The remains of late Dr Mrs Esther Obinya, an internationally acclaimed Paediatrician, was on Friday, 13th November, 2020, finally laid to rest after a weeklong celebration of her life.
Late Dr Mrs Esther was interred in her husband’s residence at number 4 Tanko Tete, Gwari Avenue in Kaduna, Kaduna State.
She transited to eternal glory on Sunday, 18th October, after a brief illness, at the age of 69.
The Funeral service which was held at the Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kaduna was indeed a celebration of a Saint triumphant.
The Rt. Rev’d Timothy Yahaya, Bishop of the Diocese of Kaduna, led seven other bishops including the Bishop of the Diocese of Asaba, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev’d Justus Mogekwu and over One hundred other Men of God, to officiate at the funeral.
Eminent personalities from within and outside Nigeria that included five Justices of the Appeal Court, top Government functionaries, renowned Medical Practitioners as well as Captains of Industry, were in attendance at the service.
In his soul searching and highly inspirational Sermon titled: “Blessed are the dead in Christ”, the Bishop of Diocese of Kaduna, Rt. Rev’d Timothy Yahaya described late Dr. Mrs. Esther Obinya’s life as the summation of the Bible, saying that she spent her entire life time serving God and humanity.
“Late Doctor Mrs. Esther Ajayi Obinya, popularly known as Mama Obinya is not dead, but is alive even in you. She lives because you carry her stories on. For every one of you seated here, you have your stories of Mama Obinya. You cannot go through Kaduna Diocese, serve faithfully, diligently, committed and you will say you don’t know Mama Obinya.
“She did everything to the best of her ability. To the Church she was a moving Bible; she lived the Bible she preached. She gave us memories we will continue to cherish forever, she was a great Woman of courage, determination and focus, she was love personified.
“She was a celebrated Mother, a grandmother to uncountable, a great grandmother to many, she was a source of joy, blessing and hope, not only to the family, but many. She was a community leader; a great philanthropist and a strong believer and promoter of the Faith.
“Mama Obinya was a distinguished personality; she was a cannon of the Medical Profession, a standard and epitome of professionalism,” Bishop Yahaya eulogized and, while affirming that she was the best thing that had ever happened to the husband, said that as his best companion, a great vacuum has been created as a result of her demise.
“But i assure you that the Lord God of Your Wife who has taken her home, will be with you to console you and fill the great vacuum that has been created; Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age,” he said quoting the word of God in Mathew 28:20
The highly charismatic Man of God, quoting copiously from the book of Revelations, chapter 14, assured that late Dr Mrs. Obinya was dead in Christ and so her death is not in vain, saying that she will continue to live on in the hearts of all the people whose lives she has touched with her true works on earth which will last forever.
Bishop Yahaya who was fervent in his sermon, therefore called on Christians to live a life of purpose, follow the voice and direction of God, living for Christ, for them to live on forever even when they are dead physically.
In their Tribute signed by The Rt. Rev’d Timothy Yahaya, Bishop of Kaduna Diocese, the Diocese of Kaduna, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion said that Mama Obinya is the Physical and literal manifestation of the woman defined as virtuous or excellent in the Bible in Proverbs 31:10-31.
The Diocese expressed their gratitude and said they are “eternally grateful to the Almighty God for allowing us to sup from the bounteous grace laid upon her from on high. We join the host of Heaven in Joyous tunes celebrating the glorious transition of God’s General
“In the words of proverbs 31:31 ‘And Let her own works praise her in the gates of the City,’ we look back at the track record of Mama Obinya and we celebrate her life and praise her at the gate of our city.
“Mommy we will miss you but we are comforted with the hope that you are with the Lord and we shall see you again not in this earthly form but in glory on the resurrection morning. Good Night Mama Obinya till we meet to part no more,” the Diocese stated in their Tribute.
The husband, Venerable Architect Hope Obinya also in his tribute lamented the demise of his cherished wife of 45 years and said: “Your call to glory has created a vacuum which nothing can ever fill; though nature abhors vacuum…God Kept us in His Grace for 45 years. The Anniversary of His love demonstrated in our marriage was celebrated on Sunday August 30, 2020 at your instance, as if you knew Home-Going was imminent.
