From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Kogi state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has described Professor Adesanmi’s death as a personal loss, saying the State has lost an accomplished academic who became a conscience of the society and a great Nigerian that shone brightly at the global stage.
“He brought immense recognition and honour to his fatherland, an illustrious, worthy and great son and proud ambassador of the state.”
The governor’s condolence was contained in a press statement, which was signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mohammed Onogwu.
He extended his condolences to his wife, daughter and family members of the departed scholar, adding that the late Professor Adesanmi was a great asset to Kogi state in particular and Nigeria in general.
“We are really pained and shocked over the tragic death of our great son and proud ambassador. This is one death too many. The whole of Kogi state has been thrown into deep mourning”
“Our sincere prayers and words of encouragement go to his young family, mother and the beloved ones he left behind. We shall continue to remember him for the honour and glory he brought to Kogi state and Nigeria through his literary accomplishments”.
“Professor Adesanmi never denied his Kogi roots as he continued to draw our attention to areas that we needed to accord priority as a state. His words and submissions were always hinged on the need for government to address challenges facing our people. As sad as we are over this unfortunate occurrence, we have taken solace in the fact that His creator has called him home for good”.
The Director General of Media and Publicity to the Governor of Kogi State, Kingsley Fanwo said he met the late Prof Pius Adesanmi in Lokoja in 2016 when the State Government invited him for a Lecture at Reverton Hotels.
“I went to his suite in company of the immediate past Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Petra Akinti Onyegbule who was a good friend of the Professor. We got talking and became quite close.
“Prof Pius was no doubt one of Africa’s biggest scholars in literary studies. He proved his mettle in Nigeria, United States and Canada. The Isanlu-born Poet was one of the biggest stars of his generation.”
According to him, at the Lectures in Lokoja in 2016, one of the global forces in Development Literature, Prof Gambari made a striking comment about Pius:
“When Pius speaks, I usually have nothing to fault in his thoughts. He is a brilliant man and one of the people who has changed the mindset of the whites about Africans”.
He indicated that Prof Pius was a great force in knowledge building and transfer in the literary world adding that his words amazed the world.
“His poetry shaped minds and destinies. He was such an inspiring figure. He lived an African life. He loved and flaunt his culture.
“To him, Palm Wine is the cultural drink of the people. He told me how he followed Palm Wine tappers in Isanlu to the farm whenever he was in the village.”
He also pointed out that one other thing about Pius was his life of activism adding that his writings were scribles that shape leaders and criticize them.
“He was a fearless critic who won’t even spare his friends. The world will miss Pius. Africa will miss Pius. Nigeria will miss Pius. Kogi is in pains. Okun May never be able to replace the dimmed global star.
“Isanlu has lost a genius who was respected around the world. He must be immortalized and the next generations must read about the great works of our evergreen Pius Adesanmi.