THE former Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) President,
Prof. Festus Iyayi, was, yesterday, buried in his country home at
Ugbegun in Esan Central local government area of Edo State.
In a homily preached by a Catholic priest, Revd Father Peter Omijie,
he urged the late lecturer's family members and associates not to cry
over his death as they have the hope of seeing him again.
"We will on resurrection morning rejoice with him. Leaving our
physical body is not the end of our lives," Omijie said.
He admonished the people to ponder over their spiritual destiny and
where they will spend their eternity.
The interment of the late professor of business administration at
exactly 10.42 am was preceded by solidarity songs offered by ASUU and
civil society members who came from all parts of the country.
The burial ceremony was solemn and devoid of fanfare.
The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and
former ASUU President, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who was among the
personalities who attended the burial, described Iyayi, as one of the
few Nigerians who have tremendous integrity and passion for progress
and development of Nigeria as one united country".
Jega added, "I worked very closely with Festus Iyayi. He was like a
brother to me.
"He made tremendous sacrifices for the development of this country and
reforms that can help ordinary Nigerians. It is a very sad losses to
us especially people who have known him for a long time".
Other dignitaries at the occasion were Governor Adams Oshiomhole of
Edo State, Senator Abubakar Bagudu who represented the Senate;
Professor Abhulimen Anao, former Vice Chancellor, UNIBEN; Chief
Medical Director, UBTH, Prof. Michael Ibadin; ASUU President, Dr.
Nasir Fagge; Dr. Dipo Fashina, former ASUU President, Odia Ofeimu; Dr.
Ogaga Ifowodo; Dr. Osagie Obayuwana and members of the UNIBEN
Meanwhile, Edo State government is to immortalize Iyayi.
Speaking at a reception held at the Ugbegun Grammar School, Oshiomhole
said the school will be rebuilt and renamed Festus Iyayi Memorial
Grammar School. He also said a water scheme will be constructed at
Ugbegun and named after Iyayi to remind the people of who he was and
what he fought for.