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Land-Grabbers Poisoned OAU Dam, Vice-Chancellor Tells Police

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The management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-ife, has accused some individuals of ‘criminally poisoning’ the institution’s dam.

The dam provides water to the OAU community of over 30,000 students and staff.

The management said as a result, the campus is endangered by the activity of those it described as land-grabbers. It claimed they forcefully gained access to the dam by overpowering the security official on duty, O.A Omotosho.

The university, which named one of the attackers as Idowu Ogunwusi (alias Dagunduro), claimed the group freely used dangerous weapons including guns, cutlasses and axes during the attack.

The university made the allegation in a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police in Osun State and signed by its Vice-Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, a professor.

The petition, which was obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, was also copied to the state director of security service and the area commander of Moore Area Command in Ile-ife.

The incident, the university claims, occurred at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3. It said those involved described themselves as members of a non-existent Great Ife Development Board.

The petition, which was entitled; “Complaint of Criminal Pollution of Opa Dam, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,” noted that the assailants gained access to the dam through a portion of the university land adjoining Parakin Area.

The petition reads in part; “I wish to formally make a complaint of criminal pollution of Opa Dam in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife by some murderous members of the Ife Community.

“On 3rd April 2019 at about 1500hours, a report of invasion and pollution of the University Dam by a group of people who claimed to be members of Great Ife Development Board was received by the Security Unit of the University. The group of people who were fully armed with guns, axes, cutlasses, e.t.c, invaded the lower level of O.A.U dam and polluted the water with chemicals which led to the death of several fishes and other aquatic animals. The report also indicated that these criminally minded individuals gained access into the dam through a portion of University land at Parakin area, Ile-Ife, where there had been several reports of land encroachment by some Ife indigenes.

“The suspected culprits threatened the University Security Operative manning the area, Mr. O. A. Omotosho, with guns and some other dangerous weapons. They however escaped on sighting reinforcement from the University Security Department. Fortunately, one of the ringleaders of the invaders, Mr. Idowu Ogunwusi, alias DAGUNDURO, was identified by the University Security men sent as reinforcement.”

According to the university, the affected dam is the only source of water supply to the entire OAU community with a population of more than 30,000 people.

It added; “The action of these people therefore poses serious danger to the health and lives of staff, students and other members of the university community.

“It is important to also mention that this is the first time in the entire history of the university that this murderous conduct will happen. The people gained unlawful access into the University Dam through a portion of University land adjoining Parakin Area in Ile-Ife. It will interest the Commissioner that the said land, although clearly gazetted as university land and on which the university had exercised ownership for decades without let or hindrance, was forcefully broken into by the same set of people earlier this year. As a law-abiding federal government agency, the university has refrained from engaging the trespassers in their brigandage. These individuals have threatened to kill anyone who dares to challenge their action. It is clear, from all indications, that the criminal poisoning of the university dam is a continuation and actualisation of their threat.

“Considering the far-reaching consequences of the action of these people to the lives of the members of the university community, and the attendant propensity to lead to the breach of the peace of the university, it is necessary to act swiftly to deal with this clear criminal conduct. The Commissioner would recall that students of the University resumed this week for the 2018/2019 academic session. I therefore urge you to use your good offices to apprehend the perpetrators of this dastardly act.”

When PREMIUM TIMES called the Public Relations Officer of the institution to confirm the authenticity of the petition, he confirmed it but queried how it leaked.

He said the matter had been handed over to the police and that appropriate steps had been taken to avert outbreak of water-related diseases on the campus.

Efforts to speak to Moses Olafare, the spokesperson to the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, were unsuccessful as several calls made to his phone were unanswered and both SMS and Whatsapp messages sent to him were yet to be replied as at the time of filing this report.

Similarly, the Police Public Relations Officer in Osun State, Folasade Odoro, said she was on a week-leave when our reporter called her on the matter. She, however, promised to send the contact details of her subordinate who is acting as the police spokesperson. She was yet to do so as at the time of this report.

