Poisoning Dam Act of Genocide, Says OAU

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Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Osun State, has declared that the alleged poisoning of the university dam by suspected hoodlums was an act of genocide against the university community.

On April 3, some aggrieved indigenes of Ile-Ife, who claimed ownership of some portions of the university land had invaded the university and allegedly poisoned the institution dam with dangerous chemical.

Also, it was alleged that the indigenes, who had been selling some portion of the university land were stopped by the management of institution for trespassing before the dam was allegedly poisoned with chemicals

The spokesperson of the university, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju, who conducted journalists round the disputed areas and the dam within the school premises yesterday, said the poisoning of the dam was genocidal.

Olanrewaju noted that the chemical used in poisoning the dam, which was the only source of water to the university has killed all the aquatic animals in it.

He however confirmed that the dam had been treated and now safe for drinking.

According to him, “The act is barbaric and wicked. How can some group of people poison the only source of water where over 36,000 people in communities drink from? The act is genocidal and wicked.

“They came through the Parakin area of the town to poison the dam, but God was so good to us that immediately the dam was poisoned, rain fell for two days which helped wash all the poisonous chemical away.

“We have treated the water and laboratory test had been carried out on it, and now very safe for drinking.”

On the disputed land, Olanrewaju said the whole land belongs to the federal government, adding that the university is not ready to concede to anybody.

Olanrewaju confirmed that the land which is about 162 hectares was given to the university in the 1960s by the then Ooni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi.

He said the land grabbers had started selling some portions of land to the people while construction workers working on the proposed OAU International Secondary School on the land were chased away with dangerous weapons by the hoodlums.

He said three blocks of hostels built for students on the said land were abandoned due to series of physical and spiritual attack by the hoodlums.

The school spokesman further said: “The vice-chancellor of OAU has instructed our security men not to retaliate, but it is not possible for anyone to invade a federal government land for personal gain because the land is gazette.

“We have informed the police and other security agencies, and we believe they will act accordingly.

“We have also informed the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and the Ife Development Board.”

He, however concluded that anyone ready to use the land for the public and not for personal gain should seeks the university approval as such action would be looked into.