THE remains of Deacon Gamaliel Oforitsenere Onosode was yesterday laid to
mother earth amid encomiums from associates, friends, clergies and well
Onosode’s journey home started at about 9am when the hearse conveying
his remains arrived the Government College Ughelli premises escorted by old
and young mariners marching in double lane.
The remains was later conveyed into the Government College hall by some
old boys of the school for a brief lying in state.
President of Government College Old Boys Association, GCOBA, worldwide,
Prof. Ogbemi O. Omatete described the late Onosode as a brilliant student of
the school, who carried his brilliancy anywhere he went.
He said: “Onosode was a shining example, who served the old boys
association in many ways, one of which led to the renovation of the school.”
After the lying in state ceremony, the hearse conveying Onosode’s remains
arrived the First Baptist Church, Ughelli at about 11:01am for the funeral
service where tributes and encomiums were poured on the late boardroom
In his tribute, Emeka Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary General
went back in history on his relationship with Gamaliel Onosode.
He said: “I first met Onosode in 1954 as a student of classics at the
University of Ibadan. Our friendship grew over the years with him being my
best man during my marriage in 1962. He was an icon and an outstanding
patriot of the best of Nigerian value, who used his wealth for the
development of his church in Ughelli and Lagos.”
Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa described him as a role model of simplicity and modesty.
“He was a national icon revered as a beacon of excellency and integrity
whose brilliance impacted positively in corporate governance. A man who is
very meticulous and committed to what he does.
“He was undoubtedly the conscience of the Nigerian nation. A man of
substance who is not given to excuses. As a state, we have lost a son
whose absence would take us time to fill. The best tribute we can give him
is to imbibe his virtues,” he said.
On his part, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, All Progressives Congress, APC,
national chairman described Onosode as a man of principle and highest
integrity saying, “he was a type of Nigerian that we hope to have.”
Describing the deceased as a pillar, the vice chancellor of the University of
Lagos, UNILAG, Prof. Rahamon Bello said: “He was the pro-chancellor of the
university when the name of the university was about to be changed. He
supported the alumni and took it up till the government reversed its
decision. It was because of him and his stand that the university remains
University of Lagos today.”
On his part, Dr. Nelson Waga, 19th President Nigerian Institute of
Management, NIM, said: “Onosode was our 5th President and he was part
of those who formed NIM in 1961. He is one of the greatest Nigerian that
has ever lived or rather, the best President Nigeria never had. We called him
Mr. Integrity and he was a mentor to a generation of managers in this
Speaking on behalf of the Urhobo nation, President General of the Urhobo
Progress Union, UPU, Chief Joe Omene said: “The Urhobo nation has lost
one of its finest products in the nation. With his exit today, we rejoice for his
fulfilled life but at the same time, he would be difficult to replace as
reflected in the caliber of persons here today, you would notice that he was
an accomplished man. Urhobo people are the chief mourner and indeed we
would mourn him for a very long time to come.”
Describing him as a quintessential gentleman, former Chief Executive
Officer/Managing Director of Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru said: Onosode
was a gentleman at home and to his friends. As a friend to my husband, we
came from the same local government area, and whenever we had a family
occasion, he was always there in person.”
According to former
Chief of Staff to the
Godini G. Darah,
“Onosode was a
splendid specimen of
humanity in all
dimensions. He was
excellent and we are
proud that he is an
Urhobo man and a
Nigerian at large. We
would try to beat his
records of excellency
On his part, the Delta State Head of Service, Mr. Patrick Origho, described
him as a national hero outstanding boardroom guru. He was a hero that
every Nigerian would want to emulate.
The Late Gamaliel Onosode’s journey home ended with the interment at
about 4pm by close relatives at his Edia r’ Ufuoma country home, at
Onosode drive, Ekuigbo, Ughelli.
Other dignitaries at the burial graced the occasion include; Delta State
former Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama, Senators Ighoyota Amori and
James Manager, Nduka Obaigbena, publisher ThisDay newspaper, Mr.
Pinnick Amaju, NFF President, Prof. Duro Oni, DVC Academics UNILAG, Prof.
Folasade Ogunsola, Provost College of Medicine, UNILAG, Prof. M. A Ojo, VC
BOWEN University, Prof. Ovie Igun, VC Michael & Cecilia Ibru University and
a galaxy of old mariners.