By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
Authorities of Fountain University, Osogbo are currently at war with some indigenes of Osogbo who host the university over some pieces of land allegedly belonging to the institution.
In fact, the warring parties have employed the services of notorious thugs within and outside the state and have been at each other’s throat thus creating tension and panic in the university community.
Some workers of the Muslim Faith based university owned by NASFAT recently escaped being injured by some hoodlums who had been allegedly hired from Ibadan by some residents of Koba-Ope community in Oke-Osun area of Osogbo in order to prevent the institution from fencing the land in dispute.
It was gathered that the fierce-looking hired thugs were armed with machetes, dane guns, clubs, broken bottles and other dangerous weapons and had consumed alcoholic drinks before storming the land to confront whosoever was found on the land.
The thugs also reportedly chased away those working on one project or the other on the land with cutlasses and clubs.
Apparently not threatened by the actions of the thugs, the university management also hired some thugs in Osogbo who later stormed the scene and engaged the thugs belonging to the indigenes.
The thugs had reportedly shot at each other before the university thugs succeded in overpowering their counterparts who fled the scene.
Meanwhile, investigations by our correspondent revealed that the irate indigenes of Osogbo are yet to be compensated with a sum of N15m allegedly promised them by the state government who took over the land from them and gave it out to the university.
The indegenes who had dragged the university to court over the land tussle however said to have claimed that, interest should have been yielded on the N15m which ought to have been given to them in the past few years and vowed to reject N15m from the government until it jerks up the money for them.
Informed sources told our correspondent that some of the indigenes have been selling parts of the land to individuals who are apparently not in the know of the tussle.
When our correspondent visited the land on Monday, some residential buildings and an ongoing construction of a fueling station were sighted. Also, some thugs believed to be working for the university were on ground to prevent encroachment on the land.
To further register their greviances on the land tussle, irate members of the institution’s host community stormed the state’s House of Assembly and the streets of Osogbo recently in protest over alleged invasion of the community by thugs allegedly operating under the instruction of the management of Fountain University.
The protesters further alleged that the hired thugs block residents of the community from getting access to their homes.
Speaking, the Chairman of the community, Imam Ayatullah Abudulkabir Adepoju appealed to the state Governor Rauf Aregbesola to as a matter of urgency look into the alleged terrorist attack before it is too late.
The community leader alleged that the rented thugs are armed with cutlasses, guns and charms molesting and harassing landlords and residents on land belong to the respective community members through inheritance.
To avert further clash, the management of the institution also appealed to Governor Aregbesola to urgently intervene in the crisis.
The newly-inaugurated Chairman of the university’s Governing Council, Prof. Isiaq Oloyede made this known during a courtesy visit to the governor at the State Government House, Oke-Fia in Osogbo.
According to Oloyede, it was pertinent for the state government to interfere in the encroachment issue to avoid crisis between the institution and the people making claims to the land.
Oloyede, who was inaugurated by the Board of Trustee of the institution shortly after the meeting with the governor said about 28 residential houses have been built on the university land.
The Pro-chancellor who claimed that the institution has Certificate Of Occupancy of the land in dispute in its possession, revealed that, the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba jimoh Olanipekun had earlier intervened on the matter but proved abortive.
Reacting, Governor Aregbesola assured the university that necessary and legal measures would be put in place to address the problem of encroachment in the university community.
Aregbesola urged the university authorities to be peaceful in handling subsequent cases of encroachment maintaining that the issue would be looked into.