Pastor Daniel Olusanya of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Fruitful Vine Parish, Lagos said on Friday that death was an appointment which everyone must keep.
“It is an ordained fact from God which everyone must experience,’’ Olusanya said at the funeral service for late Mr James Bello, a retired Editor-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
In his message titled, “The appointment everyone must keep,” Olusanya urged every true child of God to see death as a white horse, which leads to Heaven.
“Whenever there is a call to glory, every child of God must check his or her life, if it is according to the scriptures.
“The most important thing is that when someone departs from this world, he or she should know that they are going to be with the Lord.
“We should check ourselves because one day, we will all keep this appointment with death,” he said.
Olusanya said that he believed that Bello was sleeping in the bosom of the Lord and that he would rise again when Christ comes for everybody.
He, therefore, urged Bello’s family and friends to continue to celebrate his life because he has gone to heaven to rest with the Lord.
In a tribute to her late husband during the Wake on Thursday, Mrs Esther Bello described her husband as a fine gentleman, a good husband, as well as a wonderful and caring father.
She recalled that he was a good Christian who never engaged in quarrels, mudslinging and other negative practices.
“James was a lover of peace, he cared so much for the well-being of other people,’’ she said.
Mrs Bello, therefore, urged everyone to pray for her family, saying that “his irreparable loss is difficult to manage.
“I pray that God will grant the soul of my dear husband eternal rest,” she said.
Also speaking, the only child of the deceased, Miss Blessing Bello, said that her father was a good and peaceful man.
She said that they shared good memories together, which she would cherish forever.
“Even when daddy could not say it, I know he loved me till the end and I love him too.
“I am also very sure he was loved and would be missed by all who encountered him.
“Sleep on daddy in the bosom of the Lord, till we meet again,” she said.
Also speaking, Mrs Kate Popoola, a retired NAN staff and the immediate-past Head of NAN’s Lagos Office, described Bello a gentleman, who was well respected among his peers.
Popoola said that Bello was a very hard-working man who loved the news and always ensured that every story was perfectly edited.
“JB’’ as he was fondly called by his peers, also knew how to dress neatly and properly.
“It is not how long but how well, and at the very end, Uncle JB has spent his life well. May his soul continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord,’’ she said.
Mr Bonnie Iwuoha, a former Commissioner for Information in Abia State, described Bello as a very good friend and a gentleman, who cared so much for the peace and well-being of other people.
Iwuoha, who was also a former NUJ National President, said that although he had relocated from Lagos to Abia, he still maintained a cordial relationship with Bello.
He said Bello held several positions during the course of his career that could have fetched him quick money but he refused to tow that path.
“He also held positions that could affect people’s lives but to the best of my knowledge, he did not use them negatively,” he recalled.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bello died at 74 on December 11, 2017, after a protracted illness.
He started his journalism career as a pioneer staff of the Nigerian Observer in 1968, before transferring his service to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in 1980.
Bello served as NAN’s Eastern Africa Correspondent in Nairobi, Kenya; Zonal Manager in Kaduna and Abuja; Head of Lagos Operations, and Editor-in-Chief, before his retirement in August 2007.
He was elected Treasurer of the Nigerian Guild of Editors between 2003 and 2007 and was inducted as a Fellow in 2012.