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“Professor Festus Iyayi’s Killers Must Be Prosecuted”

…As ASUU Chased Away Gov. Wada from Hospital

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

Human rights activist, Bamidele Aturu has lamented the death of Comrade Festus Iyayi, saying his murderers in the Kogi State Government House must be prosecuted and that the matter must not be swept under the carpet

Former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Festus Iyayi

Former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Festus Iyayi

Aturu, in a statement said lamented that Iyayi was gruesomely murdered as-he did not die-by a yet to be identified assassin in the employ of the Government of Kogi State, adding that this is the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the facts that are now available in the public domain.

“The story is that while traveling along Lokoja-Abuja road in the company of his ASUU comrades on their way to Kano to discuss the way forward in respect of the ongoing strike, an escort car in the convoy of the Governor of Kogi State, Mr Idris Wada, rammed into the ASUU bus killing our beloved comrade and wounding, hopefully not fatally, some other lecturers.

“It is difficult to accept the wasting of one of Africa’s most cerebral and committed scholars by a reckless driver who probably assumed that because he was ‘privileged’ to be in a Governor’s convoy he was above traffic regulations and other users of the road, including even his intellectual superiors,” he said.

Aturu stated that the murder of Iyayi was no doubt a product of the empty pomposity that pervaded the corridors of power in Nigeria, from the governors to their cooks as this pomposity was seen in a culture of impunity and recklessness that gave them the sense that they own our lives, and all that belonged to this country.

“This is the only way one can understand why they expect all other road users to disappear from the road whenever they ply the roads.The madness of reckless killings on our roads by those who occupy government houses must stop. The only way to end it is to insist, as some of our comrades are suggesting, that the murderer in Kogi Government house or its boy’s quarters must be produced and prosecuted for manslaughter.

“It is a shame that it appears that the Governor of that State lacks the capacity to prevent his drivers from reckless and senseless driving, otherwise his convoy should not have been involved in another accident so soon after the tragic accident that claimed the life of his ADC just in December 2012,” Aturu said

According to him, “it may well be that his drivers expect that the only way they can please a former pilot, that he is, is to literally fly on the road. Whatever the case may be, the Governor is vicariously liable for the murder of one of the heroes of the Nigerian struggle against impunity. He too will be made to pay one way or the other. Some of us will be willing to pursue this matter to a logical conclusion.

“Our continent, nay the world, has lost one of the most passionate believers in social justice and equity. He was one of the most honest and dependable ally. We have lost a dogged advocate of decency and consummate teacher. It is indeed an irony that a man who spent his entire life campaigning against impunity should be murdered so recklessly.”

Meanwhile, the Punch has reported that Angry leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities on Tuesday chased away the Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada (retd.) from the emergency ward of the  Lokoja General Hospital

According to the Newspaper, Governor Wada was at the hospital  to visit their  injured colleague, Dr. Ngozi Ilo,   and to commiserate with them over the death of the  former President, Prof. Festus Iyayi who was killed by his convoy on Tuesday


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