Pius Adesanmi: Not the right time to die

It would be most tragic if the cerebral literary scholar, Prof Pius Adesanmi, is confirmed dead in the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed, as rumoured.

Let death not rejoice yet. Let the dirges wait till many years to come when we can afford to wail. Let the casket maker keep his masterpiece for the old and weary.

Let this news just be a nightmare gone awry. Let the serenades overwhelm the dribbles of hot tears at the end. Let Pius arise and tell us he is alive.

Let us wait… wait… wait until we hear Pius is kicking amid chuckles of delight and ticks of his golden pen that tickle us unend. Let the down chorus of birds wake me up from this heartache. Pius, Pius, Pius, this isn’t the right time to sing the Nunc Dimitis.

——-By Henry Akubuiro

A Nigerian professor, Pius Adesanmi, was among the 155 passengers and crew members that died in Ethiopian plane crash on Sunday, 10, 2019.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on Sunday morning shortly after leaving Addis Ababa for Nairobi in Kenya.

Mr Adesanmi who holds Nigerian and Canadian citizenship was a prominent columnist on PREMIUM TIMES and other Nigerian media.

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His death was confirmed by Sahara Reporters which said it spoke to three of his family members, a close friend and a Canadian official.

These is an immense loss for the entire Nigeria and the Canadian citizenship.

Mr Adesanmi trained in Carleton University, has also confirmed his death.

“The Carleton community is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Prof. Pius Adesanmi, who was among the 18 Canadians killed in today’s crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet at the Addis Ababa airport,” the university said in a statement.

“Pius was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy,” said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, president and vice-chancellor. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who knew and loved him, and with everyone who suffered loss in the tragic crash in Ethiopia.

He flew away too soon

His kind is rare to come by. Young, sharp and unassuming, Pius Adesanmi was a Nigerian that made other Nigerians proud in any part of the world. He held his ground among his peers and his elders. He spoke with candour and his brilliance shone. This brilliant young man, as you must be aware, died on Sunday in the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crash. He was going on another intellectual mission when he died. Adesanmi’s literary mind was something else. It was simply out of this world A teacher and scholar, he wrote and spoke with his eyes on the future. He was not a seer, but he had the gift of one. His writings mirrored his thinking. It was as if he knew his time was short on earth. Even before he boarded the ill-fated plane, he wrote about being held in the right hand of God if he flew away, quoting Psalms 139 : 8 – 9. 

About six years ago, he wrote in that uncanny manner of his how he would like to be remembered after his passage. “Here lies Pius Adesanmi who tried as much as he could to put his talent in the service of humanity and flew away home one bright morning when his work was done”. True to his prediction, he flew away in the morning at about 08.44 Ethiopian time, which was 01.44 Nigerian time. But was his work done? Methinks, he still had much to offer. But we cannot query God. May he find rest in the Lord’s bosom.

“News of the death of Prof Pius Adesanmi is a rude shock. The world has lost an excellent being. I commiserate with his family, friends and loved ones,” said Rau Aregbesola.

The airline management had earlier released the flight manifest showing the countries of origin of the 147 passengers on board.

One Nigerian was confirmed to be among the passengers. It is, however, believed that Mr Adesanmi travelled with his Canadian passport, an indication Nigeria lost another citizen in the crash.

Other nationals in the plane included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Italians, eight Chinese, eight Americans, seven Britons, seven French citizens, six Egyptians, five Dutch citizens, four Indians and four people from Slovakia.

According to Ethiopian Airlines, the ill-fated aircraft B-737-800MAX with registration number ET- AVJ took off at 08:38 am local time from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and lost contact at 08:44 am. It was on a scheduled service from Addis Ababa to Nairobi before getting involved in an accident around Bishoftu (Debre Zeit).

Following the tragic accident on Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302/10 March, which claimed the lives of 149 passengers and 8 crew on board, Ethiopian has teamed up with all stakeholders concerned to conduct forensic investigations and identify the identities of the victims.

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