Tag Archives: Osinbajo

FG to treat hate speech as terrorism- Osinbajo

Hate Speech Will Be Treated as Terrorism, Osinbajo Vows

Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo wednesday in Abuja described hate speech as another form of terrorism, which employs violence and intimidation to achieve certain political objectives, vowing that the federal government would henceforth treat it as an act of terrorism.

Osinbajo issued the warning while addressing the state governors at the opening of the National Economic Council (NEC) security retreat at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.

He recalled that the Terrorism Act defines hate speech as an act done with malice, which has the capacity not only to harm a country but also intimidate the population.

Reiterating that hate speech would not be condoned but taken as an act of terrorism, which he said would also be met with the punishment for terror acts, the acting president appealed to religious, business and political leaders, irrespective of their political, ethnic or religious backgrounds to condemn hate speech in strong terms, even if it emanates from their constituents.

He also recalled how hate speech led to the crisis in Nazi Germany, the extermination of Jews in Europe, monumental genocide in Rwanda and silenced influential voices, warning that if leaders failed to speak up against terrorism, it would amount to a disservice to the unity of the country.

“Please permit me a comment on hate speech. The federal government has drawn a line on hate speech. Hate speech is a specie of terrorism, as it is defined popularly as the unlawful use of violence or intimidation against individuals or groups of persons especially for political aims.

“The law on hate speech, Terrorism Act, 2011, defines hate speech among other definitions as an act deliberately done with malice and which may seriously harm or damage a country or seriously intimidate a population.

“The intimidation of a population by words or speech is an act of terrorism and this government intends to take this matter seriously. As I have said, we have drawn a line against hate speech. It will not be tolerated.

“It will be taken as an act of terrorism and all of the consequences will follow.

“I call on business, political and religious leaders, whatever your political leanings or religion or tribe or faith, to condemn in the strongest possible terms at all times hate speeches.

“Speech that promotes violence against an individual or a group, especially when such speech comes from people of your own faith, tribe or group. Your silence in such situations can only be seen as an endorsement.

“Hate speech and promotion of the same throughout history, from Nazi Germany, to the extermination of Jews, to the Rwandan genocide, succeeded in achieving their barbarous ends by the silence of influential voices from the aggressor communities.

“When leaders in communities that speak in such a manner to create dissection or intimidate the population are quiet, they do a great disservice to our unity. They do a great disservice to our nation.

“This is why I urge all political leaders, religious leaders, business leaders and all of those who truly want a united country, a country where there will be peace and security, to ensure that we do not tolerate by our silence, the hate speech that we hear every day in our communities.

“Let me remind all of us that our constitution states that the primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of our people. And as President Buhari used to say, ‘We cannot administer a country you have not secured’.

“We will not relent in our vision of a secured country in which all citizens can confidently aspire to achieve their means and ambition. And I am confident that today marks an important milestone in achieving that vision,” he said.

In his remarks at the event, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, who pledged the commitment of the judiciary to doing things differently in the country, assured the gathering that the judicial arm of government was committed to the entrenchment of peace and justice in the country.

According to him, “Whereas it is commonly believed that there are two sides to a coin, in the true sense of events in Nigeria today, there are actually three sides to a coin,” listing them as insecurity, corruption and impunity.

He said if Nigeria must move forward, these three issues must be addressed holistically, pointing out that the support of all Nigerians must be secured if this must be achieved.

“The commitment of the judiciary is to do things differently and in a good manner. Our commitment is to have a good Nigerian society where peace and justice reign.

“I want to tell you also that though we also say that there are two sides to a coin, in reality, there are three sides to a coin.

“In our condition, in terms of where we find ourselves today, it is my personal view that insecurity, corruption, and impunity are the three sides of the same coin which ought to be taken together holistically if we are to move the country forward.

“I want us to think about that and to carry this through, we need the support of Nigerians, particularly the Nigerian on the street who feels deprived in one way or the other, rightly or wrongly.

“It could be imaginary but it ought to be attended to, as where his problems are coming from may not necessarily be the source of his problem.

“But it is necessary for us to look in that direction incase he is right. If we have security and justice, then many of these agitations will equally die down,” Onnoghen stated.

Speaking on behalf of the governors, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said even though nearly all the problems confronting Nigeria today had arisen from the states, the governors were doing their best possible to fix them.

He disagreed with the CJN that there are three sides to a coin, insisting that they are two, which he classified as security and the economy.

He said both of them are inseparable, even as he highlighted the resurgence of terrorism in the North-east, noting that if at all government fails to achieve anything, it must guarantee security.

He observed that whereas agriculture has the capacity to provide employment to 75 per cent of Nigerians, various governments had paid scant attention to agriculture, disclosing that in the last two years, only N23 billion has been invested in the sector.

