Pius Adesanmi: Celebration Of A Life By Madiba Ibrahim Lapinni​

The news of your sudden death hit millions of your acquaintances all over the world with an uprooting force of a mild thunder clap.

To those who all the while appreciated and adore your enviable literary and academic prodigy, with the deliberate engagement of your craft to redress societal ills, coupled with your ebullient youthful zest, it is a death too painful to bear.

To the entire community of writers, academia, journalists and literary activists, the traumatic shock of your death threw many into quandary of restless and inquiring shocks and aftershocks.

For me as a writer and fellow alumni at the prestigious missionary-established Titcombe  College, Egbe, Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, the deep shock and riveting pain jagged into the deepest recess of my soul, triggering a noiseless tremor that shook off the special spaces I neatly paste the portrait of your positive and revered perceptions. For as long as I live, I will often revisit my memory bank to commune with the deposits of your inspiring creativity and every good virtue you emblematized.

Unexpectedly, Africans on the 10th day of March, 2019, woke up to the news of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa  en route to Nairobi, specifically at Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometers South East of Addis Ababa, killing all the crew and passengers.

This is not the first time such an iron bird will drop off the sky and reduced to rubbles by the force of its descent on the mother earth. Sadly, any time it happens, such an act leaves behind sorrow, tears and blood as the case of the recent plane crash in Bishoftu, where its passengers were flung in gravitationally redirected trajectories, only to be rescued and body-bagged for a journey to eternity.

Today, Adesanmi, like the rest of your compatriots, belongs to the ages, reluctantly so. Imagine the fright and attempted flights in your last movement in a wobbling aircraft. Imagine the rapid thoughts of an escape route; perhaps through a parachute and not an egbe. Imagine the staccato of confusion in the cabin and the rapid ejaculations of celestial supplications by a morbidly worried crew and passengers at that last moment, in a reluctant and brazen confrontation with death. The thought of this scenario makes the death more painful to us you left behind.

My condolences to all the families of the victims of this unfortunate tragedy. We share their grief and pray that the good lord continues to console you. He who feels it knows it.

Our beloved Desan is gone, gone to the glory, never to be seen again, but perchance in dreams and intersections of thoughts. The sharp and surgical pen of yours is stilled forever, yet your ideals and ideas will certainly lives in our minds. The infectious smile, which brightens our low moment as it reveals a perfect dentition is stilled and cold, only to be recollected in the meditative realm of thoughts and reasoning.

We have lost our hero. We have lost a rare gem. The world will miss you, but Africa will miss you the more and Nigeria the most. Kogi State and the entire Okunland remain inconsolable, tear-weary with misty eyes, yet we cannot but quickly come to terms with your death.

Pain is the most difficult path to walk at this very mournful moment, yet we will try to cope. Yes, we will. We are feeble as frail; frail as the children of dust. Lord, help us please; we will try to cope.

Your call was in academic and your craft writing, yet you deftly combined both using your incisive pen to surgically exorcise demons that stifle and stunt the growth of our nation, consigning them into igbo irumale, the forest of thousand demons.

You were a soldier, writer, surgeon all rolled into one personality. You derive immeasurable joy in engaging your craft to promote the essence and beauty of our common humanity. You selflessly mentored many as you equally subject your humble self to the corrective inputs of masters of literary crafts.

Your constant search for truth and self actualization propelled you to be the best in the ivory tower, evidenced with landmark achievements all steps through.

Your sources of inspirations were diverse; men, materials and the environment, but you cherished spiritual inspirations above any earthly ones.

Many of us who went to Titcombe College, Egbe, were steeped in the traditions of piety, letters, volunteerism and robust intellectualism; you never betrayed or failed to reflect such a tradition.

Today, the world takes a leave of one of its very best; the world takes a leave of erudite Professor Pius Adesanmi, a writer, essayist, columnist, author, literary critic, award winning patriotic poet, satirist, a much-sought after international speaker and a truly global citizen.

Your impact remains indelible and inspirational. Through many of your write ups, you strove to refine Nigeria’s social and political system for better. You deployed foreign languages for national integrations and global harmony. You helped deepen the francophone influences in Africa. You were busy on both national and international speaking circuit. Airports became like a backyard market place to you and aircraft like a common commodity such as guguru. No wonder such an intellectually prodigious life is reflected in awards, testimonies and decorations. Lord, please raise many more of his like in our land!

You survived many vicissitudes of life never believing that “Ottawa”-presence of adversaries. You survived a ghastly land accident, only to be consumed by a fatal air crash.

We will continue to miss you dearly. We will miss your vast expertise and deep breath of your grasp of what seems to be wrong with the African continent and the concerns to address it.

The lesson for us all is to live a life of purpose and legacy. Your life clearly demonstrates an African who rejected the label of a wasted generation and proved beyond all reasonable doubt that his generation is indeed blessed, redeemed and a pathfinder one!

To the Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, I say erokun, eku araferaku. Accept our condolences.

To your dutiful and loving wife and the children, I urge you to give all your pains and worry to God, the greatest burden bearer. Lean wholly on Him. He will never forsake you, despite the seeming hopelessness and darkness of the moment. May the good lord empower your resilience to bear this irreparable loss.

Desan, we did not get to say goodbye; it was the hardest thing for many of us. We are consoled and assured that one day, that glorious morning, we will meet, on the other side of eternity, to share what has happened when you left us.

Lord, at a time like this, we cast our pains on your stretched arms. Comfort us oh lord! Our strength is feeble as we unquestionably let go our beloved friend on you able hand.

Adieu, our dear Professor Pius Adesanmi.

Madiba Ibrahim Lapinni is a Journalist/Writer


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