OAU Calls for Government Action Against Land Encroachment by Ife Community

Adewole Kehinde
3 Min Read
OAU Calls for Government Action Against Land Encroachment by Ife Community

The crisis between Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and the Ife Community over alleged illegal land encroachment on university land has taken a new turn.

The university management has accused the Ife Community of erecting houses without following due process, which poses a security threat to both students and the institution’s communities.

Furthermore, according to our source the land encroachment has prevented the university from accessing three large hostels built by the government for the university.

The encroachment of OAU land, according to sources, started around 2013 when some alleged Ife community leaders sold the land to individuals.

According to the University’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Abiodun Olarewaju, the university has occupied a land area of 11,961 hectares since 1961. Recently, however, some individuals have felt that the ceded land is too much for the school and have begun to encroach on it.

Olarewaju said the encroachment has stopped the school from accessing some of the properties and facilities of the university. Some sources told this medium that hoodlums with dangerous weapons have been parading the encroaching part of the school. “Recently, they brought bulldozers on the land to make roads. We cannot approach them because they come with dangerous weapons such as guns,” one source said.

This has led to tension in the school community with the fear that the situation could escalate into violence if not handled properly.

READ ALSO: Enugu State to Enforce Land Use Charges on 800,000 Properties Starting June 1

Speaking with Nigerian Tribune, the spokesperson to Ooni of Ife, Moses Olafare, said, “I don’t know the land you’re talking about. The one I can remember was 2 years ago when there was an issue of such and no one dragged another on that, but this one you’re telling me, I will find out and get back to you.”

The Federal Government has been called upon to intervene in the matter and set up a high-powered committee to investigate the dispute and find a lasting solution.

READ ALSO: FG Announces Land Reforms to Simplify Access to Certificates of Occupancy

Kazeem Olalekan Israel, an alumnus of OAU, also called on the Minister of Education to show political will by enforcing sanity at OAU. According to him, “In doing this, he must not only warn land-grabbers against their activities on OAU land but also issue sanctions against everyone involved in the act.

“A visiting panel must be immediately set up to look into the level of the encroachment, and the 3-block students’ hostel, which has not been put to use since 2018 as a consequence of the threat of fire and brimstone by some unscrupulous Ife elements, must be immediately put to use in solving the accommodation problem that bedevils the University.”

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