Editor's note: Tunde Fagbenle eulogises late Canadian-based Professor Pius Adesanmi who died on the ill-fated Ethiopian airline.
According to Fagbenle, Professor Adesanmi was one of Nigeria's greatest public intellectual.
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Back in 2012, SLS, now the Emir of Kano, consented that I should help publish, in book form, a compendium of critical essays (irreverent outpourings) written by him, over a number of past years.
It turned out to be a voluminous product running into about 600 printed pages aptly titled "For The Good Of The Nation - Essays & Perspectives of SLS".
I turned to Pius in May 2012 to help peruse the volume & write the INTRODUCTION to the book. He immediately accepted and when I thanked him for the honour he's done me by accepting, he responded in typical multi-lingual Piusspeak: "Ah, Egbon mi, The iyi is your handiwork o. One is eternally grateful for the role model you have been for my generation in a society that has lost even the most basic sense of that concept."
And true to his word, on 17th June, 2012, Pius sent in the "Final version" of the Intro, an amazing intellectual philosophical treatise on its own, spanning 20 pages!
At the tail end, Pius summed up his consideration of the Man SLS and the place of the "public intellectual" in society. The summation, I believe, is a classic appraisal of Pius himself, what he sees as his life's mission!
Here: "If you look at it closely, nobody really chooses to be a public intellectual. There are much easier things, more materially rewarding things to do. Public intellection is a corvée that chooses you regardless of your will. Its gaze, like the gaze of the Medusa, renders the chosen powerless before its will.
Once it beckons, you must say yes, knowing that you thereby embark on a journey that would grant you more than your fair dosage of attacks and recriminations from the same people on behalf of whom you were elected by fate to act as Delegated Intellect."
The book, for various reasons, remains yet unpublished but for a bound copy or two with SLS and me.
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However, for posterity and for those in the business of collecting Professor Pius Adesanmi's intellectual works in any form, I shall oblige to forward the original email of Pius to me together with its Word Document attachment.
Thanks as Pius lives forever!
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Ethiopian Air Crash: Saraki, Melaye Join Nigerians To Eulogise late Prof. Pius Adesanmi | Legit TV