The principal officers of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife(OAU) and newsmen were attacked by armed locals over land dispute on Monday.
A convoy of these people was blocked while going on inspection of an hostel accommodation built by the university at Parakin Area, Ile-Ife.
The attackers, who carried axes, charms, machetes, and guns had blocked Ife/Ede road, thereby cutting off the convoy’s path to their destination.
The locals reportedly fired gunshots and weapons were used to hit the vehicles. The vehicles were later forced to return to the university’s campus where the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, addressed newsmen.
Ogunbodede said the hostel accommodation had been completed but could not be occupied by students due to security concerns.
According to him, a section of Ife Community had occupied the land belonging to OAU and put a signpost ‘Oduduwa Estate.’
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He insisted that the management of the university would not allow anyone to illegally occupy the gazetted land of the university without approval from the Federal Government, but stressed that the option of dialogue would be embraced, rather than going to court to seek redress.
He said, “We have been to the area where the disputed land is. It is part of the gazetted land of the university, and you can see the kind of action that was put up in the area. We have a hostel there which has been completed over two and half years, but we have not been able to occupy the place.
“I don’t want to lose any of our students. We are short of accommodation for our students but it’s not worth the lives of our students. You can see that it is only God that saved us today. You can see the shooting and all sorts of things but we thank God that we all survived it.
“We have reached out to the Federal Government and they have given us a marching order. They are not interested in ceding an inch of the university land to anybody. Ooni is aware and he has given us his words that he’s trying to ensure that sanity prevails.”