Nigerian scholar, author and popular columnist/activist, Pius Adesanmi, was among those killed when an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on Sunday.
All 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard the plane which crashed minutes after departing the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for Nairobi in Kenya perished in the tragic incident.
Adesanmi was one of two Nigerians on the tragic flight which went down with nationals from at least 35 other countries. The other Nigerian on the flight was Abiodun Bashua, a retired ambassador on contract with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
In a statement on Sunday evening, Carleton University said the tragic news left its community “shocked and devastated”.
Benoit-Antoine Bacon, who is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University said, “Pius was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy.”
He added, “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.”
Also quoted in the statement was the dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Pauline Rankin, who described Adesanmi’s contributions to the university as “immeasurable”.
“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,” she said.
“He was a scholar and teacher of the highest caliber, who leaves a deep imprint on Carleton.”
Tributes have poured in for Adesanmi who is popular for his courageous, constructive and widely regarded columns as well as his passion for the development of Nigeria.
His last post on Facebook went up in the morning of Saturday, March 9, 2019. It was a verse from the Bible:
“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me – Psalm 139:9-10”.