Lamenting, Dr. Olunifesi Suraj, Assistant Secretary of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Lagos State University, LASU chapter, blamed Iyayi’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.
The don, 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.
Adekunle, Chairman ASUU-LASU
“It’s very true that Prof. Iyayi died in an auto-crash on Lokoja Road, KogiState. As I speak, we are at the Lokoja General Hospital Mortuary, where Professor Iyayi’s body has been deposited. Also, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Ilo, the National Welfare Officer of ASUU was badly injured as a result of the auto-crash, and we are still waiting for an ambulance to take her to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, where she can be properly attended to.”
He added that “the Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada’s convoy rammed into the ASUU vehicle conveying Professor Iyayi and others to Kano State for the NEC meeting at about 11.00am today (Tuesday), but the Governor showed up only after 4.00pm, several hours after the news was broken to him. We learnt that he initially didn’t want to come in person, but succumbed after some pressures by his aides.”
The 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.
The Student Union President, University of Benin, Comrade Osasere Osifoh said: “The University Community has been thrown into total mourning. It is a huge shock to us. Before now, we were hoping that the strike would be called off by tomorrow, but that is not our primary concern now at all. We have lost a true gem indeed. I only just got news that the Heads of Department of Business Administration and Foreign Languages have only just regained consciousness.”