A Nigerian professor based in Canada, Pius Adesanmi, and former UN and AU Deputy Joint Special Representative in Darfur, Sudan, Ambassador Abiodun Bashua of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were among the 157 persons on board an Ethiopian Airlines plane which crashed yesterday.
Adesanmi, who was popular on twitter for his consistent interventions on the state of the nation, was teaching at the Carlton University in Canada.
He was a dual citizen of Nigeria and Canada.
Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters that among the passengers were seven Britons, seven French, eight Italians and 18 Canadians.
Also on board were 32 Kenyans, nine Ethiopians, eight Americans and eight Chinese.
The nationalities of the other passengers were yet-to-be disclosed as at the time of filing this report.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed profound shock at the crash on behalf of the government and the people of Nigeria, extending his condolences to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, the people of Ethiopia, Kenya, Canada, China and all other nations who lost citizens to the disaster.
The President also commiserated with the families of the victims and prayed God Almighty to grant the souls of the departed eternal rest.
Reacting to the accident in Daura, Katsina State, the President said: “Such large scale loss of human lives in a single incident is shocking beyond words. I am profoundly touched by this devastating report of air accident involving one of the world’s most successful and efficient airlines, given its remarkable safety record. This couldn’t have come at a worse time for Ethiopian Airlines.”
President Buhari, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, said: ”Like every other African leader, I am proud of the fact that Ethiopian Airlines represents one of Africa’s success stories.”
The President hoped that the tragic accident will not have a negative effect on Ethiopian Airlines’ passion for excellence.
There were 147 passengers and eight crew members on board the ill-fated Addis Ababa-Kenya bound flight.
Officials were said to have retrieved the wreckage of the plane and confirmed the deaths.
The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 plane on a routine flight to Nairobi, Kenya from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, crashed shortly after take-off.
“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning,” the message on the government’s Twitter handle read.
An Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said the crash occurred at 8:44am local time.