George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Francis Eze, has threatened to pull down all illegal structures erected on the university campus by developers who bought lands from illegal agents and speculators.
Prof. Eze disclosed this, on Tuesday, as he conducted journalists round the institution’s boundaries with its host communities of Eziobodo, Iheagwa, Obinze and Avu, from where the university land was being encroached upon by land grabbers, warning that, “all those patronising land speculators and buying FUTO land and building on the land will lose their money as the buildings will be demolished.
“Some of the indigenes of our host communities are making money by appropriating our land and selling same for pecuniary interest and if we want to develop new hostels, we cannot do so because some of them have built houses quite close to our hostels.
“How can somebody come here to develop a water factory? We cannot allow this and we are appealing to the media to help us to tell the world of this. Some will even go to forge papers to confuse the people to buy our land.
“The university duly acquired the land in compliance with laid down procedures, including the full payment of all settlements to the host communities. But the recent encroachment on the university land is so overwhelming that you can call it an invasion”.
He, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to come to the rescue of the institution by helping to stop the invasion of the institution’s land.
The vice chancellor also disclosed that the management of the university has started to erect perimeter fencing as a first step to stop the encroachment.
His words: “We have started the perimeter fencing of the university at a huge cost just to protect the land. Last time some group of persons brought heavy equipment and brought down our gate house, it is that bad, but we will no longer allow that. All those buying and building on FUTO land are doing so at their own risk.”