“The issue of insecurity largely, 99.9 per cent, emanates from the states. Only a few issues are from the centre here in Abuja. It is the primary responsibility of government to secure the lives and property of its citizens.

“The governors are doing their best and the security chiefs can attest to that. We have been shouldering so many responsibilities of logistics in our separate states.

“If government will not achieve anything, it must achieve two things – fighting corruption and ensuring that it stems insecurity. We are still having some pockets of issues in the North-east which is worrisome.

“In the last 12 months, we were experiencing some kind of progress but all of a sudden, it resurfaced again, and also you will agree with me that the issue of security has two sides of a coin, although the CJN said it has three sides.

“Security and the economy have to work together. The issue of insecurity is being supported by our teeming unemployed youths in the streets. Government needs to deploy resources and encourage those in the centre to employ those youth on the streets and take them out of the streets so that they can have something worthwhile to engage them in.

“We have not been paying much attention to agriculture. My reason: in the last 10 years, only N400 billion was invested by either the Central Bank of Nigeria or commercial banks or the capital markets in the sector.

“But in 2010, AMCON came to rescue banks with bad debts and over N4 trillion was injected into AMCON and not much impact was made on agriculture. N23 billion has been invested in 200,000 farmers across the nation in two years. But N23 billion can do nothing for the sector that we believe can give employment to 75 per cent of Nigerians. So more investment is required in the sector,” he stated.

Present at the meeting besides the CJN and governors were the ministers, service chiefs, heads of the anti-graft agencies, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), among others.

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As We Begin the Journey to 2019

