Did Bayode Lawal deliberately commit suicide?

What were his thoughts before he took the fatal plunge? In what appeared to be a suicide, Ahmad Bayode Lawal, 31, an Industrial Chemistry graduate of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), jumped into a deep canal last Saturday in Festac Town, Lagos.

The late Bayode’s mother was with him moments before he took that action.

What could lead a young man to commit suicide? This is a riddle to sympathisers, who have been thronging his family house in Festac Town. While some of his friends attributed his death to depression, others said he had been showing signs of mental instability.

However, a series of disturbing posts in the social media by the late Bayode reinforced the notion that he may have deliberately committed suicide. The late Bayode shared some Twitter posts on his strained relationship with his family members and how everyone around him thought he was mentally unstable.

In February, the late Bayode on his Twitter handle: @MadLawal, wrote about his plan to end a “painful dream”. He tweeted: “The way out should never be suicide, but I am making an exception. For mine is a peculiar case. Is it really worth the wait?”

“No more lies. The end … painful dream.”

A few days before he plunged into the canal, the late Bayode, again, tweeted: “I am God. Faced everyone in my entire world alone even my family was against me. Kept saying I was mad, but here I am.”

On Monday, the late Bayode’s Twitter account became inaccessible. It was probably deleted by family members.

One of his friends from university, Charles Onyei, said the late Bayode may have committed suicide because of depression, dismissing the claim of mental instability. Charles said he complained about family issues and his joblessness when they met at a wedding in February.

He said: “I have known Bayode since our undergraduate days at UNILORIN and he never appeared to be someone with signs of mental illness. The only thing he used to complain about was the family problem he had. The last time I saw him was at a friend’s wedding in February. He still complained about the same matter and his inability to get a job after the National Youth Service. He may have been depressed as a result of his personal challenges, but I can tell you he never had mental issue.”

Described as a calm and unassuming person, who usually kept to himself, the late Bayode was said to be the first of her mother’s three boys. He was described as a sportsman, who liked playing basketball.

His bunkmate back in school, Habeeb Whyte, expressed shock upon learning of his death. Whyte, an Abeokuta-based human rights lawyer, described the late Bayode as “jovial and cool-headed”, despite facing family challenges.

Whyte wrote on the late Bayode’s social media page: “I am at pain and feeling heartbroken, learning about your death in the Lagos lagoon. This is sad news and it is more painful that I learnt about it in the social media.”

Reliving their moments together on the campus, Whyte wrote: “Bayode, you were my first ever bunkmate back in the University of Ilorin. I remember our hostel number was D 32. You were the first friend I had as an undergraduate. I remember how we used to joke about our height.You were far taller.

“I remember our 100-Level days and it was all fun with you around. I recollect vividly that you gave me new underwear after you complained you didn’t like the one I had on me. You tore it and gave me a new one.

“I would never forget the good memories I had with you. You always wanted me to let you know whenever I needed anything as bunkmate. Bayode, I never forgot how you shared everything, including food, with me.

“I saw you last with Charles Onyei at the front of K-Dorms Hostel just before we departed from school. You were with other friends. We talked. I never knew we would not have the opportunity to see again.”

Whyte said the late Bayode was a brilliant poet, who wrote poems and short stories.

Another schoolmate, Tobiloba Ijitona, in a tribute, wondered what could have led the late Bayode to jump into the lagoon.

She wrote: “Bayode, I still find it hard to believe you are gone. This is hard for me to accept. I don’t know what made you take the decision of plunging into the lagoon. You were one of the coolest guys in Whyte House on Capua and I remember how we used to laugh at you whenever you say ‘kellet’. You successfully went through the stress of UNILORIN, but why didn’t you hold on and pull through?

“I really wish you didn’t do it, but it’s done already. Bayode, may God forgive you and rest your soul. I really wish RIP could mean ‘Return If Possible.”


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