The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Board of the University of Benin, Senator Bob Effiong, has appealed to the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off their almost five-month old strike in honour of Professor Festus Iyayi.

Iyayi, a renowned author, the Head of Business Administration Department at the same University and former National President of ASUU died in an auto crash while on his way to attend a meeting of the ASUU National Executive Committee (NEC) in Kano.

Effiong said Iyayi’s death was particularly painful as the meeting was intended to seek a resolution to the lingering impasse which has caused hardship to students and their parents for long.

Speaking when he paid a condolence visit to Iyayi’s family in Benin-City, yesterday, the Chairman also called on the union to institute an academic foundation in honour of Iyayi for his immense contributions to Nigeria’s education sector.

“…it is expedient at this point for both the federal government and ASUU to come to an understanding in honour of this great patriot,” Effiong said in his condolence message.

The condolence message reads in part: “When we take into cognizance his immense contributions to ASUU in its quest to reposition Nigerian universities in the world and his role as a teacher and scholar, we know that the academia has lost a rare gem that would be difficult to replace.

“However, we want to console you to bear the loss with fortitude resting in the knowledge that Professor Iyayi gave his life in the struggle to ensure a better and brighter future for the Nigerian child in terms of sound education.”

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