle from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, down to YABATECH. Why Spartacus? What message do you want to pass across to people?
“Your life affected people positively and that was why we gave you the nickname Spartacus. You didn’t care what life gave; you were a strong and courageous man….May God forgive you because what you have done is a great sin,” Akinyetun wrote on Facebook.
Another friend, with the alias Dolly Pee Pee, wrote, “Nigga, people call you Spartacus right from ND days at#the Polytechnic, Ibadan, because you were strong and courageous. What kind of silly thought came over you to commit suicide? I’m disappointed in you. Your decision weakened my day and everybody that knows you. Why didn’t you try and ask other people what they were going through maybe you could still give thanks to God for life? I’m sad and disappointed. You were a fake Spartacus.”
Martins Chika blamed Oluwagbemileke’s friends for not acting promptly after reading his post.
He said, “No one commented on this post until they heard he had died. If he had reasonable friends who know him too well, on seeing this post, they should have got in touch or go meet him to know what’s up. I am sure he would have shared his problems somehow with a close one.
“But these days, we are more busy chasing ghosts on the Internet than being friends to our friends. RIP, brother.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the incident.