As We Begin the Journey to 2019



Pendulum
By Dele Momodu; dele.momodu@thisdaylive.com
Fellow Nigerians, unbeknown to many of our people, the battle for who becomes our next President has already started in earnest. Never mind the fact that the incumbent President is still firmly in power even if he’s spent more time outside than inside in recent times. Despite his absence, President Muhammadu Buhari continues to exert almost total control on the affairs of state through regular phone chats with the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who is deeply loyal and committed to their joint cause, and emissaries who criss-cross the two continents to transmit messages to him and relevant officials. Nonetheless, you can’t blame the gladiators for shaping up this early for the big contest that is looming. It is big because it is unlikely that the current incumbent President will run again because of the fragile state of his health. Like joke, like joke, the Buhari/Osinbajo government is in its third year. By this time next year, the general elections would just be about six months away. That’s just too close for comfort.
The Presidential race is always the biggest deal in most countries, Nigeria in particular. The reason is simple. The President of Nigeria is probably the most powerful black President in the world. This is why you find so many perpetual contestants who never get tired of seeking power. Let me just go straight to the meat of my message without wasting your precious time on any long preamble.
Some aspirants have actually started making subterranean moves, here and there, to prepare the grounds for their eventual launch. The most obvious ones include former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano. The boldest and most vocal visible aspirant is the current Governor of Ekiti State, Peter Fayose who has even announced a date for the official declaration of his bid for the Presidency. Fayose seems to have mastered the art and science of politics. He has warned that no one should underrate him. I won’t because nothing is impossible in our clime.
Anyway. Let’s move on. The main cause of the early moves is the general belief in political circles that President Buhari is not likely to contest in 2019. His poor health has virtually eliminated him from the race no matter how much and how well he recovers from his present ailment. I think so too. Baba himself had declared in one of his rare interviews that he’s never been this sick in his life. Only the cruellest human being would advise President Buhari to continue to subject himself to the rigours of the Presidential office when he returns. To add the vagaries of rough and tumble of a Presidential race to his recuperation would be inhuman indeed. God has been very kind to him and there is nothing more to prove or to achieve. Others must carry on the fight as his able Vice President, now Acting President has been doing.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had shown interest in becoming Nigeria’s President since 1993 when he contested the Presidential primaries of the then Social Democratic Party alongside Chief Moshood Abiola and Baba Ghana Kingibe. He was persuaded to withdraw from the contest and throw his weight behind Chief Abiola on the basis of his relative youth amongst other things. Age, it was said, was on his side, and he had many years to seek the Presidency. Since then, he has never stopped dreaming and aspiring. Unfortunately, he has always just fallen short! He had made his next move in 2003, after he served as Vice President to President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999. The “abortive coup” (as it was described), to force Obasanjo out and bring Atiku in, by the all-powerful Governors of the time failed spectacularly. The cold war between Atiku and his boss exploded into full view and became a smouldering inferno. Atiku instantly became a marked man. He himself would be forced out of the party he helped to found and had to join others to form another party. But before too long Atiku was compelled by circumstances to scamper back to PDP. Not many felt that was a smart move. He was viewed as being too desperate and unprincipled. This flip-flop has been his major albatross. And he was not yet done! Atiku again jumped ship from the floundering PDP when some five Governors defected and joined the fulcrum of APC. There are already indications that he may be compelled to abandon ship again but where to, we don’t know. Some say that he is grooming PDM for this purpose and has already caused a crisis in his former movement.
There is no doubt that Atiku would make a good leader. He is a seasoned politician who is known to have the ability to unite Nigerians because of his extensive networks across the nation. He also has the penchant for recruiting the best brains to work with. If he becomes the President, he would be bringing in his wealth of experience in public service and private business that is almost second to none. But there are major setbacks against him. One is how to find the detergent to cleanse or unglue himself from the sticky mud his former boss President Obasanjo had generously splashed on him. He’s largely portrayed as a very corrupt and corruptible leader who may lead Nigerians into temptation and perdition with his acolytes. Whether this is a fair assessment or wicked blackmail is his business to deal with but it won’t be so easy to wish or wash away.
Atiku will find it difficult to clinch the APC ticket. There are obvious signs that he has already positioned some of his close associates in PDP, in case of emergency but he may be scammed at the end of the day if he takes the risk of pulling out of his present party. He needs to worry about his age. He has already crossed 70 and it is doubtful if most Nigerians want to be saddled with another old man who may collapse under the brutal weight of presidential stress and pressure. He would require more of a clean bill of health to persuade young Nigerians that he’s not carrying some health liabilities like others in the past. In summary, we have a reasonable bridge-builder and veteran administrator who may be too old and too late in seeking political office.
Next is the former Governor of Kano State, Senator Mohammed Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, a man with very vast political and administrative pedigree. He has gone through the whole gamut of governance at both executive and legislative levels. His performance as Governor of the massive state of Kano is an eloquent testimony to the fact that he may be the one to ignite the infrastructural revolution in Nigeria. He cuts the image of a frugal Aminu Kano with his simple mien. His grassroots non-governmental movement known as Kwankwasiyya Pillars of the Nation is well mobilised and may give him an edge over most aspirants. He also has in his favour the fact that Kano State has the highest number of registered voters and may be able to count on garnering a significant number of these. He is also expected to draw strength from his former colleagues in the Governors’ Forum across the nation but no one is sure how relevant they still are. Kwankwaso is 60 years old and falls the under the age of 65 that many want as the upper limit for contestants. On the negative side, he is not likely to have the formidable war chest of an Atiku Abubakar though this did not stop him from beating Atiku to third place in their last APC Primaries.
Say what you will, the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, must be factored into the equation by all means. The reason is that he seems to enjoy a special rapport with his ailing boss who may prefer to hand over fully to someone he knows well than risk certainty for uncertainty. Osinbajo has been a very loyal and dependable ally, the sort that are not common in this clime. This is no surprise because his vocation as a lawyer, his service as a teacher and his calling as a Pastor makes him imbued with integrity and dignity. Osinbajo has also succeeded in bringing Nigerians together and calming frayed nerves. His handling of the economy, security and national awareness is quite commendable and many Nigeria’s applaud his brilliance and performance in steering the affairs of state to its present comfortable position. His only worry would come from ethnic jingoists who do not care about merit but prefer only members of their tribe no matter how useless or incompetent they may be.
Osinbajo is likely to be vehemently opposed by such powerful forces who think only about themselves, although it seems to me that the people of the North are not with them on this occasion. There is no question that Osinbajo has restored hope and promise to Nigeria and should ordinarily be allowed to stabilise the polity and lead us out of the doldrums. The fact that he lacks his own political platforms may be a great disadvantage because he would need to lean on his political godfather and kingmaker, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who seems tired of fixing others into positions of power without being the ultimate King of Kings himself. However, Asiwaju is canny and wise and would prefer to be in the hallowed corridors of power with his protégé in charge than be outside it particularly given that he is himself ageing and would be over a couple of years over 65 by the time of the next elections.
There has always been speculation that the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, is interested in being President. He is eminently qualified to do so. The way he has managed the Senate and worked assiduously on churning out unprecedented number of very efficacious bills is a pointer to his effectiveness as a modern and cosmopolitan leader who understands what the people want and how to give it to them. His biggest migraine apart from allegations of corruption and mismanagement of Societe Generale Bank which has seemingly not gone away, is that he comes from Kwara State. The State is geographically Northern but culturally Southern. His father was Olusola. He is Bukola. His wife is Toyin. His sister is Gbemisola. His Brother is Olaolu. His son is Olaseni. No one could be more Yoruba than Saraki. However, surprisingly, despite this great Yoruba credentials, the Yorubas do not also apparently view him as a Yoruba man but as a Northerner. I do not know how he plans to overcome that challenge of being neither cat nor rat.
The Governor of Sokoto State, Waziri Aminu Tambuwal, attempted very briefly to run the Presidential race in 2015 but seemed to have chickened out and pulled back to settle for the gubernatorial race, where he eventually emerged successful. It is being mentioned in informed circles that he may still want to try his luck. As a former Speaker of the House of representatives and now Governor, he comes with some intimidating arsenal as e is still clearly well loved by his old constituency, the Federal legislators. It is not certain if he would abandon his almost guaranteed second term as Governor for a not so certain Presidential bid. His antecedents in this regard would persuade me not to expect too much of a change in Tambuwal’s circumstances this time around.
The same goes for one of my favourite leaders, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, one of the most cerebral, experienced and visionary leaders in Nigeria today. He is silently revolutionising Kaduna State although people see more of the controversial stuff coming out of that State because of its highly volatile religious mix of Muslims and Christians. Though he is yet to declare his interest openly, he is someone to watch…


