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Festus Iyayi’s Death: How Kogi State Governor’s Convoy Killed Former ASUU President

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Festus Iyayi’s Death: How Kogi State Governor’s Convoy Killed Former ASUU President

festus iyayi car accident

Nov 13, 2013 – Festus Iyayi’s Death: How Kogi State Governor’s Convoy Killed Former ASUU President

Award winning Nigerian writer and former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Professor Festus Iyayi, has died in a road accident on the Lokoja- Abuja Highway. He was aged 66.

His car somersaulted several times in a bid to avoid collision with one of the police vehicles in the convoy of Kogi state governor, which suddenly swerved on the path of Iyayi’s vehicle. Witnesses said Iyayi’s vehicle somersaulted several times. Other ocupants of the vehicle were said to be in critical condition.

Iyayi was on his way to the national executive meeting of ASUU holding in Kano, along with the chairman University of Benin chapter and Benin zone of ASUU, Dr. Anthony Monye-Emina and two others, in continuation of negotiation with the federal government.

Dr. Nasir Fagge, the President of ASUU, while confirming his death, said the sad news was broken to the union a few hours ago.

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.’’

Iyayi, the famous author of Heroes, who taught in the department of Business Administration at the University of Benin for so many years, was very active in union activities as chairman of the UNIBEN Chapter of ASUU and had several brushes with the university authorities as well as the military.

He rose to the position of president of the national association in 1986. But that same year the union was banned briefly and he was detained..

Iyayi, famous for social realist novels that depict the grinding poverty of the Nigerian people, won the Commomwealth Prize for Literature for his novels, Heroes, a novel where he posits that the civilian populace are actually the winners of the Nigerian civil war.

He was once removed from his faculty position, but was later reinstated after taking the university authorities to court. His literary works also include Violence, The Contract and Awaiting Court Martial

News of his death threw the Benin zone of ASUU and the University of Benin community into shock.

Reacting to Prof. Iyayi’s death, Prof. Friday Okonofua, of the University of Benin, accused Kogi state governor, Capt. Idris Wada, for being responsible for his death.

“It is the governor of Kogi that killed him. He was killed by a reckless convoy. He killed one of our most distinguished academics who has won laurels all over the world. We would hold the governor of Kogi responsible for his death,” Prof. Okonofua said.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has sent a condolence message to Iyayi’s family, the leadership and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The President was especially dismayed that Dr. Iyayi died while going to contribute to efforts to finally resolve the ASUU strike which has disrupted academics in the nation’s universities for over four months.

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.

[Reported By PM Lagos]



  1. Jummy Owoh

    November 13, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I think ur death is spiritual
    They have killed u from the occult world days before ur physical death

  2. otaru JOHN

    November 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    delay in any issue is not always good, and quick reactions in every problem give wrong results. hence application of wisdom is justifiable & advantageous. ASUU STRIKE WHAT LESSON DO WE LEARN?

  3. kcee

    November 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    @john, true talk.i agree wv u.

  4. agbeke

    November 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Kogi state governer!!!!!!! Whyyyyyyyyyy did u do this???????

  5. Kane

    November 13, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    RIP PROF IYAYI. But, ASUU strike still continues till Jan. 15th 2014. Hmmmm

  6. edo boy

    November 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    na lie joh, notin like accident, our govt. Are taking us for fools. Una don kill am make una talk tru joh.

  7. oxygenbaba

    November 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    naija wth runs….haba y iyayi die by dis time of struggle ummmmmmmm,i fear u naija pple..gudnite professor Festus Iyayi

  8. nd

    November 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Kogi state governor again?. December 28th 2012 u had an accident and one person died, ur adc. Novembre 12th 2013 ur had another accident and one person died our own ex asuu presido. Is this a coïncident or do u think its ordinary? As for Me i dont Know ooooo, but if i were u i will runnnnnnnnnn to God and i will never let him go. People thats d reson why we need to always be in good terms with our God. Festus never knew hé was heading to etenity and not to Kano or to any asuu negotiation. God pls help us to Galway ne ready. Rest in peace

  9. Ajasco

    November 14, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Is only God dt cn save us 4rm al dx stupid politicians, must dem use seiren wen dey r traveling? dexame thing apen in Lagos ystday dat left two person to death, Govt Idris Wada must go unpurnis, may ur gentle soul rest in perfect peace nd God should grant d entire family d fortitude 2 bear d lost, it ws paintful.

  10. dickson juliet

    November 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    may his soul RIP

  11. reachel

    November 14, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Kogi State Governor be careful. every day for the thief one day for the owner..

  12. vannesa

    November 14, 2013 at 12:59 PM


  13. dzoho hyicent

    November 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    iyayi bro rest in peace

  14. Gideon

    November 15, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Pls ASUU should call off de strike and stop making excuses. Why would say because of one person death and keep millions of Nigeria students at home after all he is a passed ASUU president not present one, or are they saying is president Goodluck Jonathan sent kogi Governor convoy to kill him. Pls ASUU we (youths) future are in Ur hands. Not calling off de strikes means professor Festus worthy more dan millions of Nigeria undergraduates or what. Pls dis week alone is a enough as sign of respect, next week de meeting should continue after all when our immediate president of dis country die, it did not interrupt any activities from holding. Pls Our future are stake here pls. Great Nigeria students !! Great !!!. His death may be de ultimate sacrificed ASUU needed to make befor dis strikes would be call Off.

  15. Gbadebo Rainbow

    November 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Awaye iku kan o si. A mu olododo lo saju ojo ibi

  16. mdoseni

    November 16, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    if I may ask…why are we putting the blame on Governor of Kogi State? to crowed it…every things happen according to the will of God…

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