•Widow of Ekiti doctor killed in auto crash wails at funeral service
…Family members, others in tears as four more victims are buried
From Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
She looked at the remains of her husband and shook her head several times. And then, with hot tears, cascading her cheeks, she started wailing uncontrollably, paying little heed to the family members around who were busy consoling her.
It was a scene of sorrow and tears in Ado-Ekiti at the funeral service in honour of the the six Ekiti doctors who died in an auto crash on Sunday along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway. The doctors were on their way to the annual delegates conference of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Sokoto.
As the coffins bearing the remains of the deceased were being conveyed by the pallbearers, Mrs. Akinyele, the widow of Dr Akinyele, wept. Then she spoke directly to the coffin containing her husband’s remains: “Alex, Alex is this the end?” She then turned to those around and asked no one in particular: “Is that Alex inside that coffin?”
As the bereaved mother of two wailed, virtually everyone around started crying. The widows of the other victims also wailed uncontrollably when the pallbearers committed two of the coffins containing the remains of deceased doctors to mother earth inside the premises of the state NMA Secretariat, known as Doctors’ House. It was after the commendation service organised for the deceased by the Ekiti State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in collaboration with the Ekiti State Government and the Ekiti State Government and the state House of Assembly.
The remains of three of the doctors and the driver were brought to the event by pallbearers.
The commendation cum funeral service was held in their honour at the state NMA Secretariat, known as Doctors’ House, along Ado-Iyin Road in the Ekiti State capital.
Those who were given the last honour were Dr. Atolani Adeniyi, Senior Health Officer with the Ekiti State Hospitals Management Board; Dr J.B. Ogunseye, who served as Senior Dental Officer at the General Hospital, Ifaki-Ekiti; Dr. Olayiwola Olajide who until his death was President of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) Branch, and the driver of the NMA bus, Mr. Olowookere Ajibola.
Ogunseye and Olajide were buried at the premises of the Doctors’ House while the remains of Adeniyi and Olowookere were conveyed to their communities for interment.
It was gathered that the late Dr. Alexander Akinyele, who was a resident doctor, Community Medicine at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti (FETHI) and the late Dr. O.J. Taiwo, a consultant anatomic pathologist at EKSUTH will be buried on Monday and Tuesday respectively.
A consultant General Surgeon at FETHI, the late Dr. Tunde Aladesanmi, had been buried on Wednesday after a funeral service held in his honour at Life Fountain Cathedral of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Taiwo’s burial was put on hold because his mother died barely 24 hours before he died on his way to Sokoto.
Governor Ayo Fayose was represented at the event by his deputy, Dr, Kolapo Olusola. Also there were the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Kola Oluwawole; Head of Service, Dr. Gbenga Faseluka; Chief of Staff, Dipo Anisulowo; other senior government officials, heads of health institutions and top NMA officials.
Fayose has already given approval for the immediate employment of the wives of Akinyele and Olajide who were not in government service before the demise of their husbands.
The service featured praise worship, hymns, funeral orations and choir ministration.
Delivering the sermon, Pastor Olurotimi Sanya, who spoke on the topic: “Teach Us to Number Our Days” described the human life as very short and ephemeral.
Pastor Sanya urged members of the audience to always prepare for the day of death which, according to him, never gives a prior notice.
The preacher, who took his sermon from Psalm 90 Verse 12, noted that none of the victims of the accident planned to die while on their way to Sokoto and never knew that they would be embarking on a journey of no return.
Quoting from the book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, Sanya said there was time for everything, including a time to be born and a time to die. The man of God called on the audience to turn away from their sins and commit their lives to God to whom they will return.
While describing death as inevitable, the pastor said one of the ironies of life was the fact that there was no chronological roster of death. He noted that a younger person might die before the elder.
Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, the Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye, offered prayers for the families left behind by the deceased.
Governor Fayose, who spoke through Olusola, urged the family of the dead persons to take heart during the period of grief. He pledged that state government would always support them.
He said: “When God says it is time, it is time. When your own day comes, what will people say about you? And when my own time comes, what will the people say about me?
“We all have our own today and tomorrow, but the greatest tomorrow is the one that will meet us at the feet of Christ. Let us learn from our departed brothers. They died in active service. They were hardworking and diligent.”