Barring any last minute changes, a company, Osun Ceramic Industry has threatened to demolish all the structures on the large expanse of land which is the location of Adeleke University in Ede, Osun. According to the Tribune newspapers, the company has contracted Messrs. J.Solat Nigeria Limited to clear all the structures on the university campus. According to a letter written to the state commissioner of police, the company claimed the 120 acres of the university land belongs to them, a declaration the University has claimed is untrue.
Speaking through its Vice Chancellor, Professor Samson Ekundayo Alao, the university stated that the land belonged to them and was lawfully given to them by the late Timi of Ede to support the smooth take-off of the university. At the moment, both parties have written to the state commissioner of police but it’s necessary this issue is handled better than the sham we witnessed last week in Ibadan at the demolition of the Ayefele Music House.
Adeleke University as an educational institution has improved the economic status of Osun through job creation and other value-added services. The University established by an indigene of the state, Dr. Deji Adeleke is a testament to the business-friendly environment in Osun. It will therefore be counterproductive for the school to suffer any physical damage. It is important the police prevents any effort to cause harmful damage to the university as that will send a bad signal to would-be investors in the state.
It is important to state that the timing of this issue is suspicious. We are close to an election year and this sudden interest not just in the land but also the decision to demolish the land where the company in question has not produced any binding documents proving it does indeed own the land and has also not offered an alternative to being compensated for the land rubs off wrongly.
This ongoing conundrum reeks of interference, as the decision of Osun ceramic industry to contract a company for the demolition without a court pronouncement backing their threats is highly confrontational to the university. The Osun state government is advised to wade into this matter as soon as possible and save Adeleke University from total destruction.