Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has urged religious leaders in the country to partner Federal Government in the ongoing fight against corruption.
Osinbajo made the call during Father’s Day service at Aso Villa Chapel on Sunday, and urged Nigerians to always ignore the looters of the nation’s treasury, who paraded themselves in places of worship.
He called on the church to desist from honouring persons who had fraudulently amassed wealth, adding that fathers in the country should be exemplary leaders that build generation of righteous people.
“I want to say that all of our leaders, the Christian leaders, the PFN and CAN, that it is the role of the church to build this nation.
“The church has that role because God has said concerning us that we are the light of the world and we are the salt of the earth.
“That role is a very difficult role. We are not to teach the world how to be like the world but to teach the world how to be like our saviour, Jesus Christ.
“Every time we come to the church, we are told about giving, but we need to talk more about honesty.
“Just now, His Eminence said Nigeria’s great problem is not an absence of prosperity but that we have enough for our needs but we don’t have enough for our greed.
“The greed of many is what has landed this country to where it is today. Many in position of authority, it is their greed that has landed us to where we are.
Many who say the reason why they are stealing is because they need to have an arsenal for future political experiment, it is a lie! It is greed,’’ he said.
The acting president also charged the religious leaders to always find out the source of income of any of their members engaged in questionable lifestyle.
He said: “If the church says you are not allowed to steal and we will ostracise the thieves in our midst.
“If you find that a man has more money than he should have, if a man is earning a salary in civil service or public service and he has houses everywhere, we have to hold him to account.
“He must first be held to account in the church. He must first be told in the church, we will not allow this.’’
He said that if the church ostracised thieves, “and say we will not accept thieves here or we will ensure that we expose them”, Nigeria would not have the sort of problems it currently had.
According the Osinbajo, if only the church can tell the thieves you are stealing the resources of our nation, you are stealing the resources of a private company or other establishments.
He also urged fathers to bring up their children with virtue of integrity.
He said that all fathers should follow the footsteps of Abraham, who God chose in order to “command his children and household in the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice”.
The acting president also called on fathers to love their wives and refrain from any form of domestic violence.
On his part, the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, warned against the collapse of family system in the country, abd urged government to invest more in the family.
Dogara, who spoke to newsmen shortly after the service said, “we should invest more, really as a nation, in fatherhood or in family.
“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.
“This is because we will have some kind 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.
“Government certainly cannot do that; it is the role of the family. So, when we celebrate fathers like this, we celebrate fatherhood.
“We emphasise 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.’’
He called on fathers to be exemplary in their conduct.
According to him, the father’s day is one of the most important days in the life of a nation; a nation is a collection of families.
“Every leader, every good person, every armed robber, every militant, every terrorist comes from the family and when the family collapses, the nation collapses.’’
Earlier in his sermon entitled: “Fathers to the Rescue of Our Beloved Nation,” the Prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr Samuel 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 exercised in love, honesty, gentleness and unity.
“The responsibility of a father makes him to be accountable to God. A father must render a selfless service and he must be faithful to his wife,” he said.
The cleric, who attributed one of the problems besetting the nation to failure of many fathers, said that many could not give their children good education, and the children most likely turned out to be criminals.
He condemned those individuals agitating for secession in the country, the Boko Haram group, among others, describing them as “miscreants in the society”.
“They were not given proper education, they were not brought up to respect humanity,’’ he added.
Uche also condemned the elders in the society who were backing the young people in their agitation for a break-up in the country.
He prayed for President Muhammadu Buhari’s quick recovery, and said “anyone wishing the president death is a wicked person.
“We should pray for the father of the nation to recover.’’
The Chaplain of the Aso Villa Chapel, Pastor Seyi Malomo, described the day as “a day to celebrate our source.’’
Bible readings at the service were taken by the Corps Marshal of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi and Dogara.
As part of the activities to mark the occasion, gifts were presented to Buhari, Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki; Dogara, the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen.