Abuja — Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has urged clerics to distance themselves from criminals who seek shelter in the church after looting the nation's treasury.
The acting president, who spoke at the Aso Villa Chapel service to mark the Father's Day celebration, yesterday also called on all fathers to exhibit exemplary conduct and strive to build a generation of righteous men and women for the country.
Osinbajo, who expressed dismay over how those who fraudulently amassed wealth have plunged the country, specifically called on the church to refrain from according dignity to people with criminal tendencies in the society.
"If the church says you are not allowed to steal and we will ostracise the thieves in our midst, if you found that a man has more money than he should have, if a man is earning a salary in a 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. If the church ostracises the thieves, then we will not have the kind of problems that we have in this country. If only the church can."
He also called on fathers to bring up their children with good virtue and integrity. Osinbajo urged all fathers in the country to follow the footstep of Abraham in the scripture that God chose in order to "command his children and household in the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice."
He called on fathers to love their wives and refrain from any form of domestic violence. On his part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, warned against the collapse of family values in the country, urging the government to invest more in the family.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the service, he said: "We should invest more, really as a nation, in fatherhood or in 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 kind of transformation that only take place at the family level." He called on fathers to be exemplary in their conduct.
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.
The clergyman, who attributed one of the problems weighing down the nation to the failure of many fathers, said many could not give their children good education, hence, they turned out to be criminals in the country. He condemned the elders in the society who provide backing for the young people in their agitation for a break up of the country.
The Chaplain of the Aso Villa Chapel, Pastor Seyi Malomo, described the day as "a day to celebrate our source."