OAU raises alarm over community’s plan to claim 162 hectares of land, dam

The management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has said the attempt to claim 162 hectares of land belonging to the institution will not succeed.

The university said the action of those that poisoned the university dam is suicidal and their attempts to claim a ‘gazetted land can not work.

While conducting Journalists round the dam and the land allegedly being claiming by Ife community, the Public Relations Officer of OAU, Abiodun Olanrewaju, said the suicidal attempt would not be successful.

He explained that the community have been claiming that the expanse of land allocated to the university by their forefathers is too much, hence the reason for their encroachment on the land.

The university image maker described the action as ‘uncivilised and primitive’, noting that the matter has been reported to the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

According to the PRO, the perpetrators of the crime stormed the dam with gun and dangerous weapons that overpowered the school securities.

One of the tractors being used to clear the land was met on the site. It was gathered that the tractor could not be moved away because it developed fault.

The signpost allegedly erected on the ongoing project of the university by the community read: “Stop Work. Order, Ife Community.”

Olanrewaju said the bricklayers working on the proposed hostel for OAU International School were chased away with gun and cutlasses by the hoodlums.

He wondered how a community will wake up and lay claim to a ‘gazetted land’, saying the university Vice Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, has warned the security not to engage them in any fight.

The PRO also said that the VC has directed that the new hostel where the hoodlums put sacrifices should be abandoned for now, saying he could not afford to lose any student.

He explained that the three hostels where the community have been putting sacrifices to victimise students were to house 360 students.

He said, “They chased security away with gun and cutlasses. Some people who think they are influential are behind the action.

It was also gathered that Ife community have been selling some portions of the land as Olanrewaju confirmed that the community have collected money from some individuals.

A surveyor who said the land that the community wanted to reclaim worth 162 hectares of land, stated that the portion they are clearing started from Road 7 to Moremi High School.
The PRO explained that the dam was relied upon by over 36,000 students in the university, hinting that the security agents have been duly informed.

He, however, assured that the water has been tested and now save after laboratory test has been conducted.

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