“Daa’Mm Esther, Sometimes there are things I get excited to tell you: only to remember you have been translated. That is how it is with me. God will bring His Healing-Comfort not to me alone but also to all those you reached out to in God’s Love,” he consoled
One of the Daughters, Chief Mrs Franca Ugbolue in her tribute, described her Mother, Dr. Mrs Obinya as Mother Extraordinarie and expressed grief that the thought of not seeing her again is unbearable.
“The Woman I am today, my home at peace and everything, I learnt from you and saw in you. You knew I loved you. I still love and will continue to love you until we meet to part no more.”
Chief Henry Nonso Ugbolue, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Great & Gamalial Nigeria Limited Abuja, in his own Tribute eulogized his Mother in-law and said: “I am particularly grateful to God Almighty for the uncommon honour and privilege of meeting and becoming a son to Dr. Esther Obinya, after I befriended and married her daughter, my dear wife, Mrs. Franca Nwanyibu Obinya.
“She was not just a matchless mother-in-law, Dr. Obinya was my family’s Doctor, a close confidante, a sounding board, a pillar of strength at the lowest of moments and a counselor par excellence. I have always thought (and I still think) that she cared too much for my family members and I. However, it seemed that unrestrained and unalloyed love for others summed up the story of the beautiful life Dr. Esther Obinya lived. She practically lived to meet the needs of others – and we were many; maybe too many.
“Unarguably one of the best paediatricians that ever lived, Dr. Esther Obinya was on call 24 hours of the day. She was a true Doctor Without Borders (Medecin San Frontieres), especially if the life of a child was in any way on the line. She never failed to remind you: ‘Please o, you can wake me up at any time.’ Oh! She taught me practically all I know about nursing and bringing up babies. My two boys (Great and Somechukwu) grew up in her ever-caring arms. They are fully grown now; but as babies, Dr. Obinya doggedly insisted that both boys practiced what she spent decades teaching other nursing mothers across West Africa under the aegis of UNICEF – Safe Motherhood. A critical component of the Safe Motherhood initiative is six-months exclusive breast feeding for babies.
“She ensured that my two boys were fed solely breast milk (not even water was allowed) for the first six months of their respective lives. Just like she foresaw, I do not have a recollection of any of the boys ever being very ill at any point of their lives till date. Trust Dr. Esther Obinya: She insists the credit for their good health goes to God and the “magic” of six months’ of exclusive breast feeding when they were babies. And I totally agree with her.
“A tribute to Dr. Obinya can never be complete without a generous mention of her uncommon humility. In spite of her phenomenal accomplishments, her elegance, profound education and exposure, she was an embodiment of simplicity and humility. When God gave me the privilege of becoming a member of Dr. Obinya’s family, I initially struggled to grasp her unprecedented humility. Can she be real? Alas, it did not take me much time to realize she was the realest deal I ever met.
“May the soul of our intensely beloved mother and mother-in-law continue to rest in peace in the bosom of God Almighty. I pray that God, in his infinite mercy will grant Dr. Esther Obinya’s best friend, lover and dear husband, The Venerable (Architect) Hope O. Obinya, the grace and strength to bear this physical, albeit temporary, separation from his Jewel of Inestimable Value.
“We commiserate with Dr. Obinya’s equally profound and humble sisters: Mama Seyi, Aunty Toyin and Her Lordship, Justice Yemisi William-Daudu, JCA, and members of their immediate and extended families. Our thoughts and prayers are with my dear wife, Mrs. Franca Ugbolue and the several children and grand-children, Dr. Esther Obinya left behind. May they continue her legacy of peace, pure Christian love, humility and charity, in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ. Amen,” Chief Henry Ugbolue who is the Ekwueme of Issele-Mkpitime prayed.
The burial of late Dr. Mrs. Esther Ajayi Obinya was concluded with an outing service in her honour on Sunday, 15th November, 2020, at the Christ Anglican Church, Katsina Road, Kaduna and was also officiated by the bishop of Diocese of Kaduna, The Rt. Rev’d Timothy Yahaya with The Bishop of Diocese of Asaba in attendance amongst other Men of God.
Family members of Chief Henry Ugbolue, his friends and associates from Abuja and Northern Nigeria were with him in Kaduna for the funeral ceremony of his beloved Mother in-law.
Below are the Funeral Pictures