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OAU VC, others escape death as hoodlums attack over land dispute

By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
21 December 2021   |   4:06 am
The Vice Chancellor (VC) of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, some other principal officers of the university, and journalists yesterday escaped death as some armed hoodlums attacked them...

Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede

The Vice Chancellor (VC) of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, some other principal officers of the university, and journalists yesterday escaped death as some armed hoodlums attacked them over land dispute between the university and the host community.

It was gathered that some land grabbers, who are indigenes of the ancient town, have been hell-bent on taking some parts of the land belonging to the university for personal use. Some of the land speculators had built houses on the land and have ignored warnings by the university’s management to exit the gazetted land.

The Ile-Ife community, according to findings, had mounted an inscription: “Oduduwa Estate” on a part of the university land situated along Parakin-Ife Road in the town, where the university also built hostels for its students.

The host community, according to Ogunbodede, refused to allow the management have access or use the hostels it built on the land.

Yesterday, another attempt by the university’s management team, led by the VC to access the land was met with resistance by some hoodlums who were armed with guns, cutlasses, clubs and other dangerous weapons.

Ogunbodede and some top management members of staff, who took journalists to the site, were attacked and made to turn back at the entrance of the affected land situated at Parakin-Ife Road in the town.

Though no life was lost in the melee, but the hoodlums shot sporadically into the air, brandished cutlasses and other dangerous weapons, harassed members of the university community and chased them away.

The VC, who spoke on the attack, disclosed that the university had been in a very serious situation with the host community as far as the land is concerned, adding that the land grabbers have refused to allow students use the hostels that were built by the university.

Asked if the town’s traditional ruler, Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, was aware of the crisis over the land, Ogunbodede said: “Ooni is very much aware of this and he has given us his words that he is doing his best to ensure that sanity takes place. We are not attaching this issue to an individual but to the community.”

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