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ADIEU PA DIRI

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A Tribute To Abraham Michael Joseph Diri

OPINION

By ‘Timi Alaibe

No! Fathers should not die. Our fathers are our heroes. We love to rest on their shoulders. Fathers are symbols of strength. They teach us not to cry. Fathers are never hungry. They only feel tired.

     Losing a father is like losing one’s right hand. Who do we run to when the bully threatens? Fathers are our shield. They are the big umbrellas that cover our weaknesses. Fathers should live forever. We need them.

     Just a few days ago, the information came with the foreboding touch of something to avoid. Nobody enjoys bad news—especially when life is lost. No bad news elicits smiles, or ignites laughter.

     The message was short and straight to the point: your governor has lost his father. The eerie feeling transmitted alongside those few words was real. My mind raced dozens of years backward.

     The news carrier was not lost on the details which I guess he was familiar with. Pa Abraham Michael Joseph Diri, was not just my governor’s father. He was a father-figure to several of us. We call him Papa which connotes fatherhood.

     A respected leader of Kalama-Owei Wari in Sampou Community, we all hail from the same Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area in Bayelsa State. We see ourselves as one—bound by blood of brotherhood, never to be divided by politics.

     His death marks the end of an era. It makes us feel vulnerable. I recall losing my father some years back. You see, no matter your height in life, you still remain a child to your parents. No matter their ages, you can’t be tired of having them around.

     A teacher by training and practice, Pa Diri was a retired headmaster. We all know how they were molded in those days: discipline was his watch-word. He was a committed Christian and a community leader.

     By his exit, my brother, Governor Diri, has now joined the club of the fatherless—a club I have been a member for several years.

     But never mind, God Almighty is your Father. He has always been there for you. He will continue to be there for you.

     Today, we mourn our leader and teacher. Despite the emotional pains caused by his exit, we still celebrate his landmarks. A true Ijaw father, he has given us a governor. What else can we wish for!

     My sincere condolences to the entire Pa Diri’s clan. He was a peaceful man, noted for humility and fatherly care. His legacies will never be forgotten.

     To our governor: receive wisdom from above, be consoled, be strengthened and march on in the steps of your father. He has groomed you well and given you to us. Even with this alone, he will surely and satisfactorily rest in peace.

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