Nigeria: How Nigerians Reacted to Death of Pius Adesanmi in Ethiopian Airlines Crash

Pius Adesanmi.

The death of a prominent Nigerian Professor, Pius Adesanmi, who died in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash of Sunday, has continued to elicit grief in many Nigerians.

The columnist was among the 157 passengers and crew members killed in the crash on Sunday morning, which occurred shortly after the plane left Addis Ababa for Nairobi in Kenya.

The Nigerian-born Canadian, who before his death worked at the Institute of African Studies in Carleton University of Canada, was a columnist at PREMIUM TIMES as well as other Nigerian media outfits.

Another Nigerian, Abiodun Bashua, was also a victim of the disaster.

Before his demise, Mr Bashua was a UN expert who had extensive experience in several United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa.

This paper reported how the airline management released the flight manifest showing the countries of origin of the 149 passengers on board, which included a Nigerian, 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Italians, eight Chinese, eight Americans, seven Britons, seven French citizens, one Egyptian, five Dutch citizens, and four each from India and Slovakia.

Tributes

On Sunday evening, public figures and many other personalities paid tributes to the late Professor.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement issued by Garba Shehu, condoled with the families of the two Nigerians.

Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic party's candidate in the 2019 Presidential election, said Mr Adesanmi will be remembered for how he brought scholarship to progressive advocacy.

"His numerous followers on the social media will miss his insightful contribution towards a better Nigeria. I pray his soul will forever Rest In Peace."

The Special Assistant to the Vice-President on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, on Sunday evening mourned the demise of the scholar.

"We mourn, with his family & associates, one of our notable public intellectuals of the day, Pius Adesanmi, award-winning writer & Canada-based professor, who reportedly passed on in today's unfortunate Ethiopian Airlines crash. What a painful loss! May his memory be blessed,p," he tweeted.

Former presidential candidate, Remi Sonaiya, in a tweet also sent a condolence message to the families of the deceased.

"Just to come here and express condolences to the families of the victims of the #EthiopianAirlineCrash - not expecting to know anyone on it. Only to be confronted with the news that Prof. #PiusAdesanmi was on that flight!!! Pius, dear God! How so painful. #NigeriaMourns"

Just wanted to come here and express condolences to the families of the victims of the #EthiopianAirlineCrash - not expecting to know anyone on it. Only to be confronted with the news that Prof. #PiusAdesanmi was on that flight!!! Pius, dear God! How so painful. #NigeriaMourns

- Remi Sonaiya (@oluremisonaiya) March 10, 2019

Dele Momodu, a publisher, also expressed his shock.

"My very dear friend PROFESSOR PIUS ADESANMI was in the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane... My God, why Pius, that prodigiously brilliant gentleman!!! Rest in Peace, a great son of Africa... "

My very dear friend PROFESSOR PIUS ADESANMI was in the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane... My God, why Pius, that prodigiously brilliant gentleman!!! Rest in Peace, a great son of Africa... pic.twitter.com/kyB2Cs8CRD

- Dele Momodu Ovation (@DeleMomodu) March 10, 2019

Ahmed Salkida, a Nigerian investigative journalist tweeted: "#PiusAdesanmi, a brilliant scholar and an open-minded person. Your memory will always remind me to be a better person and to seek nothing short of good governance in #Nigeria."

#PiusAdesanmi, a brilliant scholar and an open minded person. Your memory will always remind me to be a better person and to seek nothing short of good governance in #Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/9AWriA52sq

- Ahmad Salkida (@A_Salkida) March 10, 2019

More tweets

Another Nigerian, Ajibola Dolapo, tweeted: "Yours was one of the tweets I look forward to reading everyday. Full of life and wisdom. You inspired the world with your brilliance and intelligence. I didn't get to meet you in person but we had a few memorable engagements here. #PIUS #PIUSADESANMI"

Yours was one of the tweets I look forward to reading everyday. Full of life and wisdom. You inspired the world with your brilliance and intelligence. I didn't get to meet you in person but we had a few memorable engagements here. #PIUS #PIUSADESANMI pic.twitter.com/69T8rvTQzN

- 'Jibola B. (@Ajiboladedolapo) March 10, 2019

Tunji Lardner stated that "Africa has lost a star. Shining with iridescent brilliance across many disciplines. Warm, compassionate & generous, giving of his mind, time & spirit. Nigeria has lost a TRUTH SAYER constantly aligning our broken moral compass. We have lost a friend & our muse. RIP"

#PiusAdesanmi Africa has lost a star. Shining with iridescent brilliance across many disciplines. Warm, compassionate & generous, giving of his mind, time & spirit. Nigeria has lost a TRUTH SAYER constantly aligning our broken moral compass. We have lost a friend & our muse. RIP

- Tunji Lardner (@TunjiLardner) March 10, 2019

Elizabeth Okunola: Nigerians, do not despair, Prof. Pius isn't dead because his impact will live on and we will never forget him.

Let's use this time to pray for his loved ones and celebrate the fact that he was here. #PiusAdesanmi

Nigerians, do not despair, Prof. Pius isn't dead because his impact will live on and we will never forget him.

Let's use this time to pray for his loved ones and celebrate the fact that he was here. #PiusAdesanmi

- Elizabeth Okunlola (@reinelade) March 10, 2019

@WhaleHarry So it's confirmed a sad day for Education in Nigeria and a sad day for Nigerian all around the globe we lost a voice RIP #PiusAdesanmi You will be forever remain in our heart.

So it's confirmed a sad day for Education in Nigeria and a sad day for Nigerian all around the globe we lost a voice RIP #PiusAdesanmi You will be forever remain in our heart. pic.twitter.com/FyadEI3GAF

- TitiBoi (@WhaleHarry) March 10, 2019

Investigations begin - Airline

Meanwhile, the airline, in a statement issued on Sunday evening said it has launched an investigation into the tragic incident and has also moved to get the dead bodies across to their family members.

"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," it added.

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