‘Dad Lives on in Me:’ Hon Joseph Asuku Bello’s Dirge to Father 

On the pulpit of Christ the King Catholic Church Okene, he stood where laid the body of his father, Late Hon Justice Moses Bello, a reckonable Jurist awaiting the necessary rituals that will usher him to the final abode.

Joseph Asuku Bello who is the Member representing Adavi/Okehi Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, delivered a dirge which he preferred to have written after his Father’s 100th year on earth, but for the uncertainty of death.

For him, speaking to notable guests amongst whom were the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Federal and State Lawmakers, Party Chieftains, Elder statesmen and the host of others, his father would continue to live on in him.

He wrote:


If wishes were horses, I would have preferred to write this dirge when DAD had turned one hundred years plus, probably seeing him walking resting on stick with magisterial majesty, yet serving counsels with judicial precision to his beloved grandchildren who he became so fondly fond of. But here I am, constrained by Providence to bid my big DAD and big Friend, an unforgettable farewell.

Growing up seeing Dad with all his gusto, charm and brain, I felt so secured and over time having become adult, I saw that Dad was actually huge in so many good ways to so many people and climes and that legacy will always console me and the entire family, even as he sleeps on.

Like the elephant, every aspects you view DAD from, he was a giant:

Surely, DAD was a devout Catholic and lover of God, who would NOT GRUDINGLY give and support evey thing within his power to promote the work of God in the Church, at home and in the society.

I heard and I know that DAD was a fearless judge and arbiter, an administrator and mentor par excellence, going by the overwhelming testimonies and goodwills of his colleagues and people in his legal profession and career.

At the family front, Dad is family personified. He passionately loved his wife, children and family dearly and would often go that extra mile to make us succeed in life.

DAD’s love for community and people is simply amazing. His ability to connect with people of all backgrounds, knew no bounds; the high and low, the poor and rich, the old and young, the educated and non educated, the blue blood and peasants, the religious and non religious etc, were all DAD’s friends and he felt at home with all of them. This is one legacy of Daddy that so helped me during my elections to become an Honourable Member of the current 9th House of Representatives, representing the good people of Adavi/Okehi federal constituency of Kogi State.

To me and my family, DAD was simply wonderful:
To my wife, he was a DAD not father in-law;
To my children, he was their ‘Paddy Paddy’ and not grandfather;
To me, DAD was a Big Friend who stood for everything I
endeavoured for in life.

I recall how my senior son, Jo-Jo as a baby, would cry and frustrate all efforts by me and my wife to feed him, until we rush into the car and drive several kilometers to DAD’s house before he would eat food personally fed him by DAD.

That was the kind of DAD I had. He was affectionately connected to family, friends and people and vice versa.

Dear DAD: You were simply ubiquitous; You were a Christian, Jurist, an influencer, mentor, counselor, motivator, servant-leader, lover of people and country and a father who every child would loved to be his father.

Adieu DAD, my family and I will thoroughly miss you, but we are consoled that by the grace of God, you will make Heaven, resting in the bosom of the Lord.

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