By Peter Dada
The provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo State, Dr. Akinyemi Fadiyimu, has cried out over alleged incessant attacks and harassment of students and staff of the institution by land grabbers.
Fadiyimu said already there was a pending case in court against the Federal Government-owned institution, noting that if the court ruled against the college, three quarters of the institution’s land would be gone.
The FECA boss, who stated this in Akure, on Wednesday while speaking with journalists, said there were five different litigation filed against the college by some individuals who were claiming to be the owners of the institution’s land.
He stated, “Our greatest threat here is the issue of land grabbing. Land grabbers want to forcefully encroach on our land. We are facing five litigations from people who are trying to lay claim to this college. On several fronts, different persons are laying claim to our land. The issues are so serious.
“If per chance we lose those cases, the land available for this college will be reduced by three quarter. Only one quarter will be left for us to operate.”
The provost added that the students of the college often face security issues due to alleged attacks by the land grabbers. He said this was causing distractions for the institution, stressing the need to educate people that the institution required large mass of land to operate as an institution that deals in agriculture.
“They (land grabbers) come in all the time to attack our staffs and students. It is a lot of security risk for staff and students. The location of the college is attractive to land speculators. They should leave us alone to develop and be able to serve the society,” he lamented.
Aside the land grabbing issue, Fadiyimu also decried the removal of Colleges of Education from Tertiary Education Trust Fund beneficiaries, saying this had caused ‘serious infrastructural deficit for the institution.
He further said, “There are a lot of developmental projects lacking in the institution. There is dearth of infrastructure. The FG has been shortchanging us since 2010. We were removed from benefitting from TETFund. In 2010 all Colleges of Education were exempted but state universities are benefiting from it. State governments are not establishing College of Agriculture because they will not have access to TETFund.
“When we are talking about food security and agricultural development, we have been trying to ensure we achieve technological advancement. We are critical stakeholders in agricultural development in this country”.