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OLD MAN!: Reverend Iloh Remarries at 85



Reverend Moses Iloh, a fiery social critic and founder of Soul Winning Chapel in Yaba, Lagos did the unusual last Sunday when he took his wife, Pastor Edith Iloh to the altar for a second wedding after 50 years of solemn matrimony.
The usual wedding ceremony was witnessed by a huge crowd of relations, eminent clerics, admirers and other members of the society including the presiding bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo, founder of Nigerian Advance Party, NAP, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, his wife and other prominent Nigerians.
Dr. Iloh, who hails from Imo State is 85 years old while his Anambra State-born wife is 11 years younger. The two lovebirds could pass for a young couple, especially with their youthful gesticulations and juvenile mannerisms during the wedding ceremony conducted by their children.
Although the couple actually tied their nuptial knots 50 years ago, last Sunday’s ceremony was unique for two reasons; their age coupled with the fact that the former ceremony was observed by their parents who gave their consent but the April 20 event was officiated by their children.
Last Sunday’s ceremony, according to the couple, was to celebrate God’s faithfulness and show appreciation to their children who have contributed immensely to the survival of their ministries. Like most marriages, the 50-year marital voyage cannot be described as an all round rosy one, but by the grace of God, the couple had been able to weather the storm.
At last weekend’s ceremony which took place at the Soul Winning Chapel, Ebute Metta, Bishop Okonkwo who preached the only sermon of the day, acknowledged that no marriage is free from challenges but God is always out to make things work out if only couples can depend on Him.
Quoting from Psalms 34:1, the cleric said there are broken marriages because many couples are often unaware that the Devil is against many homes and are unwilling to pay the needed price to keep the union work.
Okonkwo said the Ilohs were pointers to the fact that marriages still work in Nigeria. ”The Devil may tell you your marriage will not work but the fact remains that if it works for the Ilohs, then it will work for you. Let me tell you, every marriage has its challenges but God makes the difference. This couple had occasions to quit their marriage but they didn’t because they have a direction. The Devil likes to intimidate people by telling them about the impossibilities in marriages but that does not mean you should quit. Fear will stop you from attempting what naturally you could have attained,” he noted.
The bride, a former teacher with Ijero Baptist School, Apapa, Lagos, said her marriage to the cleric was an answer to prayers; ”I had prayed to God to give me a man who will love, cherish and pamper me and God gave me somebody who is 11 years older.” She was in the junior team of the Red Cross Society while her husband was in the senior team where they met.
”I was not a strong Christian at that time but there were some attributes I wanted in a man; a man who I will help to fulfil his destiny and I thank God he was caring although he was very busy but God gave me the grace to cope. He is a man of the people and he likes taking risks. Our first baby was delivered shortly after the war but God saw us through,” she explained.
The 74-year old bride used the occasion to urge younger women to be patient at home, saying ”marriage is not a bed of roses. Couples should realise this so that they don’t truncate God’s purpose for their families.”
Going down memory lane, Dr. Iloh said it took him four years to get her parents’ consent because they did not know his background while the tradition did not permit a chief’s daughter to marry outside her kindred.
”As a young man, I was so occupied to the extent that I had no time for women. Her father was a chief and the tradition did not permit her to marry outside her kinsmen but we were able to surmount the obstacle and the union has been a smooth one till date. I married her to love and cherish her. All my concern was to blend her to my vision which I achieved,” he maintained.
In a chat, a lawyer, activist and founder of Nigerian Advance Party (NAP), Dr. Braithwaite, who spoke about the state of the nation, said the incoming administration has a great task ahead.
“They have inherited a lot of mess because corruption has greatly destroyed this country. Among the members of the incoming administration are chieftains of corruption. They must endeavour to take the country to a greater cause in order to enjoy credibility of the election which is needed to rule this nation,” he stated.

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