Goodnight Daddy!

Daddy, ekszer-elek I find it very hard to accept that you’ve been translated to another realm. You were indeed a great father, a reliable friend and faithful protector to me. You gave me your best from the day I was born. I was the envy of my peers while growing up. You inspired me. You taught me hard work, frankness, honesty, courage, service, charity and loyalty. You always encouraged me to do my best to help anybody in need, not just by word, but by your actions. Look at the flow of tributes and genuine praise trailing your departure. The people you gave jobs, lift, hope, protection and saved from victimization or going to jail, etc. Like a lion would effectively protect his pride of cubs and lionesses, you never allowed anybody or interest from this part of the state to be treated badly. gudu

I was emotional moved when a son to one of those you put at the local government service in the 70′ and 80’s visited and was telling us how you made their father become a government worker from a peasant farmer. Another, narrated how you stood your ground, refused to be bribed, and made sure their father’s land was given back to them. And that is where they live now at Top Land. There are so many of these testimonies everywhere. I mean they are becoming endless. Another that killed a man on Enugu-Onitsha highway and as the dead man’s family was threatening fire and revenge, hobbijaim you courageously went there, retrieved the driver, settled the case and ensured the peaceful burial of the deceased. You virtually lived for others. In fact, even the aged are saying that you never passed them on the way without picking them. This was your way of life. You always found a way to help. Daddy, I wish you are here to hear all these. I am indeed very proud of you! receptek

You fought like a brave lion that you were through this life. Most times like a ‘one man squad’. You never bowed to challenges or to oppositions. You always believed that there will eventually be a way out. You would always tell me that you trust in the ability of God to help out. You would always tell me to learn patience and be hopeful. I went back to read those powerful letters, with great handwriting, you wrote to me in the 90’s. They would always come with, “Gab, olcsobbszerviz my son, be patient” “Gab, remember God’s time is the best” “Gab, work hard” “Gab, I will do my best for you,” etc. I remember as a teenager you would tell me not to waste my energy in brooding over difficult situations but to be hopeful and have faith in God. You have never been materialistic. You will also tell me that service is greater than any material gain. You kept promises and trust. And yours also was a mixture of love and discipline. You took me to the best of departmental stores in town, best schools. You personally drove me to and from school. And your discipline was also ever-ready to help me remain focused in life. You did not spare the rod. True. Thank you for the love and also the discipline. Your ‘rod’ and your ‘staff’ built me. And you were proud of that product.

When I gave my life to Christ you immediately started encouraging me. You were proud of me. You were proud of my faith, my ministry and my writing. You showed everybody my works. When I gave you my first two books, you prayed and prophesied to me that I will write more books than one of the most celebrated Nigerian authors. I laughed but I also knew that your words were always powerful and ‘prophetic’. Now, daddy, why did you choose to go when your words were about coming to pass? Who will I now celebrate with when that vision eventually comes to pass? Who?? You were my confidant and a dependable one for that matter.

How about your planned biography? Who will now tell the world those your fascinating adventurous growing up stories, your London experience at the height of racism (what you did when that little white kid asked his mother to come see a black monkey), your civil war experiences, the conspiracy and your miraculous survival of lynching to death and the detentions during the war and during Babangida’s regime? What of your role in the selection of the governorship candidate and the victory of Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) in the second republic? Those victories, betrayals and oppositions? I remember everybody (including the opposition in the state) courted your support. I was there when you took delivery of the first ever set of campaign buses for the NPP in 1979 for the old Amambra state. Our house was like a political Mecca then. You were very helpful and generous to a fault. You were loyal and faithful. You refused to support a very close friend against a ‘brother’, even after you were betrayed terribly. You resisted all pressures to do otherwise; rejecting the offers, gifts and the great wealth and positions that would have come with it. You are indeed a highly principled man! One of a kind!

I remember the day you shot the Fulani’s cow and disarmed the aggressive nomads when they tried to attack with their sticks. I truly had a brave father to be proud of. In 1985, I watched you teach a naval officer how to shoot on target. When things got tough both your friends and foes courted you. You were bold and fearless. I always loved listening to you. You had a great sense of history and you knew virtually everybody and every family around. You visited every bereaved family. You identified with everybody in need. I always watched you begging your visitors to eat and drink, even to take more drinks for the road. True. I watched you giving your neighbors light and installing street lights. You fought for the less-privilege throughout your life. Even from your sick bed you were still eager to fight injustice. You fought for our community. You fought for Amechi. You fought for humanity. I celebrate you daddy!



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