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.
OOA Foundation Partners Petrolex Investment, Empowers 245 Persons in Ibefun
It was a delightful Saturday morning on December 7, 2019 at the Ibefun International College in Ogun State when Petrolex Impact Investment Network (PIIN), in collaboration with the Oladiran Olusegun Adebutu Foundation (OOAF), in characteristic manner brought succour, hope, joy and a reason to live, to the over 300 children with special needs under its care, women, entrepreneurs, farmers, youths in the community in its empowerment drive.
After the opening prayer by nine-year-old Daniel Victor, the event was swung open by compere Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi who ensured the atmosphere stayed charged throughout the duration of the program.
Delivering the keynote address, wife of the speaker of the National House of Assembly, Salamatu Gbajiagbamila, commended the efforts of the OOAF in its generous approach to transform society, especially children with special needs, and also commended the entrepreneurial initiative of the foundation to reduce poverty, saying it was a wake-up call for meaningful citizens to “pool resources to tackle poverty in Nigeria.”
Delivering her speech, wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun thanked the chairman of the OOAF for the laudable initiative behind the foundation, saying that the task of developing the community required joint efforts without which it would be difficult to move forward and assured that the development of the 300 children with special needs by the foundation as well as the empowerment of farmers, women, entrepreneurs etc will surely have positive ripple effects.
Speaking further, she averred that the Ogun State government was also not relenting in revamping communities in the state and reiterated the resolve of the government to end poverty by the year 2030.
An empowerment agent herself, Mrs. Abiodun said, “I have committed myself to this cause and appeal to all in considering greater investment in people”, and called for all to join forces in tandem with the slogan of the OOAF to “leave no child behind”.
CEO of the foundation, Kemi Sokenu espousing the vision of the foundation, said “it takes a generous unselfish investment to impact lives” and appreciated Petrolex in effecting real change not just in the country but also in the continent. She also thanked the Kabiyesi of Ibefun who according to her had been a strong guiding force, and took time to enumerate some of the achievements of the foundation.
One of the laudable achievements of the foundation has been in its partnership with ‘Hospitals for Humanity’ through which 11 children so far have been given open heart surgeries in Nigeria.
Speaking on the feat, Dr Segun Ajayi who flew in from Atlanta Georgia for the program enumerated the ideals of ‘Hospitals for Humanity’-a non-profit medical caregiver working in association with organizations like the OOAF to bring relief and succor to lives the world over.
A mother of one of the children who had benefited from a heart surgery, Mrs. Latifa in a rather emotional rendition expressed gratitude to the OOAF, disclosing that, “when all hope was lost and I didn’t know what to do or where to turn, OOAF came to the rescue”.
On the empowerment drive, there were 245 beneficiaries of the Petrolex Impact Investment (PIIN) initiative in partnership with OOAF, as motorcycles, deep freezers, generators, water pumping machines, hair dryers, barbing equipment sets, farming equipments and other items were handed over by the wife of the governor on behalf of OOAF.
She also unveiled the Caroline Oladunni Adebutu Serenity Center, an orphanage that will be doled out in phases, after which she visited the OVC daycamp with her entourage.
Partners of OOAF in the community were also recognized and awarded certificates by the chairman of OOAF, Olusegun Adebutu.
Other activities of the day included free medical services given to members of the community.
Dignitaries at the event included former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, who was represented, the LG Educational Secretary, Rev. John Patrick Ngoyi, the Kabiyesi of Ibefun, HRH Oba Gideon Adetoye among others.
With Poverty Alleviation at the forefront of its intervention, OOA Foundation’s goal is to give a voice, hope, and hardship relief to vulnerable members of host communities through programmes that rapidly scale up and impact positively in the short, medium and long term in order to eradicate poverty, educate children and build prosperous communities.
Since 2014, OOA Foundation has been involved in philanthropic initiatives ranging from educational support, health support, nutritional support, psychosocial support, recreational support, shelter and provision of clean water. It has a mandate to give the vulnerable members of its host communities a voice, hope and relief.
With a vision to reduce poverty among vulnerable children and women in its communities, the founder is passionately living it out, with his principle, according to him being, “In life, you need to embrace your humanity, you can’t go through life thinking it’s all about you. There are people that have the right to be happy, and you have the ability to help them through that journey”.
The Foundation has implemented programs that support OVC across 6 Local Government Areas (Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Odogbolu, Imeko Afon, Ikenne and Yewa) in Ogun State, Nigeria through its Care and Support Intervention Program. The project site includes, Ilaro, OwodeYewa, Oke-Ilewo, Iperu, Ikenne, Ibefun, Kuto, Lafenwa, Olomore, Imeko, and Odogbolu.
To date, the program has reached over 300 OVC with improved access to Education, primary health care, nutrition, recreation, psychosocial support and clean water & sanitation, trained numerous service providers and caregivers by equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed in providing appropriate integrated care for the OVCs across the 6 LGA in Ogun State.
The activities of the Oladunni Olusegun Adebutu Foundation are spread throughout the country.
Presidency Insists FG Must Control Social Media Space
The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, has said the social media can’t be left to operate without control.
A State House statement on Monday said Shehu spoke at the Kawararafa Media Award in Abuja on Sunday night.
He said, “The entire Kasuwan Magani saga that resulted in the death of more than 50 people was because someone posted misleading information on WhatsApp that went viral.
“All countries in the world are trying to make laws to check the excesses. Many countries are trying to control the situation. The Europeans have placed a new law that holds the companies responsible.
“In United Kingdom, the parliament has received a report on social media. There is youth addiction to it, just like cigarettes. Without any form of control, it has done harm to women, ethnic minorities, individuals, institutions and countries,’’ the statement by the Deputy Director, Information, Mr Atta Essa, quoted Shehu as saying.
He said that to demonstrate that the government was not against free speech, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, had repeatedly called for a meeting of stakeholders to agree on modalities for regulating the social media.
“The Federal Government is saying that stakeholders should come together and agree on regulation. We know that no matter how bad the situation is, it favours someone.
“Some have argued that our Constitution already has laws on libel, but the laws of the 60s never anticipated social media.
“No government has the right to muzzle freedom of speech. We don’t support the taking of lives as punishment. People insult others and share false information on social media. I hope that hate speech will be tackled so that Nigeria will be a sane place to live in,’’ he added.
He said the global trend required that a journalist should undergo training and licensing before reporting, adding that in the case of the social media, “with a phone, a tablet or laptop, anyone can reach millions, sometimes for good and other times with ulterior motives.’’
Arewa Youth Forum Accuses Lagos Govt of Indiscriminate Arrest of Northerners
The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum has accused the Lagos State Government of humiliating and carrying out indiscriminate arrest of northerners in Lagos.
The group claimed that officials of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences were harassing commercial motorcyclists who were mainly northerners.
The AYCF in a statement on Monday by its President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said the task force had been invading homes of northerners and taking away their motorcycles, warning that this might spark reprisals against southerners in the North.
The group said, “We reliably gathered that using Gestapo style, the Lagos Task Force officials have been invading homes of northerners in Lagos in ungodly hours of the night and carting away motorcycles while forcefully abducting the occupants and hauling them into detention.
“We dare say we have not seen this kind of impunity against northerners in recent years. It is even strange that this is coming from the South-West, a zone that expects the North to hand over the Presidency to it in 2023.”
Shettima asked the Lagos State Government and the task force to explain the legal and constitutional basis for their action, noting that many northerners in Oshodi were harassed and arrested.
He added, “We are deeply disturbed by this rather uncivilised conduct in the 21st century, happening in a supposedly cosmopolitan city like Lagos.”