The family of late academic, Pius Adesanmi, have criticised his burial in the Canada, saying it goes against his wishes.
Mr Adesanmi, a popular professor and public commentator, was one of the over 100 passengers who died in an Ethiopian airline crash on March 10.
He was buried last week at his adopted country Canada where he lived with his wife and daughter and taught at Carleton University.
However, a statement by his other family members on Sunday showed they were not carried along in the burial.
“It is now evident, that our late son’s remains were interred in Ottawa without family consent and contrary to the wish of the deceased to be buried in his place of birth, Isanlu. To our shock and chagrin, this internment was carried out without the knowledge or consent of Prof. Adesanmi’s aged mother and his eldest daughter,” a family representative, Mike Oyelude, said in a statement.
Read the full statement below.
Saturday November 2, 2019 made it exactly one week since we read on social media about the purported burial of our son, the late Prof. Pius Adebola Adesanmi. This burial reportedly took place in Ottawa on October 26, 2019. Since the so-called burial, we have waited for confirmation and used established channels to find out what really happened.
It is now evident, that our late son’s remains were interred in Ottawa without family consent and contrary to the wish of the deceased to be buried in his place of birth, Isanlu. To our shock and chagrin, this internment was carried out without the knowledge or consent of Prof. Adesanmi’s aged mother and his eldest daughter.
Since the death of our son in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines crash, we have been subjected to unspeakable disrespect, deceit and discourtesy by Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines and Prof Adesanmi’s widow in Ottawa. We want to place on record that neither Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines nor Prof. Adesanmi’s widow Olumuyiwa Balogun has done right by the family. We have not been called nor informed about the accident till date.
Prof. Adesanmi was born in Isanlu, in Kogi State to the Adesanmi family. We raised our son in the best custom of our ancestors and the Christian faith. Although his father, Pa Adesanmi passed before his son in relative old age, he is survived by his aged mother Mama Lois Adesanmi and two young daughters Oluwadamilare and Oluwatise. It is public knowledge in official and private circles that both children were born to Prof. Adesanmi in Ottawa to different mothers, in lawful wedlock.
Oluwadamilare ‘Dammy’ Adesanmi was born in wedlock to Pius and Oluwatosin in Ottawa. That makes Dammy a bona-fide Canadian citizen. It is disdainful to make it appear as if Pius is survived by one child. In our culture and before the law, children born in lawful wedlock have equal status before the law and society.
We are shocked and totally distraught to explain to the world that in regard to the shambolic burial in Ottawa on October 26, neither Mama Lois Adesanmi nor 12-year old Dammy were contacted by either Boeing or Ethiopian Airlines or Prof. Adesanmi’s surviving widow. Indeed since our world crashed with Pius last March, nobody has deemed it fit to officially contact his family in any official capacity.
If the airlines whose negligence led to the untimely death of our son has made contact with anyone on our behalf, it was incumbent on them to ensure that we were duly carried along by way of official information and that our consent is sought as to how our son’s remains would be interred.
We would like to place it on record that neither the airline nor anyone else bothered to seek our consent or approval before the purported ceremony in Ottawa.
Since March 10, we have struggled not to be offended by the disdainful disrespect to the soul of the dead and the indescribable agony to those precious to our son. No travesty of justice could befall a grieving mother than to learn about the interment of her only son via social media.
While one daughter was visibly present at the October 26 last event, we are at a loss as to how to explain to Dammy that her father has been buried without her knowledge or consent. This is incredibly agonizing for all of us except the organizers of the charade in Ottawa and their collaborators.
From third parties, we have been told that the decision to bury Adesanmi in Ottawa was taken by Ethiopian Airline in cahoots with the Canadian government just because Adesanmi identifies as a Nigerian-Canadian. It is on record publicly, that Pius expressed his wish to be buried in Isanlu, in Yagbaland almost half a decade before it happened. That dying wish has been flagrantly and disrespectfully discountenanced without an agreement by those most concerned.
If anybody could have overruled Pius’s wish on his final resting place, it ought to have been all members of his immediate family. We do not know of any law, norm or convention that disenfranchises the living, active and normal family members of a victim of a monumental tragedy such as has befallen us a say on their final wish.
It is obvious that, Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines and others working in cahoots with whoever carried out this insult upon a grave injury when it assented to this sham burial in Ottawa.
We are convinced that it is repugnant to natural justice to completely ostracise Dammy, Professor Adesanmi’s first seed from her father’s burial. Dammy is truly a teenager, but her rights are inalienable. Those rights have been trampled upon consistently since March 10.
It is most disrespectful that the shambolic funeral in Ottawa was deliberately organized to coincide with Mama Adesanm’s 78th birthday. We refuse to believe that this was not done deliberately to maximise the pain, the suffering and the agony of our matriarch. This was why, Pius’s best friends refused to dishonour his remains by attending this charade. We are in solidarity with their stance. The emotional and psychological damage brought by this purported burial has increased the obvious disrespect to the psychological and emotional well-being of the Adesanmi family by both Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines and those who lent their names and presence to it. We have waited since March 10 for explanations without any. We have now waited for over a week to hear that this nightmare is not happening. Alas, it appears to be true!
This statement is issued notwithstanding our rights in law, but in response to men and women of goodwill whose calls, messages and outreach has comforted us during this trying times. To those who have wondered why we did not call or invite them, we categorically say we learnt of the event less than a week before it happened from concerned friends. Even at that, we made strident efforts through living intermediaries to postpone the ceremony until at least Dammy could be present to say her final goodbye to her dad. We were met with concrete walls.
To our friends we say please be reassured that we would never have disrespected you like this. We are as much victims of the subterfuge that has been going on and the attempt by Boeing, Ethiopia Airlines and others to cause ill-will and disaffection in the Adesanmi family by their divide and rule tactics.
We remain resolute and would pursue our rights in law and in the courts of public opinion. We are committed to not impugning the legacy of our son by those who killed our joy and also purport to bury our dignity with him in Ottawa.