NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – My father was fun to be with, and had an amazing simplicity. Outside Parliament he was rarely called by his name. In Nairobi he was fondly referred to as ‘Sirikal’, while back at home he was called ‘Member’. But to me, he was my loving father.
These are the words of Andrew Ojode (Andy), the son to the late Internal Security Assistant Minister Joshua Orwa Ojode; as he gave eulogy during his dad’s funeral at their Unga farm in Ndhiwa on Sunday.
Andy recalls his late dad as a man who was loved by people for not only his comical nature but also love towards his constituents and anyone who was around him.
He remembers his father as a leader who was dedicated in implementing key projects in his constituency and one who served the nation with diligence.
“From the factory, to road projects, university prospects, to schools and churches constructions, school fees, to job opportunities; his input will be felt by many generations to come,” said Andy.
Ojode was buried on Sunday, exactly a week after he perished in a helicopter crash with his boss, Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, their two pilots and Saitoti’s two bodyguards.
Andy says he will live to emulate his late dad’s determination, hard work and patience in serving people.
“It wasn’t the first time my father had brushed shoulders with death; he had ‘cheated’ death thrice before. Two times on plane mishaps, one in Rift Valley and another one in Western and had also survived a road accident. None of these had dented his resolve to assist the needy or to perform his duties. He was focused and independent. He believed in empowerment and poverty alleviation and knew that education was the key to both,” he added.
Andy also recalled memorable moments with his late father. “As a family we thank God for his life. He taught us hard work, honesty, patience, and forgiveness. Until we meet again may the Lord rest his soul in eternal peace.”
He called on leaders and Kenyans at large to preach peace and keep good morals, which he says his late dad always emphasised.
“Before my father died, the morning he was leaving, my mom informed me that he had told her that he would be back at 2pm.With that said, I ask all of you, to watch where your lives are heading, and ask yourselves if you are right with God. Because even as we leave this place you are not sure whether you will reach home,” he advised.