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Nigerian activists plan ‘heroic march’ to honour former ASUU president Festus Iyayi

A funeral mass is slated for 8 a.m. on Saturday, to be followed by internment. The burial events would be rounded off on Sunday, with a Thanksgiving Mass at St Michael’s Catholic Church, Ugbegun.

Festus Iyayi

 He was the 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 Martial.’

Other highlights of the programme would include cultural performances, literary rendition, dances and video documentary on the life and times of the departed activist.

In honour of former ASUU president, Festus Iyayi, who passed away last month, labour and human rights activists across the country have planned a Solidarity March for Wednesday, December 4, in Benin City, Edo State.

by Oke Efagene

Organisers of the programme said it would begin at 9 a.m. from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Benin and would terminate at his residence on 11, Bello Street, Off Benin-Lagos Road, Isihor where tributes would paid to him at a lecture titled “Festus Iyayi: Hero of the Revolution”.

The march would begin the burial rites for the 66-year old renowned writer and winner of the Commonwealth Award for Literature.

 A candle light procession is also slated for the deceased at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Benin, later in the evening at 7 p.m.
The burial programme by the family also showed that a Vigil Mass/Service of Songs would hold on Thursday at his residence between 4 and 6 p.m., to be followed by a Night of Readings and Tributes also at his residence from 7 to 9 p.m.

Iyayi died 3 weeks ago in a car crash caused by the Kogi State Governor’s convoy on his way to attend a National Executives Committee meeting in Kano State.

Premium Times reports:

Late Iyayi was a first class graduate of Economics, a distinguished professor of Business Administration and a writer. He was also a former president, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR,

He was also winner, Kennedy National Essay Competition in 1968.

A lying in state would hold at his residence from 8am on Friday, while a Commendation Service is scheduled for Akin Deko (Main) Auditorium, University of Benin, Ugbowo Campus, Benin City at 10 a.m.

Festus Iyayi

 The corpse is expected to depart Benin at 12 noon for Ugbegun, Esan Central Local Government Area where another lying in state has been planned for 2 p.m. A vigil that would also feature readings and tributes is scheduled for the country home from 8 p.m.

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