Abuja – The National President of ASUU, Dr Nasir Fagge and the Chairman, University of Abuja chapter, Mr Clement Chup, have described the death of its former National President, Prof. Festus Iyayi as unfortunate.
The duo reacted to the death of Iyayi in separate telephone calls with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
The union leaders, while confirming the death of its former leader said he died in a road accident on his way to the national congress of ASUU in Kano.
Late Iyayi was the President of ASUU from 1986 to 1988, when the union was briefly banned and Iyayi was detained
Also the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Tuesday, mourned the death of its former President, Dr Festus Iyayi.
Iyayi, a renowned writer, a lecturer and an activist, was on his way to Kano to attend the national congress of the union when the car he was travelling in got involved in an accident.
The President of ASUU, Dr Nasir Fagge, had earlier confirmed the death of the unionist to reporters.
He said “the sad news was broken to the union in the morning of Nov. 12.’’
According to reports, Iyayi was killed when a car in the motorcade of a state governor rammed into his vehicle near Lokoja.
He was said to have died instantly.
Reacting to the news of the demise of his predecessor, Fagge on telephone interview that he was shocked and could not utter a word.
He said “I cannot say anything right now. We have just lost one of our own, Festus Iyayi, who was very dear to us. I am mourning.’’
The immediate past President of the union, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, said the news came to him as a rude shock and was still in doubt if it was true.
Awuzie, now the Vice-Chancellor, Imo State University, also told NAN on telephone that he had been trying to get information on the circumstances surrounding the death of Iyayi.
“I know the NEC executives of the union should be on their way to Kano, but I am still expecting the details of the death.
“Until I get full details on the circumstances of his death, I might not be able to say much,” Awuzie said.
Born in 1947 in Ugbegun, Ishan in Edo, late Iyayi obtained a Master Degree in Industrial Economics from the Kiev Institute of Economics in the former U.S.S.R.
He became a lecturer in 1980 at the Department of Business Administration, University of Benin.
Iyayi, who was the ASUU president in 1986, was also a known author with four books to his credit.
The late unionist won the Commonwealth Prize for Literature for one of his books “Heroes’’ in 1988.
The title of other books to his credit are Violence, The Contract and Awaiting Court Martial. (NAN)