President Goodluck Jonathan has enjoined Nigerian fathers to show love and care to their wards as the world marks this year’s Father’s Day.
He however, hastened to remind them that while showing love and care, they must not be found wanting in the area of discipline when the need arises.
The President was speaking on Sunday at a special service to celebrate the Father’s Day at the Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja. It was organized under the leadership of Elumelu.
“Today is Father’s Day and that is why we are here to celebrate. Who is a father?
If we look through all the references that have to do with the father in the Bible, you will see that we expect a father to show love.
“The father is the breadwinner of the family, to take care of the mother and the children, to provide food for them and take care of their education. We expect fathers to be role models where children will want to be like their fathers.
“I want to urge all of us who are fathers to discipline our children. No matter what you do, even if you show love and provide the needs of the family, if you don’t discipline your children, it is not good. These days, because of modern life, discipline is almost gone. Discipline can be in various forms,” the President said.
President Jonathan also used the occasion to remind the state of governors of the need to always sign death warrants in the case of capital punishment, saying it is part of their constitutional duties.
“In the states, it could be admonition. Magistrate can just admonish and allow him (an offender) to go. From admonition to various forms of punishments, it could be imprisonment. The extreme is capital punishment.
“If in the case of capital punishment, the state governors will sign. Even governors sometimes find it difficult to sign. I have been telling the governors that they must sign because that is the law. The works we are doing have a very sweet part and a very ugly part and we must perform both. No matter how painful it is, it is part of their responsibilities.
“So for us as parents, it is important for us to let our children constantly know that it is good to take the right path. It is good for them to know that they must be upright”.
The President of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, Rev. Soja Bewarang in his sermon said those working with the President must shun corrupt practices if the nation must move forward.
In a sermon titled “Father’s Responsibilities”, he said “If this country must survive, all men working under the President must practice honesty and they must not steal. He (the President) cannot fight corruption when you are not supporting him. He may try, but he cannot be everywhere. You are his representatives, so you must practice honesty and you must not steal”.
The service had Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State as the guest of honour. In attendance were the President’s mother, Eunice; Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State; Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Tony Anenih; members of the Federal Executive Council; new Controller-General of Immigration, Mr. David Paradang; Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ade Abolurin; and members of the National Assembly.
Others were the Ambassador of Ireland in Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Fhearghail; the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Uriel Palti; former House Leader, Tunde Akogun; Ndidi Elumelu; and Nollywood stars among others.