The Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, has cried out that land grabbers within the Ile-Ife community were encroaching and selling the university land.
Ogunbodede said the land was acquired by the university in 1961 when the university was founded by the government of the then Western Region of Nigeria.
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He noted that the then Ooni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi, who was also the Governor of Western Region, with the support of the Ife community, donated the 11,961 hectares of land to OAU.
The VC said the land was clearly gazetted as OAU land and the university had exercised ownership over the land for decades without hindrance.
The VC said “before this time, nobody had ever ventured or encroached into university land until recently when some land grabbers audaciously insisted that the land given to the university by the founding fathers was too much and that OAU should be ready to forgo the portion around Parakin axis of Ile-Ife”.
Ogunbodede said the university explored the cordial relationship between the it and the Ife community, engaged in dialogue with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and the leadership of Ife community but that the land grabbers forcefully broke into the land and poisoned the university dam, causing the death of fishes and other aquatic animals.
He said machinery has been set in motion to secure the land without any fear or compromise.