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Essien Eyo Edet Moma a renowned obstetrician, gynaecologist and politician

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MomaProfessor Essien Eyo Edet Moma, who has died, was a foremost obstetrician and gynaecologist, an astute politician, kingmaker and the village head of Ekpene Ikot Effionang in Akpabuyo local council of Cross River State. He made his mark as a medical doctor and died as an accomplished man, whose life and times would serve as a reference point to the younger generation.

Prof. Moma was born to Dr. Eyo Edet Moma and Princess Salome Adaku Njemanze.  His father was from Ikot Efioenang in Akpabuyo local council of Cross River State, while his mother was from Amawom local council of Imo State. His father was an optometrist while his mother was a nurse.

After his primary school education, Moma attended Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, which was one of the first premier secondary schools in Nigeria. At Hope Waddell, he was a Senior School prefect and athletics and football captain. He was awarded Victor Ludorum (best all round athlete) 1963 to 1965 by the school. He broke the existing record in 800m sprints at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos in 1965. Moma played professional football for Aba, Owerri, and Enugu Black Rocks where he was so good that he got nicknamed “Panabi” and “Piccolo.”

Moma’s education was disrupted briefly by the Nigerian civil war. So, before he went for his tertiary education, he taught Science in Edgerly Memorial Secondary School, Calabar, and Biology in West African People’s Institute, Calabar.

Immediately after the war, through hard work, determination, perseverance, and of course, providence, he got a scholarship to study Medicine in the former Soviet Union at the famous Patrice Lumumba Friendship University, where he earned a doctorate degree in General Medicine. During his university days, he was the leader of Nigerian Students Union and the President of African Social Club called Pacmates. After his graduation, he was selected to attend a specialist course in Gynecology in the All Union Research Institution for Mother and Child, Moscow, Russia, where he bagged a Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

On the completion of his specialist programme, Moma, who had married by then, waited for the graduation of his wife from the university before the family returned to Nigeria in February 1980.

He proceeded to Kano and did his housemanship at Murtala Mohammed Hospital, Kano, where he was certified to practice medicine in Nigeria. He also did his National Youth Service Corps (NYCS) at the same hospital and started his career as a Gynaecologist there. He worked in the hospital for two more years before establishing his own practice, which he named The Doctor’s Surgery and Maternity in Kano.  He subsequently partnered with Alhaji Farouk Labaran to establish a hospital called Saude Hospital.

Moma, who was a member of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), was also the President of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Kano Chapter in 1982. He also served as General Secretary NMA, Kano Branch, from 1983 to 1989. He later relocated to Abuja, where he established Essy J Hospital in 1993. He later became First Vice Chairman, Athletics Association Abuja.

Moma later ventured into politics and actively took part in the election of the former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke. He helped to sponsor aspirants/candidates for House of Assembly and local council elections in the state, especially Calabar South, Akpabuyo and Bakassi local councils.  He also helped to build and popularise the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

Moma held a number of public positions in Cross River. He was a member of first Governing Council, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar (CRUTECH) between 2002 and 2004. He was a two-time member of the Governing Council, CRUTECH (2011-2015). He was a member of former governor Liyel Imoke’s Transition, Education sub committee.

He also served as a member of former governor Donald Duke’s transition Sub-committee (Structure and Organisation of Governor).
Moma met a Tanzanian girl, Fatma Mwinyimazuny Othman in Russia, and got married to her on August 30, 1975. In his wife, he found a person who shared his passion for academic excellence but recognised the importance of family. This was why she rejected a job offer by a prestigious architectural firm in Sweden to come home with her husband.

Together they raised their six children with strong belief that a good education was better than any inheritance.  Essien Eyo Edet Moma, born May 1, 1942, died March 2016.


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