The Obafemi Awolowo University management has made clarifications over the safety of the water supplied to the community after an allegation of dam poisoning emerged a few days ago.
The university authorities in a petition to the Osun State Commissioner of Police, obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, accused some indigenes of Ile-Ife of poisoning the Opa dam, a major water source for over 30,000 members of the community.
In the petition signed by the Vice-Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, the police area commander for Ife-Moore area, Funsho Adegboye, was also copied.
After a PREMIUM TIMES report on Sunday, news making the rounds amongst students and members of the university community was the unsafe state of the water.
Text messages and social media posts advised people to avoid the water.
On Sunday, the Ooni of Ile-Ife, through his spokesperson, Moses Olafare, described the allegations by the authorities as unfounded and illogical.
“How can Ife poison their own people? Either as students, staffers, shop owners or investors, the residents of OAU include more Ile-Ife indigenes than anywhere else. So how is it possible that members of the same family would choose to ‘bomb’ themselves. That is unimaginable,” the monarch said.
Meanwhile, a top official of the school who pleaded anonymity said the petition was a proactive measure “which is tantamount to raising a false alarm”.
“The boys actually poisoned the river around but not the school dam. The school thought if they had had access to the dam, they would have done worse.
“The university was afraid when reports came that the river around was poisoned and that fishes died sometime ago. The authority wants the government to tame the perpetrators.”
Meanwhile, in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the spokesperson of the university, Abiodun Olanrewaju, declined comments when asked about the accuracy of the information filed in the petition.
He, however, said the water is now safe for consumption and that there is no need for students to panic.
“The university will not jeopardise the welfare of the students particularly when it comes to the issue of water. The management is on top of the situation and as I am speaking to you, the water is now safe,” Mr Olanrewaju said on Sunday afternoon.
Although the state police spokesperson, Folashade Odoro, refused to speak on the issue, the area commander of Moore police station, Funsho Adegboye said the command has commenced investigations.
It would be recalled that in the petition, the management said 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 officer 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.
According to the report, it was 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.
Reacting Sunday evening, Mr Adegboye said: “the commissioner of police is in charge of the situation and police is investigating.”
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