Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday participated in this year’s Father’s Day activities at the Aso Villa Chapel, where he charged churches to purge the thieves and treasury looters in their midst as that would help sanitise the nation.
While calling on fathers to be exemplary leaders to their children and others, Osinbajo expressed worry about how those who fraudulently amassed wealth have landed the country where it is now and called on the Church to desist from holding such people in high esteem.
According to him, “Every time we come to the church, we are told about giving, but we need to talk more about honesty.
“The greed of many who are in the position of authority is what has landed this country in where it is today. You cannot steal half of the resources of the country and expect to build the sort of things you see in other places.
“Many would say the reason why they steal is because they want to have an arsenal for future political exploits. It is a lie. It is greed.
“And if the church says you are not allowed to steal and we will ostracise you in our midst if you did; if what a man has does not measure up to what he has; if we found that a man has more money than he should have; if a man is earning a salary of a civil servant or a public servant and he has houses everywhere; we have to hold him to account.
“But he must be held to account in the church. He must be told first in the church that we will not allow you here.
“If the church says we will not accept you here or that we will expose you if you are stealing the resources of the country or stealing the resources of a private company or other establishments where you work, then we would not have the type of problem that we have in this country.”
The Acting President also called on the fathers to bring up their children with the virtue of integrity and to love their wives and refrain from any forms of domestic violence.
“When I listened to His Eminence a few minutes ago, talking about the importance of the type of training we received as a child; the type of training where you were taught primarily about integrity; that you must be a person of integrity; that you must be truthful, you must be honest; that is the foundational teaching.
“Even knowing the Ten Commandment was enough to teach you about righteousness. That is so important especially for us who are Christians,” he stated.
On his part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, warned against the collapse of the family system in the country, urging the government to invest more in the family.
Speaking with the newsmen shortly after the service, he said: “We should invest more, really as a nation, in fatherhood or in the family. And when children are properly brought up, you will see that most of the resources we channel towards control of crime and so many other government programmes, there will be no need for them because we will have some kinds of transformation that only take place at the family level.
“Certain things cannot be done by the government like we cannot just outsource discipline in a home, the issue of imparting or instilling morality in the life of our citizens. The government certainly cannot do that; it is the role of the family.
“So when we celebrate fathers like this, we celebrate fatherhood, we emphasise on the importance of the family as a unit in bringing up those components of society, performing its role and then turning citizens that are compliant. That, therefore, means that we won’t be spending money in fighting crime.
“When fathers do their work, the nation will have less work to do. And when next we have people in leadership who fail, who are patently corrupt, the question shouldn’t be ‘who is this?’ The question should be ‘who is the father of that person?’ I congratulate the fathers.”
Earlier in his sermon titled: “Fathers to the Rescue of Our Beloved Nation”; the Prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Kalu Uche, stated that God established the family as a basic and foundation unit of a country.
“God has made fathers as the head and this assignment must be an exercise in love, honesty, gentleness and unity. The responsibility of a father makes him be accountable to God. A father must render a selfless service and he must be faithful to his wife,” he said.