Nigeria: Foremost Nigerian Professor, Pius Adesanmi, Dies in Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crash

Pius Adesanmi.

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

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.

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

Mr Adesanmi was also a columnist for Sahara Reporters.

Carleton University, where Mr Adesanmi taught, 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.

"Global Affairs Canada has confirmed that Adesanmi is among the victims.

"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.

"The contributions of Pius Adesanmi to Carleton are immeasurable," said Pauline Rankin, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. "He worked tirelessly to build the Institute of African Studies, to share his boundless passion for African literature and to connect with and support students. He was a scholar and teacher of the highest calibre who leaves a deep imprint on Carleton.

"A further tribute about Adesanmi's leadership and many contributions to the Carleton community will be shared as soon as possible."

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 clash.

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.

This evening, the airline released a statement saying it has launched an investigation.

"A committee comprising of Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, and Ethiopian Transport Authority has been set up to carry out the investigations," the statement said. "Once the identities of the deceased are identified, their bodies will be delivered to their families and loved ones.

"Ethiopian Airlines has already contacted the families of the victims to inform them of the tragic accident. Investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the accident, in collaboration with all stakeholders including the aircraft manufacturer Boeing, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and other international entities."

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