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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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Food for Living: The Power of Persistence

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

The difference between success and failure is persistence – Dr. Yomi Garnett

There’s no doubt that there are many components of success. Some of them are courage, sacrifice, hard work, element of luck, role of mentors, destiny helpers, consistency, persistence, networking and grace of God.

But persistence happens to be one critical factor that determines whether one will go far in life or otherwise. All however, are dependent on ability to exhaust all options.

The power of persistence in everyday activity cannot be overemphasized. In reality, it’s usually difficult for one to pursue a task when the odds are against the person,  and that’s where persistence becomes pronounced.

Persisting comes in various ways. As a student, it takes persistence for a student to continue reading a particular course or material even if the they find it difficult to comprehend. As a business owner, it takes persistence to continue trading when a loss is recorded. And as a husband or wife, it takes a combination of patience and persistence for to forge ahead in spite of challenges.

What really is persistence? It is ordinarily the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even when the odds are against him. Persistence shows how dedicated and passionate a person can be in the cause of pursuing a project.

Being persistent is a crucial factor in achieving success both in personal living, career, academics and in every walk of life. Being persistent is a key to unlocking the doors of opportunity and progress as well as helps to maintain focus on what really matters.

In the journey of life, it is persistence that shows the distinguishing trait between great leaders and achievers. If we look through every industry and culture across the globe, there’s one consistent trend among successful individuals, and that trend is the ability to persevere. Some of the greatest leaders of the world, who have achieved greatness through persistence include Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Colonel Sanders, Mark Victor Hansen and Steve Jobs. These persons persisted beyond the norm, and reached their goal.

A case study of Abraham Lincoln is very symbolic because he lost several elections, had challenges in marriage, failed in business, but he persisted and became the Presidential of the United States of America.

It’s instructive to note that persistence is about believing in oneself and finding a way to reach the result when the odds are against you. A further analysis of Abraham Lincoln shows that he failed in business at the age of 21, was defeated in a legislative race at age 22, failed again at business at age 24, overcame the death of his lover at age 26, had a nervous breakdown at age 27, lost a congressional race at 34 and 36, lost a senatorial race at 45, failed to become vice president at 47, lost a senatorial race at 49, and then finally was elected president of the United States of America at age 52.

There’s also the famous story of Thomas Edison trying 9,999 times to perfect the light bulb – and he couldn’t do it. Someone asked him, “Are you going to have 10,000 failures?” And he responded, “I didn’t fail; I just discovered another way not to invent the electric light bulb.”

Time and time again, individuals are stopped along their journey because of a certain failure. Note that just because you failed once doesn’t mean you or your project are defined by the failures. It simply means, as Thomas Edison believed, you found one more way it can’t work. It also implies that you are one step closer to achieving the result.

The major step in overcoming the adversity that comes with persistence is clarifying your why. By identifying the purpose behind your goal, your “why” will push you through challenging times.

It is your persistence that can show passerby how passionate you are about a cause.

Let me share a personal story with you; as an author and prolific creative writer, I have always loved the idea of having a large audience reading my weekly contents. I decided to take the bull by the horns by visiting one of the biggest media houses in Nigeria (Sun Newspaper) to seek an opportunity to showcase my work. After engaging with one of the managerial editors, he advised me to send my weekly articles to him for review. The moral of this story is the importance of being persistent. No one embarks on a journey just to waste time and money on projects one is not passionate about.

Being persistent in life can help you to stand out among your peers, it will help you to secure promotions or job opportunities. It will also help you to grow personally and professionally.

To receive the blessings of persistence, one must set specific and measurable goals; one must have a positive mindset and outlook towards life; one must have a good support system in times of adversaries; one must learn from setbacks, challenges and experiences of life; one must be proactive by being flexible if initial plans don’t work as planned, and finally but not the least, one must endeavor to celebrate small wins.

Below are some reasons persistence is important.

Overcoming Obstacles: Persistence allows you to push through difficulties and obstacles, and also navigate round roadblocks.

Learning from Failures: Persistence helps you learn from your mistakes. When you encounter failures, you don’t see them as permanent defeats. Instead, you view them as experience and opportunities for growth and improvement. Persistence will make one gain valuable insights and refine one’s strategies.

Developing Resilience: Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Persistent individuals build resilience because they don’t let setbacks crush their spirit.

Inspiring Others: Do you know your persistence can motivate other people? When people see your relentless pursuit of a goal, they may feel inspired to overcome their own challenges.  Your example becomes a beacon of hope and determination to others.

Overcome Fear and Self -doubt

One of the biggest challenges one will face when developing persistence is overcoming fear and doubt. Fear can take different forms, such as the fear of poverty, fear of flying, fear of failure, etc.

For persistence to work, it requires dedication, determination, and a willingness to keeping going even when things don’t go as planned. With the right attitude, anyone can learn how to use persistence as a way of leading with failure and overcoming obstacles in their life.

Being persistent is necessary for any progressive being who wants to achieve success in life or their career because it will help the person to stay motivated, overcome obstacles, gain experience, and ultimately reach their goals and vision in life.

In leadership, persistence is determined by adversity, commitment to vision, resilience against criticism, in spirituality, persistence is determined when one’s faith and uncertainty is tested, or exercising patience when waiting for divine timing, as an entrepreneur, persistence is determined by one’s ability to be resilient during setbacks.

In conclusion, it is important to state that persistence is a critical trait for anyone who wants to achieve their goals and turn challenges into opportunities, staying motivated, and having a good support system to overcome any challenges because it requires dedication and commitment.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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APC Declares Monday Okpebholo Winner of Edo Guber Primary Election

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared Monday Okpebholo, the Senator representing Edo Central in the National Assembly, as the winner of its rerun governorship primary election for the September 21 gubernatorial poll in Edo State.

The APC, on Thursday, held a fresh direct primary election across the 192 wards in the 18 local government areas of Edo State, after it declared last Saturday’s shadow election inconclusive.

Nine aspirants contested the election after three aspirants, including Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former Deputy Governor, Lucky Imasuen, and a former Permanent Secretary, Earnest Afolabi Umakhihe, withdrew from the race.

Earlier, the APC had mandated a seven-man Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee chaired by Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, to supervise the direct primary election.

The party, however, replaced Uzodimma with Cross River State Governor, Bassey Otu.

Declaring the results of the shadow election on Friday at the collation centre, Lushville Hotel and Suites, Gapiona Avenue, Government Reservation Area (GRA), Benin City, Otu said Okpekholo polled 12,433 votes to defeat his closest rival, the lawmaker representing Ovia constituency in the House of Representatives, Dennis Idahosa, who scored 6,541 votes.

Born on August 29, 1970, in Udomi-Uwesan, Irrua, Edo Central, Okpebholo, whose name also coincides with his Okpebholo ancestry, was popularly nicknamed Akpakomisa from childhood because of his survival of the tough times occasioned by the numerous water borne disease at the time.

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Economic Hardship: Sanwo-Olu Slashes Fares by 25%, Approves 3-Day

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Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a 25 per cent slash in transport fares for government-owned transport schemes.

Sanwo-Olu, who made this announcement during a live media chat tagged: ‘Sanwo Speaks,’ on Thursday, said that civil servants from levels 1–14 will begin to work three days a week as part of measures to ease the economic challenges.

He explained that the forum was meant to intimate residents of measures adopted to reduce the economic burden on Lagosians.

The governor noted that workers in the teaching sector will, however, maintain the five-day-a-week work schedule, while the government will ensure additional transportation support for them.

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