- She was my friend, companion, critic, lover and wife of 23 years, says Bello
Deji Elumoye and Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari and Senate President Bukola Saraki wednesday joined other dignitaries, groups and organisations to commiserate with the Managing Director of THISDAY, Mr. Eniola Bello, over the death of his wife, Helen, in London on Tuesday.
Mrs. Eniola-Olaitan (nee Alemeru), 49, died at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom, after a three-year battle with breast cancer, according to a statement yesterday by Bello to formally announce her demise.
The mourners, in separate condolence messages, described her death as a painful loss.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, said the president joined Bello’s friends and professional colleagues in mourning his wife, whose motherly love and kindness, Buhari said, would be sorely missed by the family.
It stated: “President Buhari urges family and loved ones to find solace in God and the seeds of goodness and charity sown in many lives by Bello’s wife, believing she lived and stood for virtues that will continue to resonate.
“The president prays that the almighty God will grant Helen’s soul eternal rest, and comfort her family.”
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the death of Helen as untimely and a painful loss.
He said: “Mrs. Helen Eniola-Olaitan was a dutiful mother and a pillar of support to her husband. Her humility and selflessness endeared her to all. I am deeply saddened that we lost her to illness so soon. We shall all miss her.”
Saraki condoled with Bello, his immediate family, the THISDAY Group and the Nigerian media over the irreparable loss.
He urged Bello to take solace in the fact that God has a reason for everything, this unexplainable circumstance notwithstanding.
“God gives and God takes. We cannot query God,” he stated.
He prayed God to grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest and her family and loved ones the fortitude to bear the painful loss.
Lagos NUJ Pray for Fortitude
The Lagos State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in its condolence message, signed by the Chairman, Mr. Qasim Akinreti, urged Bello to take heart.
He said: “We pray to Almighty God to give our brother the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“It was quite traumatic for our brother to leave hurriedly for London at the start of the IPI World Congress in Geneva to be by the side of the late wife.
“Mr Eniola Bello, may you be comforted by the Almighty God.”
Also, a socio-cultural group, ODA SW, expressed shock at the passage of Helen.
In a statement by the group’s Chairman, Chief Akere Owoniyi, prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased.
It said: “We pray to God Almighty for the repose of her soul and also the fortitude for the family to bear the irreplaceable loss.”
It urged members to rally round the Bello family in their bereavement.
In a statement in which he formally announced the death of his wife, Bello described her as “my friend, companion, critic, lover and wife of 23 years.”
He said she was a “devoted mother, loving wife, committed friend, generous giver, passionate mobiliser and humble soul.”
The deceased graduated in Business Administration at Kwara State Polytechnic, and Management at Lagos State University.
She was a banker, businesswoman, and distance-learning tutor with The Skills Network, UK.
Born on August 04 1969, Helen left behind her husband, four children, an aged mother as well as brothers and sisters.