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It's been a good year. I know you're the right thing for this force, Rick. I know you're the right thing for this plan. No more A's and B's. No more Omahas. You know, I'm gonna be perfectly honest. I still don't know how it's all gonna work out, so... I'll tell you one more secret. When you get to that point swear on the sword. Don't let it take. You'll know. Trust me. You'll know.
―Donald's last words to Rick Grimes before being killed.[src]

Donald Okafor is a former antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. He is an officer of the Civic Republic Military.

Overview

Okafor is revered by many people to be the ideal CRM soldier; strong, loyal, and courageous. Unlike many other high ranking CRM officials who are firm believers in what the CRM does, Okafor is disgusted by the CRM's brutal methods and wants to see it change for the better. Rather than take it over by force, Okafor instead wants to reform it by getting certain people into higher positions of power who he feels could make it better. He is able to recognize the potential in others, choosing to ask Rick and Thorne to help him change things, even though they've repeatedly tried to escape and tried to kill him, respectively.

As a soldier, Okafor is often forced to make hard choices for the greater good. While he is usually level-headed, Okafor loses his temper on Rick when he accuses him of not knowing what loss truly is and reveals that he was involved in the bombings of Atlanta and Los Angeles, something that still traumatizes Okafor. However, not wanting to destroy another city, he refused to bomb Philadelphia and instead wiped out 4,000 Marines, including his own wife, in order to save thousands of other people. Despite losing his temper, Okafor quickly recollects himself and calms down, showing sympathy and understanding for Rick's struggles. Despite his death, Okafor's mission to make the CRM better continues on with Rick and Michonne, Thorne having lost the desire to participate after receiving the Echelon Briefing. Rick often mentions Okafor and his actions with respect while talking about the man to Michonne.

Pre-Apocalypse

Location Unknown

Before the outbreak, Okafor was a pilot and a Major of the U.S. Air Force who was married to a Marine named Estelle.

Post-Apocalypse

Operation Cobalt

At the start of the Trials, Okafor took part in Operation Cobalt, napalming Atlanta and Los Angeles. Estelle would then go into the cities to "liquidate" anyone who survived the bombings.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Okafor was ordered to bomb Philadelphia next as a part of Operation Cobalt, but neither he nor Estelle wanted to take part in the destruction of another city and the massacre of innocent people. At Estelle's insistence, Okafor defected to the Pennsylvania National Guard's side and bombed Lincoln Financial Field where the Marines were massing to move in once the bombing of the city was over. Okafor's attack killed 4,000 Marines and Estelle, but it allowed the National Guard to save Philadelphia from destruction by both the military and the undead.

Subsequently, Philidelphia became the Civic Republic of Philadelphia, and Okafor eventually became a lieutenant colonel of the Civic Republic Military which had been created out of the Pennsylvania National Guard. Okafor wasn't immediatly trusted by Major General Beale who gave Okafor a copy of Martial Arts: The Book of Family Traditions by Yagyu Munenori. At some point, he rescued Pearl Thorne, who was at the brink of death, and brought her back to the Civic Republic. Okafor also took an interest in Rick Grimes, keeping him out of trouble after Rick's escape attempts as Okafor recognized Rick and Pearl's potential to help him change the CRM for the better from the inside.

Season 1

"Years"

At the outskirts of the Civic Republic, a truck leads a large herd into a ruined area where the consignees, armed with Kill Sticks and overseen by CRM soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Donald Okafor, wait on the other side of a wall to take them out, banging their kill sticks to draw the walkers to openings. The consignees eliminate the walkers as they approach, but Rick struggles due to his missing hand and falls. As a walker reaches through the wall for him, Okafor grabs Rick's kill stick and puts it down. Okafor explains that he came down here because he spoke to Major General Beale about Rick who is lucky to have friends in high places like Okafor. Okafor lobbied the head of what is likely the most powerful military on the planet on Rick's behalf, meaning that he is possibly the best friend that Rick has ever had. Rick asks about a scar on Okafor's forehead, and he admits that someone like Rick happened, someone who may be better for his program. Okafor knows that Rick thinks that staying out here gives him a better chance at getting away, but Okafor states that it doesn't, it just gives him another chance to die which Okafor doesn't want to see happen. However, Rick tells Okafor that he doesn't have to do this anymore and returns to work and Okafor walks away, disappointed. Rick resumes putting down walkers, growing more and more angry and letting it out on the herd. Finally, an exhausted Rick sits down, and Okafor reminds him that he keeps on telling Rick that for people like them, there's no escape for the living. Okafor left a uniform in Rick's apartment, and he urges Rick to accept things for what they are. Rick's last escape attempt cost him his hand, and his next escape attempt will cost Rick his life. Okafor wants Rick to do something with his life.

