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IYAYI’S DEATH: ASUU Leaders Chase Kogi Governor Away From Hospital

14 Nov

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

photo                Prof. Festus Iyayi

 Prof. Festus Iyayi

Wada had gone to the hospital  to visit their  injured colleague, Dr. Ngozi Ilo, and commiserate with them over the death of their  former President, Prof. Festus Iyayi,   in an accident involving his convoy  and an ASUU vehicle on Tuesday.

The  Chairman, University of Benin chapter  of ASUU, Dr. Anthony Monye-Emina; and the Benin Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Sunny Iyalo, had minor injuries and were therefore not admitted into the hospital.

The   ASUU leaders, including the National President, Dr. Biodun Ogunyemi;  the Ibadan Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Nassir Adesola; the Chairman, Lagos State University chapter of the union, Dr. Adekunle Idris;    Monye-Emina;   Iyalo  and lecturers from the Federal University Lokoja however sent the governor away from the hospital’s emergency ward.

Their grouse was Wada’s  late response to the accident and the uncaring attitude he allegedly displayed towards the union leaders  involved in the accident.

They also accused him of trying to make a political gain out of their misfortune.

Idris, who confirmed that  Wada was chased out of the  emergency ward, said,    “We are surprised that a state governor could resort to telling lies because contrary to the claim by his spokesperson that he showed care towards our colleagues, he did not.

“Somebody that did not stop after his convoy killed our leader; somebody that did not come to the hospital until some minutes to 5pm(on Tuesday) after the accident that happened around 11am could not be said to be caring.

“That was why we chased him out of the emergency ward of the hospital and we also prevented him from seeing Prof. Iyayi’s corpse in the mortuary.

“We are not happy with the fact that he came very late to the hospital and the fact that when he came, his press crew attempted to take photograph and video record of Dr. Ilo, who is our national welfare  secretary. We stopped them because that was  the  height of insensitivity.

“Somebody that could not provide us with an ambulance cannot be said to be caring. We had to call UNIBEN for an ambulance that took Ilo to the UNIBEN Teaching Hospital while our colleagues from the Federal University, Lokoja, with the assistance of the vice-chancellor, gave us the ambulance that was used to convey the remains of Prof. Iyayi to Benin.”

Idris added that though Wada  left the hospital “like a gentleman,”  some of  his overzealous  security aides tried  to be naughty.

He said, “Some of the policemen  that followed him to the hospital wanted to be naughty but we lectured them. The hospital workers and the residents of Lokoja who witnessed how we chased the governor  away were happy.”

Also, Adesola expressed dismay at  the efforts  made by the governor to rewrite the incident.

He said, “It was actually the last of the governor’s convoy that veered off the road and ran into a  vehicle that was conveying Iyayi and others.

“When the governor’s convoy came  with   noise and harassment, everyone on the road moved  to the side  of the road for them to pass  but  unfortunately, the governor’s aide  has told the world that an  ASUU  vehicle was avoiding a trailer and ran into  their escort vehicle.

“What manner of reckless lying is that? The front  of the ASUU bus remains  intact except for the windscreen that broke. Iyayi was sitting at the back of the bus and the  escort van  ran into it.

The most annoying part is  that the incident occurred around 11am and the governor did not even visit the hospital until around 5pm.

“He  came with a large  number of pressmen and security aides  and was attempting to make some political capital out of our misfortune.

“We actually had to chase him away from the emergency ward where our welfare secretary was still receiving treatment .”

But Jacob Edi, the Special Adviser, Media and Strategy to  Wada,  claimed that the ASUU leaders did not chase his boss away from the hospital.

Edi, who in a telephone interview  with one of our correspondents, insisted that Wada  was not indifferent to the plight  of the   accident victims, however, stated that the union officials were not  friendly.

He said, “When the governor went  to the hospital, the ASUU people   had a kind of adverse reaction to the governor.    But they did not chase away the governor. Nobody chased away anybody.”

The governor’s spokesman  added that the state government would not want to be involved in controversy over  the death of the former ASUU president.

He stated that Wada was pained by  the accident and had been sympathising with the bereaved families  and  the survivors.

It was however not only the ASUU leaders that   lambasted  the governor  over  the accident, the Nigeria Labour Congress, a former President of the Trade Union Congress, Mr. Peter Esele and an ex-Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr. Abubakar Tsav, also  did.

They  described Wada’s convoy as reckless and   demanded the prosecution of the  driver  of the escort vehicle that   caused the accident on the Lokoja-Abuja Road.

The NLC,  in a statement in Abuja by its National President, Mr. Abdulwahed Omar, described the death of Iyayi as avoidable.

It  also blamed the Federal Government for its neglect of  the road.

The NLC said its  position  was  that the federal   and   Kogi State governments  were responsible for   Iyayi’s death.

It  said that 10 years after the contract for the rehabilation of the  Lokoja-Abuja Road was awarded,  it  had been turned to a death trap.

The NLC  said,  “Iyayi’s death leaves a sour taste in the mouth and it is totally avoidable. It is blameable, lawlessness/impunity on the part of the Kogi State governor, who is fast acquiring for himself an accident-prone reputation.

The congress therefore advised  “siren-blowing and terror-dealing convoys” to  be conscious of other road users.

It  called on the Federal Roads Safety Corps and the Nigeria Police to ensure that those behind the  accident  were brought to justice.

Esele and Tsav    urged the relevant authorities to ensure that the convoy driver involved in the accident was prosecuted.

They spoke in different telephone interviews with   our correspondents.

According to them, Wada has a responsibility to caution his drivers as his convoy has become reputed for recklessness.

Esele recalled that the convoy of the governor was involved in  an  accident which resulted in the death of  Wada’s Aide de Camp and in which Wada was also injured.

Tsav,  who described the death of the former ASUU leader as unfortunate, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to meet the demands of ASUU.

This, he said, would be  in appreciation of the fact that Iyayi died while contributing to the development of university education in the country.

Tsav said that   accidents occurred in Kogi State not because the roads in Kogi were the worst but because the drivers in the governor’s convoy were not cautious.

He said that the roads were not meant only for the political office holders but   for  all Nigerians.

He said, “The convoy of Wada is known for being reckless; this is not the first time this is happening. It does not mean that the worst roads are in Kogi State.

 “I want to appeal to him to caution his drivers, they are reckless, he should caution them to be cautious on the roads, the roads belong  to every Nigerian.”

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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Latest, Politics

 

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