Human rights lawyers, Mr Femi Falana, (SAN), Ayo Obe, poet and teacher, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo and pan-Africanist, Affiong L Affiong on Saturday eulogised the late Prof. Pius Adesanmi, Punch report.

They spoke on Saturday at the Lagos edition of the Pius Adesanmi candlelight gathering.

Adesanmi, a professor of literature and African studies and Director at the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University, Canada, was among the 157 people who died on the Ethiopian Airlines flight Boeing 737 Max (from Addis Abba to Nairobi) on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

Falana described Adesanmi as a man who lived a fulfilled life even though his time on earth was short. He said, “At 47, he had led a fulfilled life. He grounded into his 47 years of existence what anyone could have done in 80 or 100 years. He was a Nigerian and committed his entire life to the struggle for the formation of Nigeria and Africa.”

The lawyer said the deceased was a patriotic citizen who chose to be part of the struggle even though he didn’t fully reside in Nigeria.

Also, Affiong said the deceased was a public intellectual who used his ideas and thoughts as a weapon to educate the public.

She said, “Although I do not have a personal interaction with him, I knew him as an activist. I will miss the fact that he occupied the public space and spoke truth to power.’’

On her part, Obe said the deceased was a patriot who loved Nigeria. She said, “He was a patriot. There was no malice in his criticisms. It was all designed to spur people to be better. I met him when he was supposed to deliver a lecture which he wasn’t allowed to deliver and I was to replace him for that lecture.

“We met in the evening of the day of the lecture at a hotel lobby in Abuja and we got talking and reflected on some of the issues in the nation.’’

Also speaking, Ifowodo said Adesanmi was a friend he knew since his master’s days at the University of Ibadan and they remained friends for three decades. He said, “He was dedicated, compassionate, patriotic, indefatigable, humorous. He always had a laugh, he enjoyed life to the fullest and read widely.’’

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