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ETHIOPIAN AIRLINE TRAGEDY AND PAINFUL EXIT OF ADESNAMI AND BASHUA

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Ethiopian Airlines to work with Boeing, others to make air travel safer

Last Sunday, a monumental tragedy struck the aviation world when news hit the airwaves and social platforms that an Ethiopian Airline, one of the world’s best in aviation sector, had crashed midair. All the 157 passengers and crew on board perished and among the dead were two eminently worthy Nigerians: Professor Pius Adesanmi and Ambassador Abiodun Bashua.

Amidst the consternation and speculations created by the news, Ethiopian Airline’s management officially confirmed the tragedy at last. This was later concurred by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, obviously because the two Nigerians involved in the crash. The airline, a B-737 MAX 800 aircraft, was reported to have caught fire midair six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, en route Nairobi, and crashed 40 miles south-east of the Ethiopian capital.

Professor Adesanmi was a distinguished scholar; Director, Institute of African Studies at Carleton University, Canada; a five star writer and columnist whose hot pen remained critically committed to riding Nigeria of all the socio-political and economic maladies. He had sparked off inflammable social discussions on the failed leadership and governance in Nigeria and Africa at public fora, through books and other media. Bashua was the former UN and AU Deputy Joint Special Representative in Darfur, Sudan. He was a retired Ambassador and on contract with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Of course, one stark, extremely mortal reality about air crash that makes it horrendous and heart-wrenching each time it occurs is that it leaves little or no chance for survival; yet, this riskiest means of transportation remains the fastest, the most convenient and pleasurable means of transportation in modern business and social connections.

Some safety concerns have been raised in recent times about the B737 MAX 800 aircraft in the past four months. For instance, in October 2018, a B737 MAX 800 belonging to the Lion Air plane crashed into the sea off Jakarta in Indonesia and killed all 189 people on board. It was reported that in Asia, especially China. The aircraft fleets have been grounded over similar purpose.

The Carleton University paid a glowing epitaphic tribute to the late Professor Adesanmi that fairly summed up the worth of this profound and great mind. According to Benoit-Antoine Bacon, President and Vice-Chancellor of the university, in a statement, “Pius was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy.

Also, Pauline Rankin, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences added that, “Adesanmi worked tirelessly to build the Institute of African Studies, to share his boundless passion for African literature and to connect with and support students. He was a scholar and teacher of the highest calibre who leaves a deep imprint on Carleton,” Rankin said.

With a heavy, we condole the families of these great Nigerians, Adesanmi and Bashua, the people of Ethiopia, as well as all the countries whose citizens lost died in the most unfortunate crash while we await the report of investigation to know the actual cause of the crash.

In Adesanmi and Bashua, Nigeria and indeed Africa have lost two illustrious patriots. Perhaps, the most painful aspect of it is the fact that, both of them were fighters and crusaders for good, just, equitable and peaceful Nigerian, African and global society but did not live to see the actualisation of the ideals they stood and fought for, that is, if such ideals will ever see the light of the day.

QUOTE

In Adesanmi and Bashua, Nigeria and indeed Africa have lost two illustrious patriots. Perhaps, the most painful aspect of it is the fact that, both of them were fighters and crusaders for good, just, equitable and peaceful Nigerian, African and global society but did not live to see the actualisation of the ideals they stood and fought for, that is, if such ideals will ever see the light of the day

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