Its an Act of God, Says Pastor Bimbo’s Mother
Pastor Abimbola Odukoya
The atmosphere seemed serene, except for isolated wails, and occasional tears flowing from sympathisers, who could not hold back their emotions. Number 16, Herbert Marcaulay Street, GRA, Ikeja, received visitors as it had never done before.
Sympathisers, from all walks of life, wore long faces, unable to believe that one of the most celebrated female pastors in the continent, who specialised in the training of the youth and singles in the way of the Lord, was no more.
The death of Pastor Abimbola Odukoya, nee Williams, came as a rude shock, not only to her immediate family and Church, the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos, but to all Nigerians, who at one time or the other, hadbenefited from her popular television programme, "Single and Married".
Pastor Bims, as she was fondly called by her admirers, was one of the few passengers that survived the Sosoliso Airlines flight 1145 that crashed in Port Harcourt last Saturday. Nigerians, both Christians and Muslims were full of prayers for her life and those other survivors. But by Sunday morning she had gone to be with the Lord.
Immediately the news of her death broke, sympathisers thronged her GRA residence to commiserate with her husband, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, and other members of the family. They gathered in groups, discussing in low tones. While some, who could not hold back emotions wept and wailed, others who seemed to have resigned to faith moved around to console the heavy-hearted.
Although the widower would not grant any press interview, he was busy receiving sympathizers, most of who he had to console, telling them that the incident was an unchallengeable wisdom of God.
Married for 21 years, Pastor Bims left behind to mourn, her husband, three children and her aged parents, who are in their seventies.
What would have made this woman, who God was using mightily in His vineyard to die the way she did, was the question on the lips of virtually everyone that received the news of the death of the 45 year-old woman. But this, her mother put to rest by saying the University of Ibadan, Archeology graduate died according to God's plan and design for her life.
Speaking in the house of one of her children, Segun, at Maryland Estate, Mrs. Williams would not think that her daughter was attacked and killed by the devil, the staunch Christian woman of faith persisted in the belief that her daughter’s death was an act of God.
Hear her, "Last Thursday as she was preaching in the church, she kept saying we should get prepared at all times since we don't know when to go. She even admonished us to leave a life of example wherever we find ourselves. These, she was saying, not knowing that she would soon go. As a Christian, I believe no evil would have been able to befall my daughter. She did not die as a result of demonic attack. Bimbo died in the plane crash because that was how God has made it to be.
"I know very well that she has gone to rest in the bosom of the Lord. Although she called me before boarding the Sosoliso Aircraft and told me she was tired. I would have preferred her to have rested and probably go the following day, but in all things, I will give God the glory, no matter what. Because He knows everything and the right thing to do at the right time".
The Septuagenarian, who said she would mourn her daughter privately tried hard to hide her sorrow.
"Pastor Bimbo was larger than life. She torched each life she got in contact with in the positive way. She was a child of blessing, not only to the family but to her own generation. She was lovely and caring. A child more than two hundred. We will all miss her, no doubt. We should all try and console ourselves and seek the face of the Lord. Whoever loves her should live for what she died for.
"What else do you want to hear from me. How do you want me to face our church's congregation. I don't even know how I will feel peeping towards where my daughter usually sit without seeing her there anymore. I don't even know what to say than to accept the will of God for my life", stated the mother of the anti-fornication Pastor.
Efforts to speak with the husband proved abortive as the pastor's personal security aides prevented THISDAY from getting across to him for interview.
- As Death Stalks a Nation’s Air Space... 103 Die in P/Harcourt Crash: Bimbo Odukoya on Board (Saturday, December 10, 2005)
Barely two months after a Bellview crash claimed the lives of 117 passengers and crew, the nation yesterday witnessed yet another air tragedy when a Sosoliso Airlines aircraft crashed in Port Harcourt killing 103 passengers, including about 60 students of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, who were on board the flight.
- Families seek Nigeria crash bodies (Sunday, December 11, 2005)
Relatives of some of the 103 people killed in a plane crash in Nigeria on Saturday have crowded hospital mortuaries seeking the bodies of their loved ones.
- Casualty figure in Nigerian plane crash increases to 107... Pastor Bimbo Odukoya among the dead (Sunday, December 11, 2005)
The number of people killed in Saturday's plane crash in Port Harcourt in Nigeria's Niger river delta increased to 107 as four of the seven survivors died Sunday.
- Passenger List of ill-fated flight (Sunday, December 11, 2005)
Sosoliso Airline has released the manifest of the passengers and crew members on board its ill-fated flight that claimed 107 lives in Port Harcourt yesterday.
- I Lost Two of My Relatives - Education Minister (Monday, December 12, 2005)
Minister of Education, Mrs. Chinwe Nora Obaji, yesterday said she lost two of her relatives in the ill-fated Sosoliso Airline plane that crashed in Port Harcourt over the weekend.
- A Nation Counts Its losses: The Sosoliso Crash (Monday, December 12, 2005)
Aviation authorities, Loyola Jesuit Collge, abuja and other concerned citizens began counting their losses when the manifest of passengers aboard the ill-fated Sosoliso Airline flight 1145 that crashed Saturday at the Port Harcourt International Airport was released yesterday.
- Pastors besiege Odukoya’s home (Wednesday, December 14, 2005)
The Ikeja GRA home of Pastor (Mrs) Bimbo Odukoya who died in the Sosoliso air crash in Port Harcourt has virtually turned to a holy site as hundreds of eminent pastors across the world troop into the house to pay their respect to the departed soul.
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