(OMONIYI SALAUDEEN, OLAFIOYE OLAKUNLE and WOLE BALOGUN)
DEATH is a killjoy! Though it is the ultimate and necessary end for every living mortal, it most often strikes when it is least expected. So it was for the bereaved families of the Ekiti NMA 7 when it struck and shattered their joy. They had mourned, they had wailed, they had literally ran short of tears, but the pains in their hearts remain palpable.
When Sunday Sun met some relations and associates of the deceased, no one could listen to their emotional outpouring and leave with a dry cheek. It could melt even a stony heart. Time may indeed prove to be the true healer of wounds, but for the families, friends and associates of these victims, there is no doubt that the sudden departure of the six doctors and their driver has left a permanent scar in the hearts of their beloved ones.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Ado-Ekiti, where two of the victims had worked before they met their untimely death, Dr Kolawole Ogundipe, speaking with Sunday Sun in his office, could not hold back his emotion as he said: “It has been a very dark moment for us since the ugly and tragic incident that took away seven of our colleagues happened. Apart from the fact that I am the Chief Medical Director of the hospital where two of the victims worked, Dr O.J Taiwo, Consultant Anatomic Pathologist and Dr Olajide Olayiwola, Resident, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, I had personal relationship with every one of the victims who died in that incident. It’s been very painful and agonizing; it has been a lot of grieving since that time. They have left a very big hole in our hearts.”
After a three-day statewide mourning declared by the Ekiti State Government, all but one of the victims had been committed to mother earth. From the oldest among the victims, 54 year-old Dr. Tunde Aladesanmi to the youngest 33-year-old Olajide Olayiwola, it was the same tale of aborted dreams, shattered hopes and tears of regret.
We had premonition of his death –Dr. Ogunseye’s brother
THE family of late Dr J.B Ogunseye may have had premonition of the death of the Senior Dental Officer of the General Hospital, Ifaki Ekiti, according to his elder brother, Mr. Olumuyiwa Ogunseye.
Speaking about the death of his brother, Mr. Olumuyiwa said: “I never knew his death was imminent. But on Sunday, he came to me in my dream, talked to me on the need to straighten up things in the family and apologized on behalf of my dad. I woke up and said, ‘What is happening?’ Again, on Sunday through Monday, he went to my mum and preached the same message of reconciliation and the need to live in peace within the family. Later on Monday, one of his primary school friends came to me and asked me when last I heard from my brother. That was when it occurred to me that something had happened. He left behind two aged parents. He was an alumnus of the University of Ibadan.”
The late Ogunseye, according to the Chairman of National Association of Government General Hospital Medical Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP), Dr. Folu Ekundare, nursed the ambition of becoming the next NMA chairman. He was said to have disclosed his intention to contest the position to one of his colleagues, Dr Ekundare, at one of the association’s assignments in Akwa Ibom State in March. Ekundare who claimed to have met the late Ogunseye 15 years ago spoke about his last encounter with the deceased. “I had known Dr Ogunseye as far back as 15years ago. We met at an NMA meeting and I saw a vibrant, eloquent and courageous man. At the end of the meeting, we introduced ourselves to each other and we became friends from then. Eventually, I became the chairman of our association, NAGGMDP, and he became the secretary. Just last month, he called and asked me if I was aware he was contesting the NMA chairmanship position and I told him I was aware. We discussed a lot because we slept on the same bed in the hotel room,” he disclosed.
OLAJIDE OLAYIWOLA: YOUNGEST VICTIM, HIS 6-MONTHS-OLD CHILD THE YOUNGEST BEREAVED PERSON
FOR the late Dr. Olajide whose internment was greeted by high-pitched lamentation of regrets, his demise was not only a major blow to Ekiti State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) but also a colossal loss to his young family with his one and only six-month-old child being the youngest among the bereaved. He emerged from the rubble of a broken home to give a beacon of hope to his other siblings, who like him, were determined not to succumb to the challenges that confronted them at childhood.
The late Olajide, according to his elder brother, Dr. Bode Olajide, did not start out as a medical student but the desire to follow the footstep of his elder brother, who is a medical doctor compelled him to change his course of study, a decision his family now regrets. “If I knew Olajide would end the way he ended, I would have dissuaded him from changing to Medicine. Olajide, even as a medical student in the university, would rush back home from school to hawk bread in order to survive and finance his education,” he said.
Dr. O J. Taiwo: Died 24 hours after his mother passed away, 47 days to his 50th birthday
THE death of Dr. O. J Taiwo on April 24 made it a double tragedy for the family of the deceased, who 24 hours earlier had been struck by the sad news of the death of the late doctor’s mother. Dr. Taiwo, who until his death was the first Vice Chairman of Ekiti State chapter of NMA, was the only surviving son of the family.
His death, according to a close source, came exactly 47 days to his 50th birthday, billed for June 12, 2016. “I had known Dr Tunji Taiwo now for about 14 years as a close friend. Among his friends, I am one of the closest. We read Medicine together and wrote exams together. We were both involved in student unionism together, embarking on night journeys. All this period when we put our lives on the line, death did not take him away. We were looking forward to June 12 this year to celebrate his 50th birthday. We have been planning to give him a bash. But death has taken him away from us. He was a very loving personality, a great comrade and a dependable friend,” a close friend of the deceased disclosed.
