By Peter Uzoho
The funeral rites of the Chairman of Punch Newspapers, Mr. Gbadebowale Wayne Aboderin, came to a close yesterday, as dignitaries from all walks of life joined his family, to pay their last respects to the media mogul.
Aboderin, 60, died on May 30, 2018, after a heart surgery at the First Cardiology Consultants, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The news of his sudden demise was received with shock by his close associates and other admirers.
Proceeding from his lying-in-state at his residence at No. 1 Onipetesi Street, Mangoro, Ikeja, his remains were taken to the Archbishop Vining Memorial Anglican Church, GRA, Ikeja, for the funeral service and interment followed at the Ebony Vaults Cemetery, Ikoyi.
Members of the Punch family who wore lapel pins bearing the insignia of their late chairman’s image were also out in large number to honour the memory of the deceased.
Old Boys of Government College, Ibadan, who sang the school anthem in honour of their late comrade, prayed God to consecrate his soul and grant him eternal rest.
In his homily, The Canon Residentiary of the church, Ven. Festus Olowosile, who drew from the Apostle Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 15: 19, admonished Aboderin’s family to cheer up, bearing in mind that their loved one had gone home to rest.
While calling on the members of the church to repent and be of good conduct, Olowosile stressed that life does not last forever. “You are not alive because you are an expert, you are not alive because of your travel experience, you are alive because God permitted it. Your life is borrowed, the owner will definitely request for it one day,” he said.
The Venerable who also told the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, bemoaned the wasteful state of the Nigerian society, noting that today, many people in Nigeria were living a prodigal life.
“The Nigerian society is more or less a prodigal society. We squander money anyhow, we waste resources anyhow. If you are living without being conscious of heaven, you are a prodigal child. The time has come for you to come back home.”
Also encouraging the family of the deceased, Olowosile, advised that they be conscious of the fact that Jesus Christ was with them and that they should acknowledge His presence.
“And my sister (wife of the deceased), acknowledge the presence of Jesus even as you are facing this challenging situation. Your husband is gone but there’s a husband available, that is Jesus Christ, the savior.
“He’s the father of the fatherless and the husband to the widows. People you see around you now, in a few minutes time, you may not be able to see them again. But there’s somebody who’s always around you, who’s always present. Don’t rely on human beings. And to the children, look unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith.”
Meanwhile, former deputy governor of Lagos State, Otunba Femi Pedro, while paying tribute to Aboderin, said he would be greatly missed.
“We pray for the repose of his soul and we thank God for the life he lived. It’s an exemplary life full of philanthropic activities and we pray that his gentle soul will rest in peace,” Pedro said.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion included Chairman of THISDAY Newspaper/Arise Television, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena; Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director of THISDAY respectively, Eniola Bello and Kayode Komolafe, and Managing Director of Punch Newspaper, Mr. Ademola Osinubi.