OONI DISPUTES DAM-POISON ALLEGATION BY OAU VICE CHANCELLOR

By Gbenga Olarinoye

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OSOGBO—THE palace of the Ooni of Ife, yesterday, described the alleged poisoning of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife dam as absurd.

Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi

The management of OAU had petitioned the Osun State Commissioner of Police, accusing that some members of Ife Development Board, IDB, of poisoning the Opa dam supplying water to the university community.

Spokesman of the Ooni’s palace, Mr. Moses Olafare said the palace received the allegation of dam poisoning by the people of the community with trepidation and bewilderment adding that it is very difficult for any right thinking person to believe such allegation.

This came as the OAU management has assured members of the University community and other stakeholders of the safety of water from the school dam.

Reacting to the alleged poisoning of the dam, Olafare, said: “The allegation is spurious and unfounded. It is an expression of absurdity because how can any reasonable person believe such allegation. Both the OAU and Ife community have been living harmoniously together for the past 50 years and such allegation never occurred.

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“Come to think of it, let us assume it is true. Where is the university situated? Majority of the students and staff of the university are indigenes of the community and you expect  indigenes of the community would want to wipe away their lives.

“We, as a palace, are very furious to read in the newspapers and in the online media that our people poisoned water in the university. It is very absurd.”

Dam safe for drinking — OAU

On its part, the management of OAU has assured members of the University community of the safety of water from the school dam.

This was contained in the Special Release signed by the Institution Registrar,  Mrs. M. I. Omosule in Ile-Ife.

Awosunle said that some suspected land grabbers polluted the dam with chemicals  which led to the death of several fishes and other aquatic animals.

She noted that despite the fact that the university was lucky,   all necessary steps had been taken for the safety of the health public towards the implication of the action.

She stressed that thorough assessment of the situation was immediately undertaken, noting that the pumping of water  resumed after necessary and satisfactory steps had been taken so as to confirm and ensure the safety of the discharge from the waterworks.

The registrar enjoined the university community to continue with their normal activities without any fear of poisoning, molestation or attack. She said the issue had been reported to the police and other law enforcement agencies.

We’re yet to make any arrest — Police

When contacted, yesterday, over the petition, the State Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Abiodun Ige confirmed the receipt of the petition, but said the Command is yet to make any arrest.

She, however, said the police has commenced investigations to unravel circumstances that led to the petition assuring that its findings would be made public.

Meanwhile as at the time of filling this report, members of the Ife Development Board, IBD were meeting over the development.