• Husband, 73, and a professor: Baby is product of God’s promise and Kumuyi’s brief prayer
By Daud Olatunji, Abeokuta
Delay is not denial. This statement sounds true to Mrs. Ajibola Otunbusin who, at 67, successfully gave birth to a child through in-vitro fertilization, popularly referred to as IVF.
Findings by Sunday Vanguard revealed that Mrs Otunbusin is the oldest Nigerian and African in history to give birth to a baby, and the second oldest mum in the world.
She was delivered of a baby boy on Saturday, October 20 at Atoke Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, 39 years after marriage.
The medical team that took the delivery was led by the Head of the hospital’s IVF Unit, Dr Babatunde Okewale.
Search for the fruit of the womb
For almost four decades, the woman had visited many hospitals in Nigeria and abroad in search of the fruit of the womb.
In the course of this, she was said to have developed pelvic inflammatory disease and some other “major health issues.”
The development, it was learnt, prompted some medical personnel to advise her to let go of her ambition of becoming a mother.
But, after seeming loss of hope, she was delivered of the baby boy.
The visibly elated mother, while speaking with Sunday Vanguard after the delivery, said she went through a turbulent period while looking for a baby of her own but with determination and support of her husband, Professor Samuel Oloruntowoloju Otunbusin,73.
She said, “It was marital fulfilment that was pushing me around. And I am now elated and thank God for the fulfilment of His promise.
“I married at age 25. God spoke that He would give us a son but we didn’t know it would take us that long.
“I was sick for about 30 years and, in looking for a child, I had pelvic inflammatory disease. In short, l had four major health issues.
“I was treated in many hospitals in Nigeria and India where some nurses and doctors told me that l had four major health issues and, therefore, I should forget about child-bearing and enjoy my life.
“But we were determined. God had given us a promise and that kept us going with determination.
“Anytime I was down, my husband’s hope will come up. When his was down, I would remind him of God’s promise. So it is good for the two to agree on a vital desire. And as Christians, we were determined that we won’t look elsewhere.”
She has a message for those seeking the fruit of the womb: “They should be determined. God has two promises in the area of child-bearing. First is the general promise that we should replenish the earth with children and without replenishing, the earth cannot be filled. Second, this has to do with the specific promise for everyone”.
As Sunday Vanguard was rounding off the interview, her husband came in.
Otunbusin had retired after clocking 70 as a professor of acquaculture systems, bio-engineering, physics management and economics at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB).
Speaking with Sunday Vanguard, he described the birth of the baby as the fulfilment of God’s promise.
The Kumuyi angle
The husband said, “God promised us as far back as November 1977 that we would have a son. It was when we actually went to a church for counselling before marriage.
“While leaving the church premises, the young pastor then, who I learnt is now late, told us that we were going to make history. I kept wondering which history we were going to make. Are we the first to get married?
“Few years later, and back then in the North, I was praying alongside my wife and, for the first time, I spoke in tongues. God gave me some names. It was then that I knew my first child will be born in October and he will be a boy. It all depends on God for others but He has done this and the whole world now knows. So it’s good to believe in God.
“Later on, it was not that I was doubting God but, as a human being, I kept wondering why? In 1994, we saw Pastor WF Kumuyi (of Deeper Life Church) at Gbagada, Lagos. He asked whether we had done medical check up and we said yes. And he said, ‘Father, let this woman have the children of her husband in Jesus name’. That was all he prayed. He may still remember or not.”
He admitted that there was pressure from his family during the waiting period.
“Incidentally, all the generations that should have really rejoiced with us today, the very last of them passed on few months ago”, the professor said.
“So, God is faithful. He never dies. When God promises, He fulfils it. That’s the whole story. If you worry, the worry doesn’t bring anything good for you and, if you don’t, the better for you. And God is not in a hurry.
“He is a baby of purpose. God has a purpose for him in life. And the purpose will be fulfilled to the glory of God”.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun has paid a visit to the lucky woman.