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One year remembrance: Family, friends celebrate late PUNCH chairman, Aboderin

Family and friends gathered on Thursday for the one year remembrance service in honour of the late chairman of PUNCH Nigeria Limited, Mr Gbadebowale Aboderin.

The event was held at the Trinity House on Victoria Island, Lagos.

Aboderin, aged 60, died on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 6.05am after a heart surgery at the First Cardiology Consultants, Ikoyi, Lagos.

He was buried on June 15, 2018.

Before his death, Aboderin was also the chairman, PUNCH Commercial Printing Limited and Lukahed Properties Limited.

He was an alumnus of Government College, Ibadan and was trained as a pilot in the United States.

A sports enthusiast and philanthropist, he was the founder and chairman of the Dolphins Female Basketball Team and a former chairman of the Lagos State Basketball Association.

He was also a one-time vice-president of the Nigerian Basketball Supporters Club.

At the remembrance held for the late Aboderin, his sister, Mrs Angela Emuwa, described the late PUNCH chairman as a determined man who did not only push himself but also pushed others to succeed.

She said, “As my brother, he was stubborn in the sense that he was determined to achieve his dreams. He left an indelible mark on a lot of people.

“For instance, he took the girls at Dolphins like his daughters. He used to say that anything that was good for his daughters was good for the girls. He pushed a lot of people to succeed.”

Emuwa, who emerged as the chairman of PUNCH Nigeria Limited after Aboderin’s death, said he was an amazing man.

“I just pray to God that we would have the strength to continue the legacy he laid down,” she said.

Another sister to the deceased, Mrs Wunmi Obe, recalled that the late PUNCH chairman didn’t want people around him to be sorrowful.

She said as they grew up, it was impossible for anyone to be sorrowful when around the late Aboderin.

“He wanted people to stay in high spirits,” she said.

Obe narrated how the deceased didn’t want anyone to know he was sick in his dying days.

She said, “Towards the end of his life and he was always going to the hospital, he told me that I shouldn’t tell anyone that he was dying because he didn’t want anyone to panic or cry.

“He told me, ‘You know you are strong.’ I know I’m not. But because he told me, I had to do so. His influence was so strong that on the day he died and I got to the hospital, I didn’t initially cry and inform anyone until I realised, ‘Wait, my brother is gone.’ His death was shocking but we celebrate him.”

A basketball coach, Mr Peter Amadu, who said he was tutored by the late PUNCH chairman, described him as a man who desired others to succeed.

He said, “He (Aboderin) told me what life was all about and I am sad that he did not live till today to see the young man that he guided to become a man.

“I was with the Dolphins but at a time, I wanted to become a full-time coach. I requested his permission and he gave me the permission to go and study. He contributed to my ability to attend the National Institute of Sports. He said my dream was his happiness.”

Admonishing the departed’s family and friends in his sermon, the founder of Trinity House, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, said the late Aboderin would be missed dearly.

“We miss him dearly. He was the kind of person you could not but miss. Once he entered a place, his aura filled the whole room. He was always here and there, jumping and singing, dancing and creating songs,” said Ighodalo.

Reading from John 11:19-26, the cleric said even in the presence of God, death could come.

He said, “Whether we like it or not, death comes. The prayer is that it will come only at the appointed time, not necessarily at old age. If God is there, He makes the passage easy.

“So we don’t need to mourn because that’s the character of all flesh. Our brother, Wale, will rise again.”

In her comments, one of the deceased’s daughters, Nicole, thanked those who attended the remembrance service of their father.

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