Textile Workers Mourn ex-ASUU President, Festus Iyayi
Textitle workers in the country have reacted to the death of the former National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Festus Iyayi in an auto crash, yesterday, describing him as a ‘’victim of Nigerian crisis in governance.’’
A statement by the General Secretary of the union, Issa Aremu said that labour had ‘’indeed lost a tested and committed activist of decent work in the universities and Nigerian labour market in general.’’
Aremu’s statement read in part, ‘’We received with heavy heart this (yesterday) afternoon the death of Comrade Iyayi, one time President of ASUU reportedly in a ghastly motor accident involving the convoy of the Governor of Kogi State, (Capt. Idris Wada). Late Festus would be remembered for the honesty, and commitment as well as abundant energy he brought to the struggle of workers for improved working and living conditions.
‘’The fact that he tragically died while reportedly travelling for the resolution of the four-month long strike of university lecturers was an eloquent testimony to his life and deed; service to the working people and humanity! Fighters and comrades like Comrade Festus hardly say goodbye.
‘’The death of Festus is a sobering and cruel reminder to the Federal Government to urgently put a permanent end to the persistent crisis of funding of public education in general and university education in particular. Lecturers including late Festus as well as students should have been on the campuses not on bad roads, if not for the recent avoidable crisis.
‘’In literary and metaphoric terms, Festus is the latest major casualty of Nigeria’s crisis of governance. Accidents are the norms (not exceptions) along the notorious Kogi-Lokoja road which for well over a decade remains under permanent ‘construction’ and ‘rehabilitation’ despite serial awards of contracts by various governments.
It was, however, worse that it was a governor’s convoy which was involved in an ‘accident’ that would add to the endless list of victims along this road. Convoys of executive governors murdering citizens they swore to secure and protect are unacceptable and palpably criminal.
‘’May the death of Dr. Festus, a globally acclaimed author and one time winner of Commonwealth Prize for Literature touch the hearts of our leaders to promote and work for good governance. We condole with the leadership of ASUU, the people and government of Edo State for this loss of human capital in Africa, a continent begging for scarce human resources.’’