Monday, December 2, 2013

Activists Grace Heroic March for Iyayi

Labour and human rights activists from across the country are expected
to storm Benin City, Edo State, tomorrow for a solidarity march in
honour of the former president, Academic Staff Union of Universities
(ASUU), Professor Festus Iyayi, who was killed by a vehicle in the
Kogi State Governor's convoy three weeks ago.
The march, which kick starts the burial rites for Iyayi, 66, a
renowned Commonwealth award winner for literature, begins at 9a.m.
from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Benin and
will terminate at his residence on 11, Bello Street, Off Benin-Lagos
Road, Isihor where a gathering featuring tributes and a lecture
titled: "Festus Iyayi: Hero of the Revolution," would hold.
Other highlights of the gathering include cultural performances,
literary rendition, dances and video documentary. A candle light
procession is also slated for the former president, Committee for the
Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) at the Faculty of Arts and Social
Sciences, University of Benin, later in the evening at 7p.m.
According to the burial programme by the family, a Vigil Mass/Service
of Songs will hold on Thursday, December 5 at his residence between
4p.m-6p.m. This will be followed by a night of readings and tributes
also at his residence from 7p.m. to 9p.m.
A lying in state will hold at his residence from 8a.m. on Friday,
December 6 while a commendation service is scheduled for Akin Deko
(Main) Auditorium, University of Benin, Ugbowo Campus, Benin City
later at 10 a.m.
The corpse is expected to depart Benin at 12noon for Ugbegun, Esan
Central Local Government Area where another lying in state has been
planned for 2p.m.
A vigil that will also feature readings and tributes is scheduled for
the country home from 8p.m. A funeral mass is slated for 8a.m. on
Saturday, December 7 followed by internment.
Entertainment of guests will hold at Ugbegun Grammar School field
while the burial events will be rounded up on Sunday, December 8 with
a Thanksgiving Mass at St. Michael's Catholic Church, Ugbegun.
A humanist and first class graduate of Economics, Iyayi, a
distinguished professor of Business Administration, is also a literary
Winner of the Commonwealth Literary Prize for his novel Heroes in 1988
and winner, Silver Gong for Literature, National Festival of Arts, for
his novel Violence in 1983, the acclaimed radical activist also won
the ANA Book of the Year Award in 1997 and the Pius Okigbo Prize for
Literature in 1997 for his collection of short stories Awaiting Court
He was also the winner, Kennedy National Essay Competition in 1968
during his formative years at Government College, Ughelli, Delta

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