While the burial ceremonies of the other six victims had been concluded last week, the burial of the late Taiwo is slated to hold on Tuesday, May 3, to avoid clashing with burial ceremony of his mother which took place at Ayede Ekiti last Friday, April 29.
Olowookere Ajibola: Buried on son’s first birthday
ALTHOUGH his busy schedule could not permit him the opportunity to participate fully in the preparations for his child’s first birthday billed for last, Thursday, April 28, Mr. Ajibola Oloowokere, the driver of the ill-fated vehicle, ensured he made adequate provision for the event before heading for Sokoto, venue of the 2016 edition of the Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria Medical Association.
But his demise alongside the six doctors from Ekiti State threw a spanner into the entire arrangements. Rather than gather to celebrate his child’s birthday scheduled for last Thursday, family, friends and colleagues of the late Ajibola converged on Efon Ekiti to bid him final farewell on the same day his third child turned one.
Ekiti doctors’ death: 30,000 patients to suffer
BEYOND the irreparable loss suffered by the bereaved families and relations of Ekiti NMA 7, an estimated 30,000 patients in and around the state are also likely to bear the brunt of the vacuum created by the sudden death of the six doctors. The state chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Akinbote John, made this shocking disclosure.
Akinbote who was one of the six survivors of the tragic incident said due to the acute shortage of medical personnel in the country, doctor-patient ratio currently stands at 1:5000.
According to him, the multiplier effect of the death of the six doctors would be too enormous for the country to bear. His words: “I want to say that this is a major tragedy against our union. We have three political blocs in NMA Ekiti State. In each of these blocs, we lost two consultants, two resident doctors, two medical officers. The multiplier effect of this is too enormous on the nation in a country where you have one doctor to about 5,000 patients.”
The six doctors were lost to a ghastly motor accident along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway on their way to Sokoto State where they were to attend the 56th annual general meeting of the Nigeria Medical Association of Nigeria. Two of the seven victims who lost their lives in the incident were staff members of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Ado-Ekiti. They were Dr O.J Taiwo, Consultant Anatomic Pathologist and Dr Olajide Olayiwola Resident, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery.
Also lamenting the loss, the CMD of the hospital, Dr Kolawole Ogundipe said: There is no way you will lose these energetic and hardworking people that you will not feel the vacuum.
“By virtue of my position as CMD of EKSUTH and as a former Chairman of the NMA Ekiti State, I had personal relationship with every one of the victims involved in the tragic event. It’s been very painful and agonizing; it has been a lot of grieving since that time. They have left a very big hole in our hearts. There is no way you will lose these energetic and hardworking people that you will not feel the vacuum.”
Only God can console our mother –Dr. Adeniyi’s brother
THE death of Dr. Adeniyi James Atolani, Secretary, Ekiti State National Association of Government General Hospital Medical Dental Practitioners, NAGGMDP, according to his immediate elder brother, Mr. Olabisi Atolani, has created a huge vacuum in the family.
Atolani, while commenting on his late brother said, “He was the last born of a family of six. When I had the opportunity to go for my National Diploma in Business Administration, I sacrificed my ambition in order to meet his aspiration to read Medicine. I did everything to ensure he lived out his dream in the field of Medicine. Most times, I lived on bread and coconut in order to support him. When I was about to get married, the money I was supposed to use to buy my wife’s wedding gown and my suit was what I used to pay for his final school examination. We just managed to do our wedding. I did all this because he was a promising person and he never for one day disappointed me. He was a loving brother not only to me, but to all human beings. Our mother is at home, only God can console her for us.”
Daddy was passionate about helping others, late Dr. Tunde Aladesanmi’s daughter
THE ambition of having two of his children joining him in the medical profession perhaps was one dream the death of the past chairman of NMA Ekiti State chapter and Consultant General Surgeon at Federal Teaching Hospital, Dr. Tunde Aladesanmi, has aborted. But his daughter, Jesutola Aladesanmi believes her late father had another dream he was more passionate about. “My father was more passionate about helping other people, about giving back to the society. As far as I know, this was his dream and passion,” she opined
54-year-old Aladesanmi, according to some of his colleagues, was highly respected for his contributions to the success story of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, which he, in collaboration with other active members of the hospital, nurtured to its current state as a teaching hospital. “He has left behind a golden legacy that can never be erased. He was a great surgeon par excellence. Many years ago, he was the only person in the then general hospital, which was nothing but a glorified primary health centre. When the Federal Government converted it to Federal Medical Centre, he worked with other active members to nurture and transform the hospital to what it is today. As a teacher at the Postgraduate Medical School of Surgery, he contributed to the training of surgeons in Nigeria,” one of his associates disclosed.
Dr. Akinyele Alexander was looking forward to completing his house project
AKINYELE Alexander, second youngest victim among the Ekiti NMA 7 was the Secretary of the state chapter of NMA. A graduate of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Akinyele was looking forward to completing his first building project when his life was cut short.
Akinyele who until his death was a Resident Doctor at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, was buried alongside with the youngest of the victim, Olajide Olayiwola at Doctors House, along Iyin Road on Thursday, April 28, 2016.