Dressed in the uniform that Okafor had left for him, Rick visits Okafor at his home to sign up for the CRM, promising that "it's the end... and the start" and Okafor welcomes him to the CRM. Rick is outfitted with a large metal prosthetic taking on the form of a closed fist with a deployable blade and Rick trains in hand-to-hand combat with the other soldiers, including Thorne who had also joined up, learns how to fly a helicopter from a flight simulator, joins the ranks in saluting Major General Beale, and later flies a helicopter himself under Okafor's watch.

Okafor leads Rick and Thorne down a tunnel in a stadium to a collapsed area near the end so that they can talk in private. Rick takes out an approaching walker with his new blade and Okafor collects dog tags from the man who had been a soldier in life. Okafor tells Rick and Thorne that they've been training for a year and they're both soldiers now, before asking if they really think that all of this was about the two of them just becoming soldiers. This was all about them becoming leaders: Okafor intends to help Rick and Thorne become part of Force Command within the CRM. A surprised Rick reminds Okafor that he had tried to escape four times and cut off his own hand while Thorne reveals that she had tried to kill him, much to Rick's surprise.

Handing them each some books, Okafor reveals that he wants Rick and Thorne to help him change things from the inside, explaining that he thinks that the two of them possess something that the CRM needs to become what it needs to be. Thorne questions why the CRM needs to change since the city lives and runs itself while the CRM runs the world outside and everything is working when nothing else is. Rick points out that people can't leave, and they're not free. Okafor states that no one is free in this world, but they're alive. Rick and Thorne are still alive, and they're not supposed to be. "The CRM designates people they find as A's and B's. A's have a strength. A's will die for what they believe in. People follow A's. The people we cross in the world, the few we bring in, they're classified as B's. Everyday people who are just trying to survive. B's get in. A's are sent away and killed, except you two." Okafor is the reason that Rick and Thorne were spared, and he adds that "the CRM needs to change. The CRM needs strong leaders to change them. Being the monster to... fight the monsters -- that can't last. And this is why I need the two of you. All the other secrets, you'll receive when you move up the ranks, and you'll receive the Echelon Briefing. That's when you get all the info, the whys, the things 90 percent of our force doesn't know about, and 100 percent of our city doesn't."

Rick asks if the CRM even wants them to be leaders and questions if they even know about this meeting where Okafor is telling Rick and Thorne about A's and B's and secret briefings. Okafor admits that he's acting on his own because Okafor believes that A's who become soldiers and leaders are the only thing that could possibly change the CRM. Rick questions why if he's an A and can think for himself, Okafor believes that he will even go along with this. Okafor states that he believes that if either one of them had the chance to save the world, they would, and they'd have to. Okafor has Rick and Thorne open one of the books and they start discussing the Cold War.

In a flashback to their meeting, Okafor warns Rick and Thorne that the CRM's latest modeling shows a tipping point and there's a reckoning coming soon. They might be asking why they can't just turn away, but sometimes one person, sometimes two, have the power and the responsibility to change everything. They'll see it, face it and Okafor knows that they'll make the right choice when that defining moment comes. Time passes and Rick goes over maps of an abandoned chemical plant, plays poker with Thorne and puts down another zombified soldier, collecting its body.

In Okafor's apartment, Rick confronts him at blade point, demanding to know what Okafor knows about him. Okafor quotes Rick's message in a bottle that he had thrown into the water during escape number three. Okafor went to Rat Island after Rick was recaptured and found the note as well as looking through the phones, recognizing that the woman on them is who Rick is trying to get back to, but the child is Rick's daughter. Rick demands to know who else knows, but Okafor simply tells him that Michonne is an unusual name and if the CRM starts a search for her around where they picked him up, they'll likely find her. Okafor suggests that killing him will help Rick's chances and maybe he shouldn't have told Thorne that he knows things about Rick, but Thorne tells him things. The CRM would've sent Okafor to find Rick, clean up his mess and finally erase Rick. Because Rick is his charge, Okafor is the one who would have to kill him and Michonne and anyone else that Rick ran to out there just because he knows about the Civic Republic.

