Nigeria-born Canadian professor of comparative Literature, Pius Adesanmi who was among the passengers on the recent ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight was a man who loved God deeply.
The plane crashed on its way to Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday morning (March 10).
The aircraft, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members, lost contact with air traffic controllers six minutes after it took off.
It crashed near Bishoftu, southeast of the Ethiopian capital.
In a statement, the airline said 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Americans and seven British nationals were among the passengers.
It is the second time such brand of plane would crash in less than six months according to reports
But late Adesanmi though a literal giant showed unparalleled commitment to the things of God and love for God while alive.
Though he did not pretend to any ecclesiastical leaning, Adesanmi in some of his posts recalled the rich Christian heritage he inherited from his parents and how they impacted his spiritual lives while growing up.
In some of his posts however he had often taken a swipe at church merchants wondering where the church got it wrong. He was a lover of hymns and Psalms and this he displayed just when he was about to board the ill-fated plane.
In a tribute, Dr. Segun Oshinaga who maintained a close relationship with Adesanmi recalled how he had asked they pray together in a meeting at the Latter Rain Assembly when he came to Nigeria. He was said to have knelt down as prayers were being said.
Adesanmi flew on a Canadian passport. He posed with his passport and ticket in the last picture he posted before he embarked on the flight.
His last message on Facebook read: “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.”
The social media is presently agog with tributes and accolades for the late Professor who lived in Canada until his death.
Story by Gbenga Osinaike
Profile of Adesanmi by Wikipedia
Adesanmi was born in Isanlu, in Yagba East Local Government area of Kogi State, Nigeria. He had a BA (first class honours) from the University of Ilorin in 1992, a Masters in French from the University of Ibadan in 1998, and a PhD in French Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2002.
From 2002 to 2005, he was Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. In 2006, he joined Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada as a Professor of literature and African studies.
He has also been a Fellow of the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) from 1993 to 1997, as well as of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) in 1998 and 2000
For many years, Adesanmi was a regular columnist for Premium Times and Sahara Reporters. His writings were often satiric, focusing on the absurd in the Nigerian social and political system.
His targets often included politicians, pastors, and other relevant public figures. In September 2015, his scathing column on the decision of the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, to take an underage wife generated substantial conversation on the matter, and even got the response of the Emir who responded to Adesanmi by name.