Friends, activists, well-wishers and admirers have praised the late Pius Adesanmi for his efforts towards the “emancipation of not only the people of Nigeria but the 'black’ race as a whole”.
Adesanmi died on March 10, 2019, in the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 that crashed six minutes after take-off in Addis Ababa.
At the weekend, friends, activists, well-wishers and admirers gathered at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Akure, Ondo State, to celebrate the life and times of the great scholar and award-winning writer.
In his tribute, Tunji Ariyomo saluted the courage of the late Adesanmi, whom he said wanted to see a better Nigeria. He said Adesanmi was an "intrepid revolutionary" who fought with superior ideas for the emancipation of the black race.
Ariyomo said: "Pius knew long ago that our future as a people would be affected by the depth and quality of our education, as well as the quality of minds that constitute our leadership. There are many works of Pius that people have described as the best, but for me, however, due to its central significance to the leadership ascension theme of most African democracies, my best of Pius’ works is an essay titled ‘2015: I Endorse You, Spectocrat!’
"This work ministered directly to the theme of pseudo-democracy in Africa and the ultimate need of ensuring that leadership becomes beholding to the ordinary masses rather than as boons from garrison commanders of Nigerian politics.”
In his remarks, Ajos Kudehinbu, a former Head of Service (HoS) in Ondo State, in his tribute, said the late Adesanmi while alive was someone who was focused on seeing Africa become a safe haven for her people. He showered encomiums on the late professor, noting that he was never tired of promoting knowledge that could lead to bridging the gap between the poor and the rich.
"I met Pius on Facebook. He was a writer and therefore a citizen of the world. His works are towards building a good nation. He promoted the interest of the people through his works and his sterling talents, although he could come across as very critical at times. His (Adesanmi) criticism was well directed. He was a prophet who appeared to have seen his death coming. He saw into the future," he noted.
In his words of consolation to the family of the late Professor, Revd Fr. Joseph Ogodo said death is mystery as no man could question God. He quoted some sections of the Holy Bible and added that “it is good to live a life of humanity”, as "it is not the length of the years that matter, but the good in the years that someone spends in life".
Ogodo later described Adesanmi as an afro-dynamic laureate, who promoted brilliance and excellent Africanness in all his works.
"Life itself is a divine mystery. The purpose of life is to make a difference. We should be continuously conscious of the vanity aspect of life and the purpose set by God. Professor Pius Adesanmi’s unique life teaches us to look back," he said.
Oluyemi Fasipe, an activist, in his tribute said Adesanmi live a life filled with greatness and his good work would always be remembered.
In her tribute, Kikelomo Isijola, an activist also described him as a nation builder, who lived for his country and Africa as a whole.
"It's such a sad story, but Prof. lived a fulfilled life as we that only knew him through social media know him for truth always. May God continue to comfort and protect all of us left behind, especially Prof. Pius Adesanmi’s family members, relatives and friends all over the world. His courageous and patriotic soul will continue to march on as we keep up his citizens’ advocacy and not give up on Nigeria and Africa," she said.
The event featured a candlelight procession organised in his honour. The participants also wore branded T-Shirts, and marched through the streets of Oba Adesida road in Ondo.