Nigerian leftist writer, he wrote several radical, realist novels about Nigeria. In the 1980's he was active in a progressive academic staff union, eventually becoming its president. Detained several times for his activism during the military dictatorship of Ibrahim Babangida. Always deeply concerned about social justice and with no faith in the ruling class, Iyayi remained a committed and principled radical. Murdered by the same corrupt, comprador political class he regularly denounced in his novels and political activism. On 12 November 2013, on his way to a union meeting meant to deal with an ongoing strike, his car was hit by the reckless, criminal convoy of a ruling-party state governor.