While Nigerians were eagerly looking forward to a lasting resolution of the stand-off between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff of Universities, ASUU which has kept universities in the country shut for 4 months, the strike claimed an important victim as the union on Tuesday lost one of its prominent members in an automobile accident.
Former President of the union, Professor Festus Iyayi died in a crash which occurred on the Lokoja-Abuja road. Street Journal gathered that he was on his way to a meeting organized by ASUU to call for an end to the strike.
Findings have revealed that the accident that killed the famed novelist also involved a car in the convoy of Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State. Professor Iyayi reportedly died on the spot. The Kogi State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Olakunle Motajo disclosed that the accident involved a Toyota Hilux in Governor Wada’s convoy and a Toyota Hiace bus belonging to the University of Benin chapter of ASUU.
The Sector Commander mentioned that preliminary investigations have revealed that the accident was caused by wrongful overtaking on the driver of the government-owned Hilux. It was however contained in a statement signed by Governor Wada’s Special Assistant on Media, Jacob Edi, that “the governor’s convoy was on a speed of 80 km/hour when a bus collided with the escort van.”
Witnesses disclosed that after the collision, the bus somersaulted before hitting a tree.
The death of Professor Iyayi who became ASUU President in 1986 has been confirmed by Nasir Fagge, the union’s present President.
The 66-year-old Professor studied Industrial Economics in Kiev, in the former USSR after which he obtained his PhD in Bradford, England. On his return to Nigeria, he lectured at the Department of Business Administration in the University of Benin.