The Nigerian government has confirmed the death of a diplomat in the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed on Sunday.

Abiodun Bashua was among the 157 passengers and crew members who died in the crash that occurred in Ethiopia.

Although he was the only one listed as a Nigerian on the flight manifest, another Nigerian-Canadian, Pius Adesanmi, was also among those that died in the crash.

Mr Adesanmi, a popular columnist for many Nigerian newspapers including PREMIUM TIMES, was a professor at Carleton University in Canada.

In a statement by the foreign affairs ministry, the Nigerian government confirmed that Mr Bashua was among the passengers on the plane.

According to Channels TV, the spokesperson of the foreign affairs ministry, George Edokpa, in a press statement described Mr Bashua’s death as “untimely”.

He said the minister of foreign affairs, Goefffery Onyeama, and the ministry were “in great shock.”

“The Minister of Foreign affair Goefffery Onyeama and member of Staff of Ministry received the sad news of his death with great shock and prayed that the Almighty God grant his family and the nation the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” he said in the statement.

Before his demise, Mr Bashua was a UN expert who had extensive experience in several United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa.

He joined the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in 2009 and was appointed Deputy Joint Special Representative of the agency in 2014 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

A total of 149 passengers and eight crew members were on the Boeing 737 plane flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

The plane crashed shortly after take-off from the Ethiopian capital.

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