On 10 March 2019, the media was awash with news of the Ethiopian airline Boeing 737 Max 8 flight which crashed in Ethiopia and snatched the lives of 157 people. But a Nation wept like no other and that was Nigeria who lost an illustrious son, one who was never truly given the accolades he deserved while he was alive.
He is Prof Pius Adebola Adesanmi who Wikipedia described as a Nigerian-born Canadian. But I describe him as a Nigerian turned Canadian. You know some Nigerians desire to have dual citizenship as a result of the harsh reality of being a Nigerian ( not every Nigerian feels this way) and the enormous privilege European/American citizenship offers to people from less developed or economically stunted Nations like ours.
The 47years old Prof Adesanmi reminds me of those Nigerian Professors I met abroad who tried to nurture the spirit of patriotism in me. Their preachings came despite my rebellious struggle not to be associated with my country as a result of the bad treatment one receives as soon as the green passport is presented at the airport. He also reminds me of my Dad who always preached about visiting and living in other countries through the legitimate way rather than smuggling oneself through the Morrocan desert or rather than being an illegal immigrant.
Now, one striking thing about Prof Adesanmi is that he is a Nigerian citizen as well as a Canadian citizen but his love for Nigeria seems limitless. I first had an encounter with him through his article titled “Racoon Orientation For Canada Bound-Nigerians.” I read this article this year while he was alive and as a writer and an avid reader, I was fascinated, to say the least. I enjoyed every bit of it, the same way one would enjoy every morsel of a well-cooked meal.
Then came news of his death, the tears, the sorrow, the tributes, the mourning. You know life is funny, most great people are more revered in their death than during their lifetime. Also the saying “You don’t know what you have until you lose it” rang true.
Well, I for one, was glad that this great Professor lived among us. Then his articles started pouring in and the more I read them, the more I realized that we lost a great. A man who was dedicated to correcting the ills of society through his pen. A man who had developed for himself a great philosophy because he was opportune to do so. A man who loved his first country dearly. I became converted and as a new convert, I decided to dedicate the month of April to him.
Perhaps, just perhaps, if everyone welcomes his words as I did, the dedication might turn into a movement and the movement might birth a change in mentality and right the wrongs of our deep-rooted faulty mentality of chop I chop. Na my time to chop. Half bread is better than none. Everybody dey do am. Anything dey possible for Naija. With that change I fit get wetin I want. Need no dey to work hard. I fit make money sharp sharp. Baba God makeI hammar. I know wan work. Baba God make they erase my student loan etc.
So, from today, FMB shall start by honouring our great Prof Pius Adesanmi and maybe his dream for Nigeria might come true in his death. Adieu Prof Pius Adesanmi and may you soul rest in the bosom of the Lord.