Co-Pilot, Bello, Laid To Rest
His body was to have been buried on Thursday, but it did not arrive Calabar from Lagos as scheduled.
A well-attended funeral Mass was however held despite the absence of the body at the St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Ikot Ansa, Calabar. It was presided over by Rev. Fr. Patrick Cochran, with the airline fully represented by management and staff.
Chief Pilot, E135 Operation, Bristow Africa and Middle East, Capt D. D. Pam, in his tribute, said among all the First Officers in the Lagos operation, the late Bello stood out.
“He was always smartly and neatly dressed, great composure, very respectful, but very confident, very sociable and helpful.
“What I remember most were his usual lucid words of encouragement and support to me, with regards to the Embraer 135 project my team is currently working on.
“This is really fascinating and impressive, considering that I am the Chief Pilot and he is a Co-pilot.
“I found his words and behavior very mature and helpful, considering what most people his age would normally do or say. He was indeed an icon and would be greatly missed.”
National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Chief Bassey Edem, said his death was a sad and huge devastation to the family and no amount of words could fill the deep gap created by the loss. He prayed for the peaceful repose of Bello’s soul.
National Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mr. Gbolagade Iyiola, prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Also, the Amoji Ohekpa Ikogor Ogamade family of Yala Council, while conveying their condolences, said it was, however, gratifying that Bello passed on with satisfying joy and assurance to meet with his Lord and maker.
A tribute by Dr. Clement Adagbor Odey on behalf of the family, said this knowledge should comfort them in this moment of grief.
A former member of the House of Representative, Mrs. Nkoyo Toyo, in the condolence register, said: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, may His name be glorified always.
“What can we say, do or think? God will fill the gaps and ease the pains in Jesus name.”
Bello, along with the Pilot, John Wyatt, was among the six passengers aboard the aircraft that died in the crash.
The dead include Ita Ekpeyong; Chukwuma Erise; Chidi Ukwunta; and Chris Abua.
Six others survived and are currently receiving treatment in hospitals in Lagos.
They are Joshua Emekeme; Dolu Ebiejuara; Onoriode Onojete; Solomon Udeh; Iniala Opaimi; and Chukwudi Onah.