Olumuyiwa Balogun-Adesanmi, the wife of Nigerian-born Canadian professor and writer, Prof. Pius Adesanmi, has written a moving tribute on the death of her husband.
The tribute was made available to the press on Sunday.
Adesanmi was among the 149 passengers of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi in Kenya, which crashed on March 10.
Balogun-Adesanmi wrote: “I have no words to describe the depths of my pain on the untimely passing of my husband, Pius Adesanmi. He was an extraordinary scholar, husband, devoted father and a fine gentleman. He was an uncommon breed. He wrote about human rights, gender equality and human dignity. He practised what he preached. I am a living witness to the kindness of his soul and love for others.
“Pius Adesanmi enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Our daughter Tise’s words often tugged at his heart every time he needed to travel. He compensated for his regular absences by being generous with his time. He was witty, funny and a joy to behold.
“My family and I have been touched by the incredible demonstrations of support and waves of condolences sent our way. I have learned about people of all ages and backgrounds, who never met Pius Adesanmi but broke down in tears when they learned of his death. I am comforted by the sheer enormity of the lives he touched. He lived and died in pursuit of a better world. He lived and died in service to Africa. Nigeria was dear to his heart and he longed for Nigeria’s development. Pius Adesanmi was also a Canadian citizen and deeply appreciated the blessings of making Canada home.
“I appreciate the tremendous support from the Canadian and the Nigerian governments. The administration, students and faculty at Carleton University have been exemplary in our moment of grief. The academic community in Canada, Nigeria and around the world have been immense in their tributes. I applaud all individuals and institutions around the world that have held or plan to hold vigils, processions and other events to mark my husband’s transition. I thank all local, national and international media organizations for their professionalism in the coverage of the unfortunate crash.
“Our extended family, neighbours, and friends from all areas of human endeavour have stood solidly by us. I am deeply grateful. Mo dupe, E se pupo, Merci. Thank you.
“Pius Adebola Adesanmi, the whole family misses you. I miss you. I miss your laughter, ebullience, reassuring presence as well as the effervescence and incandescence of your person. ‘Bola, you were an uncommon star in the firmament of God’s creation. Oko mi, sun re o (sleep well, my husband). O daro o. Goodnight, Okun ‘Bola.”