Chisom Cynthia Umezulike, the daughter of the late Enugu State Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Azubike Umezulike pens a heart-wrenching tribute in the memory of her late father. Says this is the worst year of her life. Read below.
This year I lost my father, my best friend and mentor. My father loved me exceedingly – his love was so pure, overwhelming and precious. We had an incredible friendship based on trust, mutual respect, loyalty, passion and comradeship. In February, my beloved father was admitted to the hospital where for several months he fought extremely hard for his life. I was by his side every single moment fighting with him and for him. I fought for him not just because he is my father. I fought for him because he single-handedly raised me and gave me the very best this life has to offer. When I was fighting for him, I conceived I was fighting for the love of my life.
Today I stand tall as his daughter, best friend and learned colleague, to celebrate his life and accomplishments. My father’s legal resumé is unparalleled (a Jurist, Author and Orator like no other), his accomplishments unrivalled, his pedigree undisputed and his charisma unequalled. My father departed this world with a pronouncement “A Great Man is Leaving Today”. Indeed, a large IROKO tree has fallen, and no one walking the face of the earth would ever fill his enormous shoes. In adversity, my father showed insurmountable strength, in disappointments he exhibited calmness, in betrayals he manifested bravery. My father’s life was exemplary and remarkable, his strength, tenacity and resolve outstanding. He lived unapologetically, strong, fearless, determined in his path – a prerogative of a brave apostle of justice.
In your final hour, Daddy, you said “Chisomeje, I bless you”. I will take your unfathomable and immeasurable love and blessing everywhere I go. Thank you for providing me with the best education and training this life has to offer. Thank you for the unconditional love you showed me.Thank you for your kindness, generosity, guidance and support. For as long as I walk this earth, I promise your footprints will not be forgotten, and your story will never be left untold. Most profoundly, I Chisom Cynthia Umezulike will never forget that I am the daughter of a GREAT MAN.