Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike on Friday led a delegation of the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission, NUC, to pay condolence to the family of the late Prof. Festus Iyayi at their Benin residence.
It was an emotional meeting as all the officers on the delegation publicly displayed their emotions upon sighting Mrs Grace Iyayi, the widow of the former ASUU President.
The Minister and the delegation also visited the injured ASUU National Welfare Officer, Dr Ngozi Iloh at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. The ASUU National Welfare Officer has already stabilised and is receiving further treatment.
Speaking at the family residence, Barr. Wike said that President Goodluck Jonathan and the entire administration are deeply pained by the sudden death of the former ASUU National President whom he said played a key part in the negotiations between ASUU and the Federal Government.
He recalled the significant contributions of Professor Iyayi during the 13-hour negotiations between President Jonathan and ASUU, which led to a headway in the discussions.
He said: “I want to assure the family that the ideals that the late scholar fought and died for will never be forgotten. The Federal Government will diligently implement the decisions reached in the course of negotiations with ASUU.
“The Federal Ministry of Education wishes to be a part of the burial of this erudite scholar and we seek the permission of the family to participate in the burial. I pray the God to grant the family the strength to bear this unfortunate loss”.
Responding, Oriabure Iyayi, son of the late ASUU President, thanked President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Education and all Nigerians for commiserating with the family at their moment of grief.
Also speaking, a relative of the deceased academic, Prof. Robert Ebiwele informed the minister that the burial will hold between December 5 and 9. He assured the minister that the family will inform the Federal Ministry of Education on the burial arrangements.
Special Assistant (Media) to the Supervising Minister of Education.