By Omonu Nelson, Abuja
The Chief Medical Director, CMD, of Living Hope Hospital, Ankpa, Kogi State, Dr Yahaya Ebiloma, is to be laid to rest on February 3rd, 2023.
The chairman of the burial committee, Dr Theophilus Faruna, who reeled out details of the burial arrangement said:
“The body of Dr Yahaya Ebiloma leaves the National Hospital, Abuja, for Aloko, Oganenigu, Dekina local government of Kogi State, on Thursday, February 2, 2023, for a Wake Keep at his residence, located at Ukpo-Okwuno area of the village.
“This is to be followed by burial service at the Christian Evangelical Fellowship of Nigeria, CEFN, at 8:00am, on February 3, 2023, while interment follows immediately at his residence.”
Expected to minister in songs at the Wake Keep, is the foremost gospel minister, Abigail Omonu, while the burial service will be conducted by a combined team of Pastors from Dr Ebiloma’s Church at Ankpa and CEFN.
Family sources explained that, Dr Ebiloma joined the Saints at 12:15am on 9 January, 2023, at the Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Dr Ebiloma graduated from College of Medicine, University of Benin, and was until his demise, in the service of Kogi State Hospital Management Board, in addition to private practice.
Like the biblical Dorcas, the deceased is reputed for using his profession to render humanitarian services. Accounts from those who have benefitted from his largeheartedness have it that Dr Ebiloma never turned any patient away on account of finance. He’s down-to-earth, father to the fatherless, husband of the widows, devote Christian and astute Community man, according to beneficiaries.
The outpour of positive emotions bears eloquent testimony to his generosity of spirit.
In a tribute, Professor of Law, at the Windsor University, Ontario, Canada, wrote:
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” – Psalms 90:12
“With great trepidation, I extend to all of us my condolences on the departure of Dr. Yahaya Ebiloma for the Heavenly shores. Dr Yahaya Ebiloma’s demise is as painful as it is bitter. It was most unexpected, and has left many reeling in sadness.
“A young man who creditably accounted for almost all of the talents he received from God, Dr Ebiloma was gentle, kind, respectful, super-intelligent, and hard-working. I observed him from very close quarters when he came to study medicine at the University of Benin at the close of the 1980s. At that time, I was on the faculty of the University. He was shy and demure but possessed of the sharpest analytical mind.
“Like most people of substance, Dr Ebiloma was very keenly aware of the responsibility that lay ahead of him even at his very young age. He took his study very seriously and was never given to frivolity. A chick that would become a cockerel was identifiable from its early times. I left Benin in 1991, barely enough time to bond with the young medical student. But I kept in touch with him as he plodded through his course.
“Benin was kind of isolated for most Oganenigu indigenes; most would rather choose Jos or Zaria or Kano for university education. That Dr. Ebiloma came to Benin is one pointer to the independence of his mind, and his quiet self-assuredness. I was pleasantly surprised to see him in Benin. There were not many Igala students – perhaps 5 altogether in the UNIBEN of those days.
“I would like to mention by way of reminiscence that Dr. Ebiloma met his then future wife in my residence at Benin. A lady of character and great decorum, my wish for her today is that she would derive the grace to handle this tragedy with equanimity. May she experience the peace and quietude which come from God at this most sorrowful of times.
“In the relatively short time – maybe a little over two decades – that he was in medical practice, Dr Ebiloma was a great blessing to many. He was in medical practice to make a living, but, obviously, the pursuit of money was never uppermost in his mind. He gave of his knowledge and service generously and professionally. The human aspect of his work always took priority over material reward. He was compassionate to a fault.
“As Dr. Ebiloma’s body is returned to Oganenigu for interment, there would be great testimonies of his goodness of heart through his relatively short professional life. I remember his visit to me at Aloko from Ankpa during my first visit home from Canada after a decade in 2001. I was struck by his generosity. He also attended regularly to my dad on his (my dad’s) numerous medical check-up trips to his clinic at Ankpa. The testimonies to Dr. Ebiloma’s kindness are endless; I have no doubt that he was widely beloved and respected, and this fact will show at his burial. Even more, these testimonies will speak for him before the judgment throne.
“And so, with tears in my eyes, I say , in conclusion, that Oganenigu and the world have lost an outstanding character today in the demise of Dr Yahaya Ebiloma. He has returned to God from Whom he came, there to meet his parents who left much earlier. May he be received by a choir of angels into the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Deep condolences to all of Oganenigu.”
Also, Dr Theophilus Omenefu Faruna wrote:
“We have an irreparably loss that is hard to contend with. We have no words for a panegyric or an eulogy at the moment. God help us with the balm of comfort and consolation at this trying moment.”
Dr Yahaya Ebiloma is survived by two children, wife, brothers and sisters.