The Federal Government has sent its condolences to the family of the late former Ambassador Abiodun Oluremi Bashua who was among the 149 passengers and 8 crew members that boarded the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302.
The plane crashed shortly after take-off from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Sunday, on its way to Nairobi, Kenya, killing all on board.
In a statement, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, George Edokpa, described the death as ‘untimely’, adding that the minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the ministry were in great shock.
“The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and members of Staff of the Ministry received the sad news of his death with great shock and prayed that the Almighty God grant his family and the nation, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Ambassador Bashua was a seasoned UN Expert who had extensive experience in several United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa.
He joined the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in 2009 and was appointed Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur in 2014 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Ambassador Bashua also served as Secretary to the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have joined others from around the world to mourn Nigerian scholar and author, Pius Adesanmi, who was also confirmed as one of the passengers onboard the plane.
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”.
So you were actually passing a farewell message while we were all trapped in oblivion?
How best does one describe your patriotism, academic ingenuity and didacticism, valour in speaking truth to power, moral uprightness and support for progressive causes?
RIP, Prof. 😭😭😭💔 pic.twitter.com/H8zydcMJZn
— BudgIT Nigeria (@BudgITng) March 10, 2019
Today we join Nigerians and in fact, Africans, to mourn the death of professor Pius Adesanmi – a man who availed us all an incredible purview of National issues and an embodiment absolutely gorgeous knowledge. Rest in brilliance, Prof! You will definitely be missed! #PiusAdesanmi pic.twitter.com/yShPPnmyth
— speak poise movement (SPM) (@SpkPoiseMovt) March 10, 2019
“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.”
I don’t have the words . Feeling so broken right now. #PiusAdesanmi
— Kadaria Ahmed (@KadariaAhmed) March 10, 2019
#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
Prof. has gone to be with the Lord. And just last night, his spirit certainly felt it. pic.twitter.com/S0Ge5vS5LN
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) March 10, 2019
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”.