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Army Chief Commissions Multiple Projects in Janguza Barracks, Commends Troops of 3 Brigade

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, has commissioned multiple projects in Janguza Barracks, Kano.

The newly completed projects, according to a statement signed by the Director Army Public, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, which include 72 units of Corporals and Below Quarters (CBQ), 30 units of Single Officers’ Quarters (SOQ) and 5 blocks of Company Offices and training shades were officially inaugurated today 26 January 2022 during COAS’ maiden working tour of 3 Brigade area of responsibility.

Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, General Yahaya stated that the visit is in tandem with his command philosophy, to enable him interact with troops and obtain first hand information that will enhance his command and administration of the Nigerian Army (NA).

Gen Yahaya disclosed that the dearth of personnel accommodation in the NA is receiving adequate and prompt attention with the construction of befitting accomodations across formations and units of the NA, adding that the welfare of personnel is paramount to his command.

During the working tour, the Commander 3 Brigade, Brigadier General Sinyinah Nicodemus gave the COAS a brief on the Operational engagements and security situation in the Brigade’s <a href=”https://metrotimesng.com” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>area</a> of responsibility.

The COAS in his appraisal, commended troops of the Brigade for discharging their duties with diligence.

The COAS was accompanied during the visit by principal staff officers from Army Headquarters and the General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Kabiru Muhktar.

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NIWA Poised to Change Safety Narratives on Waterways – Moghalu

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The Managing Director, National Inland waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, has said the apex regulatory agency on brown water economy will leave no stone unturned in the quest to ensure accident free water transportation in the country.

He also informed that safety on waterways as a major mandate of NIWA will be pursued with vigour under his watch as a process to engender confidence among water transportation operators and users, and also to attract local and foreign investment.

Speaking after inspecting navigational buoys facilitated by NIWA on Lagos waterways from Marina to Ikorodu, with an ongoing phase two from same Marina, navigating iworo to Badagry,. Dr Moghalu noted that the Lagos template, geared towards activating a national water transportation safety architecture, will further help in emergency rescue operations and provide distressed boats an anchor before help arrives, thus eliminating incidences of crafts drifting on mid waters.

Accompanied by Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah and President, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), Ganiyu Tarzan Balogun, Dr Moghalu assured that NIWA will not fail in its responsibilities to enthrone enduring accident free water transportation signature across littoral states in Nigeria.

Mr Gani Balogun thumped up the niwa initiative, saying that Dr moghalu is a man of his words and should be trusted to make water transportation safe and attractive for all end users.

“At the last stakeholders meeting last year in Lagos, Dr moghalu promised to ensure a navigable Lagos waterways through provision of buoys which would not only serve as an anchor point for distressed boat operators but will help provide access and geographical location to rescue efforts and today, we have seen that promised fulfilled and we say more grease to his elbows,” an excited Mr Balogun stated.

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Lagos Govt Suspends Activities of NURTW

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The Lagos State Government has placed indefinite suspension on activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) at Eyin Eyo, Church Street and Idumota Bridge on Lagos Island.

This was as a result of the mayhem that engulfed the areas last week where union members freely used dangerous weapons to attack themselves and commercial paralysed activities in the areas.

At a stakeholders meeting comprising the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Central Business District (CBD) and Lagos State Market Women Association (Iya Oloja General and Iya Oloja of Lagos Island) at the Bagauda Kaltho Press center to tackle crisis often caused by the activities of the union, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka meted out the ban to prevent further acts of violence at idumota, adding that the Lagos State Parks Monitoring Authority will resume at Eyin Eyo.

Fayinka stated that the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) would station an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) on Idumota Bridge to deter motorists from driving against traffic in compliance with traffic rules and regulations and to enforce the suspension of the NURTW within the axis and simultaneously flush out the Oju Opake boys lurking along Plaza around Church Street axis.

Also suspended are the activities of the transport union at Church Street and John Street, particularly Keke Marwa and Mini Buses (Korope).

The Transport Special Adviser added that the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in collaboration with the State Police Command would ensure safety of lives in the area.

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