President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar has criticized the Federal Government for its inability to fix the Lokoja- Abuja road which unwittingly led to the death of Professor Festus Iyayi.
Omar who said he was in the state on a condolence visit to the governor and the family described the late academic as a committed activist who added value to the labour movement in the country.
According to him, “we believe that certain factors led to the demise of Professor Iyayi. The Federal Government is highly culpable on the issue of the criminal neglect of the Abuja- Lokoja road which contract was awarded over ten years ago. While other roads have been completed, the Lokoja- Abuja road is uncompleted.
“We believe if not for the criminal neglect, this accident would not have happened. Also the executive recklessness on the part of the Kogi Government is glaring. This is said to be the third time that the same convoy is getting involved in accidents”, he said.
He challenged Nigerians to rise to the occasion of ensuring that things are done the right way to avoid a repeat of such incident.
Omar said the death of the Iyayi not only a loss to the family and the state but also a loss to the labour movement and the Nigeria nation and expressed the hope that his legacies would not be allowed to die with him.
The NLC President recalled that the late Professor did his sabbatical at the Nigerian Labour Congress describing him as a committed person who added value to the labour movement, noting the invaluable role the professor played in the last negotiations with the Federal Government.
Responding, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said there are several lessons to be learnt from the death of Professor Iyayi.
Oshiomhole said “the fact that he retired as ASUU president many years ago and yet he had always identified with ASSU and be part of their struggle decades after he ceased to be their president is a testimony to the level of his conviction.
“The way we generally drive on our roads is not good enough. Convoys are generally bad, but not once, not twice I dismissed drivers in my convoy. It is a challenge, people think the best way to show power is to oppress. I think all of us must work to get our drivers and security details to respect the right of the citizens.
“I hope the Federal Road Safety Corps, beyond the symbolism of changing licences every year, should really get back to work and justify the huge resources that government spends on the agency” he said.