Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU have lamented the death of a former president of the union, Prof. Iyayi who died yesterday in an auto crash on Lokoja Road, Kogi State, on his way to Kano to attend ASUU’s national congress billed for Wednesday (today).
Lamenting Iyayi’s death, Dr. Olunifesi Suraj, Assistant Secretary of ASUU, Lagos State University, LASU chapter, blamed the activist’s death on the Federal government’s insensitivity to quickly implement core areas of the agreement it reached with ASUU in 2009, which has made members of the union to be on the roads, back and forth, in the course of finding a lasting solution to the inherent problems of the nation’s education sector.
He however admonished ASUU to review its no-flight policy, as according to him, it’s highly dangerous for members to be restricted from taking flights during national assignments of this nature, considering the poor state of roads across the country.
Iyayi’s body had since been deposited at the Lokoja General Hospital Mortuary.
Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Ilo, the National Welfare Officer of ASUU was badly injured as a result of the auto-crash.
Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada’s convoy was said to have rammed into the ASUU vehicle conveying Professor Iyayi and others to Kano State for the NEC meeting at about 11.00am yesterday (Tuesday), but the governor showed up only after 4.00pm, several hours after the news was broken to him.
Speaking on his Iyayi’s death, National Coordinator, Education Rights Campaign, Mr. Hassan Soweto said: “This is a sad and terrible loss to the movement. He was a very bold voice in the fight for proper funding education. We mourn Prof. Iyayi, and urge education lovers all over the country to do the same. However, when a fighter dies, the fight continues. ASUU might decide to mourn him for a few days before continuing the struggle, but that decision is entirely up to the union. However, I must add that this is a needless death; one that could have been avoided if our elected officials and their convoys are more careful about other road users”.