Recalling passing the blood covered Okafor and watching the heavily armed helicopter take off, Rick insists that he doesn't care why Okafor is covered in blood, why the bombs go out and don't come back because this isn't his city, and these aren't his people. However, Okafor argues that Rick does care because everyone alive are his people. Rick furiously yells that this isn't everything and Okafor doesn't get to choose for the world or for him. Okafor states that he didn't make the choice, Rick did, but Rick states that his wife, his daughter and his life is his choice. Rick didn't go through everything that he has and did what he did to let anyone else choose anything for him. Okafor reiterates that Rick made the choice, but Rick accuses that Okafor only lives for those people in that city because you he has nothing else but his duty, percentages and yields, A's and B's.

Losing his temper, Okafor overpowers Rick and furiously tells him that he lost everything. "I bombed Atlanta, and I bombed Los Angeles, and I was en route to do the same to Philadelphia! Estelle -- a Marine named Estelle -- that was my wife, and she didn't wanna have to go in to "liquidate" all the people I didn't manage to liquidate. We didn't wanna see, Rick, another city die for nothing! And I had power, and I had a choice. And I killed my wife... and 4,000 other people. And we saved hundreds of thousands, maybe the whole world with her choice. I tried with you, Rick. I tried."

Apologizing, Rick slashes Okafor's arm and they engage in another brief fight before Okafor grabs a gun. Rick begs Okafor to either let him go or kill him, but Okafor refuses and puts his gun away. Okafor tells Rick that his loved ones are still with him, but Rick fights here now, he fights for them, and Rick already made the choice. Pouring them both a drink, Okafor tells Rick that he's moving Rick and Thorne to Logistics, and they are going to help convert a college in the Cascades into a forward operating base over the next 12 months making it battle-ready for the Frontliners. All top CRM commanders will convene a summit there in one year to open the base. Rick and Thorne will be project leads on the conversion team and this is them getting in and starting on the path to the higher echelons of power. While Rick doesn't want power, he already has it.

In the present, Rick flies Okafor and four of his men up the coast and a concerned Okafor asks if Rick's alright as he's been unusually silent lately. Rick admits that he's been thinking about a night when he was 7 years old when Rick went to get some water because he was thirsty, and he couldn't sleep. Rick saw through the kitchen window that the family's crops were burning outside, scaring Rick so badly that he couldn't move. Rick's father then showed up to get him out, half of his body burnt and looking like a monster. Rick's father told him that he didn't need to be scared, that it was just the burning, that the flames were protecting the plants for the next harvest and while it may look like the end of the world, it was really just the beginning. Rick's father was so certain and steady that it made him calm, and Rick believed him. Rick's father survived and he was okay, and it was okay. The Grimes family got a new barn and a new house and the harvest the next year was the best it ever was. Years later, after Rick's father died, his mother revealed to him that it wasn't lightning that started the fire, but Rick's father. The was gonna fail and what Rick's father did saved it and them. The truth just rocked Rick because Rick had thought that his father was the most honest man he knew. "My mother said what he did wasn't right. She said that the scars and the pain, it just reminded him... that he saved us."

Rick agrees to join Okafor's cause and Okafor tells Rick that he knows that Rick is the right thing for this force and this plan. If they succeed, there will be no more A's and B's and no more Omahas. Okafor admits that he still doesn't know how it's all going to work out so he's going to tell Rick one more secret: "when you get to that point... swear on the sword. Don't let it take. You'll know. Trust me, you'll know." Suddenly, a projectile shoots through the helicopter's window and into Okafor's chest. As Rick orders Protocol Three, the projectile detonates, blowing Okafor up. The helicopter is hit by several more explosions and crashes as Rick frantically calls in the situation and their location.

"Gone"

Spotting the helicopter carrying Okafor, Rick and the Frontliners flying nearby, Nat and Michonne attack it with screamsticks in revenge for the Massacre of Nat's Group by the CRM. The two mistakenly believe that the first screamstick - the one that killed Okafor - was just a dud.

