The Provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo State, Dr Albert Fadiyimu, has called on the Federal and Ondo State Governments to save the college from looming extinction.
The provost lamented that over 75 per cent of the institution’s land had been encroached on by some land grabbers in the neighbouring communities.
Specifically, he said out of 1,100 acres, about 700 acres had been lost to the encroachers.
He stated this while speaking with journalists on the campus of the institution on Thursday.
According to him, there was a need for the stakeholders to take action against the hoodlums to save the college from going into extinction.
He alleged that the land grabbers recently invaded the campus and almost lynched a student.
He also lamented that the hoodlums had allegedly cut down economic trees used for students’ training worth over N150 million
He said, “They (land grabbers) forcefully gained entrance into the college premises along Agbogbo area of Akure by pulling down a part of the college perimeter fence with the use of bulldozer and in the process destroyed the college teak plantation, preserved gene bank of endangered plant and animal species and other economic trees all to the tune of N150 million.
“The college reported the occurrence to relevant security agencies including the offices of Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 17 and Commissioner of Police, Ondo State Command via petition reference number ODO/GBC/7/12/2023 dated 7th December 2023.
“The public should note that the incessant trespass on the land of FECA which today stands at just 250 acres (about 90 hectares) is posing a serious existential threat to the college; if it is not halted now, it may preclude the entire college or some of the courses presently being offered or proposed to be offered in future from meeting the minimum requirement for accreditation.
“Recently there has been a clamour by some Ondo State (particularly Akure) sons and daughters for the federal government to transform the College into a University of Agriculture. However, this dream will never materialise if the activities of these land grabbers are not checkmated.”
Fadiyimu confirmed that the federal government was aware of the development and had been taking legal steps on the matter.
He, however, appealed to stakeholders, particularly traditional rulers, state government and security agencies, to support the college management in the fight to rescue the institution from the activities of the hoodlums.
Source: Punch Newspaper