Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State yesterday cried out that land grabbers are selling its land.
It urged the police and other security agencies to intervene.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, made this known at a news conference in the university.
He said: “In 1961, when this university was founded by the government of the then Western Region of Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adesoji Aderemi, who was also the Governor of Western Region, with the support of the Ife community, donated the land on which Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is now situated. The university occupies a land area of 11,961 hectares.”
Ogunbodede noted that in recent times, land grabbers have been encroaching on the university land and selling them to individuals, who are now erecting buildings on it.
He said: “Land grabbers are insisting that the land given to the university by the founding fathers was massive and that OAU should be ready to forgo the portion around Parakin axis of Ile-Ife. We have discovered that some people have not only encroached on the land, but have also been selling it to individuals who have started erecting structures on it.
“Following the activities of land grabbers, we published a caveat in three national newspapers informing the public of the land grabbers.
“The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council engaged the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja II and the leadership of Ife community in a dialogue. “However, following the dialogue, on April 3, 2019 the university dam was poisoned. This led to the death of fishes and other aquatic animals. Following this incident, the intervention of the police and other security agents reduced activities on the land for some months, until very recently.
“We warn those who have been misled into buying government land that the Federal Government is not only prepared but ready to secure the university land. All illegal and encroaching structures will have to give way, as the university is not ready to cede an inch of its gazetted land.”
Reacting, Ife community spokesman Mr. Bannwo Ogundipe said: “We have a map of the size of the land given to the then Western Region by the Ife community. We have not encroached on the university land. We have been on this issue since 2013. The land in contention has never belonged to the university.
“The last time we met, they brought a gazette of 1961, which we have. And we were able to prove to them that the land in contention is outside the one given to OAU by the government. In paragraph 7 of the gazette, there is a map which shows the physical boundary. We asked the school for the map, but they could not produce it. What they brought was a 1987 map produced by the university. But we produced a 1961 survey map that backed the gazette. If OAU feels we have encroached on its land, let them go to court.”
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