"Bye"

A closed casket funeral is held for Okafor which is presided over by Major General Beale himself who commemorates Okafor and his sacrifice to protect the Civic Republic of Philadelphia. Subsequently, Beale tells Rick and Thorne that they had both meant a lot to Okafor who saw a lot of potential in them. While Beale had warned Okafor that they weren't going to be worth the trouble, Okafor had made it a mission to prove the general wrong and Beale's perspective is still changing. Beale keeps thinking of "pharmakon", an ancient Greek word meaning both poison and the cure. Beale thinks of it whenever Rick's name comes up because Beale isn't sure about him. Beale gives Rick a copy of Martial Arts: The Book of Family Traditions by Yagyu Munenori, a book that Beale had given to Okafor too when the general wasn't sure about Okafor either. However, Beale points out that with Okafor, the sky was the limit.

Subsequently, Thorne receives a promotion to Command Sergeant Major, joins the Frontliners and receives the Echelon Briefing which appears to make her more determined than ever to finish what Okafor started, although Thorne has doubts about her abilities as she is not Okafor. While preparing to defend the Cascadia Forward Operating Base from a herd, Thorne tells Rick that after having the Echelon Briefing and learning everything, Thorne doesn't agree with Okafor on everything, but he led from the ground up which Thorne wants to do too.

"The Last Time"

In a flashback, Okafor explains in a voiceover that Rick and Thorne both possess something that he believes the CRM needs to become what it needs to be.

After giving Rick the Echelon Briefing, Beale instructs him to swear on his sword. Rick flashes back to Okafor telling him to "swear on the sword. Don't let it take". Instead, Rick attacks and kills Beale with the sword who curses Okafor with his last words. Before dying herself, Thorne acknowledges that Okafor was right in the end, but they just have to hope that Beale was wrong too.

Death

Killed By

While flying in a CRM helicopter, Okafor was struck in the chest by a screamstick fired by Nat after he and Michonne decided to attack in revenge for the CRM killing their friends. When it detonated, Okafor was blown up, only leaving the lower half of his body behind.

Killed Victims

This list shows the victims Donald has killed:

Relationships

Allies

Enemies

Quotes

The following is a list of some of Okafor's most memorable quotes.

Season 1

"The CRM designates people they find as A's and B's. A's have a strength. A's will die for what they believe in. People follow A's. The people we cross in the world, the few we bring in, they're classified as B's. Everyday people who are just trying to survive. B's get in. A's are sent away and killed, except you two."
- Okafor explaining A's and B's to Rick and Thorne, "Years"


"I lost everything! I bombed Atlanta and I bombed Los Angeles, and I was en route to do the same to Philadelphia! Estelle... a Marine named Estelle, that was my wife, and she didn't want to go in to "liquidate" all the people I didn't manage to liquidate. We didn't want to see, Rick, another city die for nothing! And I had power and I had a choice. And I killed my wife. And 4,000 other people. And we saved hundreds of thousands, maybe the whole world with her choice."
- Okafor to Rick about how he lost everything, "Years"


"It's been a good year. I know you're the right thing for this force, Rick. I know you're the right thing for this plan. No more A's and B's. No more Omahas. You know, I'm gonna be perfectly honest. I still don't know how it's all gonna work out, so... I'll tell you one more secret. When you get to that point swear on the sword. Don't let it take. You'll know. Trust me. You'll know."
- Donald's last words to Rick before being killed, "Years"

Appearances

The Ones Who Live

Season 1

Trivia

  • Okafor is the "he" that the CRM pilot mentioned in "Rest in Peace", the person who had told Rick that there's no escape for the living.
  • Okafor has the highest direct kill count in the entire Walking Dead universe, having killed at least 4,000 Marines and numerous residents of Atlanta and Los Angeles.
  • Although unconfirmed, Okafor may have had a role in the Genocide of Omaha and the Genocide of the Campus Colony. His comment to Rick shortly before his death that there will be "no more Omaha's" when they change things suggest that he at least knew the truth about what happened.
  • Okafor is the first named character to die on-screen in The Ones Who Live.
  • The dossier Jadis wrote about Rick and Michonne refers Okafor's death as having occurred during Mission 3263827.
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