Culled from ThisDay 

Buhari anxious to return, gives full backing to Osinbajo

Buhari weighs return options, backs Osinbajo


Yusuf Alli 

• Presidency: Buhari, Osinbajo met for an hour

• Why Acting President engaged NASS leadership again

President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on returning home from London as early as possible to quell speculations about him, highly placed sources said last night.

He is already weighing two options on his return from the United Kingdom where he is recuperating.

One is: be back in two weeks time while the other is to apply for his accumulated annual leave to enable him complete his medicals before returning to his desk.

But he has given Acting President Yemi Osinbajo full backing in respect of all the steps taken to keep the government on course.

Osinbajo on Thursday engaged the leadership of the National Assembly in a fresh round of talks to mend the fence with the legislative arm.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that Buhari and some of his associates were worried by speculations about his medical trip and are now disposed to clearing the air on his well being.

This development, sources said, largely accounted for the recent visit to the President in London by Osinbajo and some kitchen cabinet members or loyalists.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami(SAN), the Director-General of the Department of State Security Service(DSS), Mallam Lawan Daura, and the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu are among those who have visited the President, The Nation was told last night.

One of the sources said that apart from checking on the health of the President, one of the issues which cropped up was his return.

It was gathered that Buhari’s mindset was quick recovery and commitment to his pledges to the nation.

The source said: “There are two options being considered. One of it is the likely return of the President within the next two weeks to put all speculations on his health to rest, and for him to decide some outstanding issues.

“The alternative is to apply for his accumulated annual leave to complete his medicals and the last leg of his recuperation before coming back to his desk.

“In spite of the fact that the President’s notice to the National Assembly is still subsisting, his return might douse tension in the country including intra-cabinet intrigues.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “I think none of the options has been agreed on.”

Sources also confirmed that Buhari and Osinbajo actually met for an hour on Tuesday.

“They had a robust audience and the President told Osinbajo, “any decision you take, you have my backing. Make sure you keep the country united.” The President has full confidence in his deputy,” one of the sources said.

“And the Acting President has been loyal and sustaining the vision of the President.”

On the latest meeting between the Acting President and principal officers of the National Assembly, a source said: “Osinbajo is trying to bridge the communication gap between the Executive and the Legislature. This was why he met with the leaders of the National Assembly.

“I can assure you that a truce is likely. The only outstanding matter is the fate of the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu which only the President will decide.

“At the Thursday session, issues bordering on the budget, compliance with resolutions and summons and others were mutually discussed.”
Source: The Nation

​Osinbajo arrives Abuja after Buhari meeting, to chair FEC meeting

Osinbajo arrives Abuja after Buhari meeting, to chair FEC meeting

Nigeria ’ s vice- president has returned from a whistlestop trip to meet ailing President Muhammadu Buhari in London and will chair Wednesday ’ s weekly cabinet meeting , his spokesman said .

Acting President Yemi “ Osinbajo now back in Abuja from London & will be presiding over FEC (federal executive committee) this morning , ” tweeted Laolu Akande.

He also pledged to share “ more information ” about Osinbajo’ s encounter with Buhari , describing it as “ a very good meeting ”.

Osinbajo, who has been acting president since Buhari left for medical treatment on May 7 , flew to London on Tuesday .

No details were given about the meeting but it is believed to be the first face – to – face encounter between Nigeria ’ s two most senior politicians in more than two months.

Buhari , 74 , has not been seen in that time and has now spent nearly four months of this year out of the country, prompting growing calls for clarity about his fitness to govern .

His condition has not been disclosed but aides have previously played down rumours that he was terminally ill with cancer or even dead .

His wife Aisha, who flew to London earlier this month , on Monday posted a cryptic message on her Facebook page in response to a Nigerian senator’ s description of Buhari as “ the absent Lion King ” .

“ God has answered the prayers of the weaker Animals . The Hyena ’ s and the Jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom, ” she wrote .

AFP

Osinbajo dares Senate, says Magu will remain EFCC chairman as long as Buhari, himself are in office

Osinbajo declares support for Magu

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo

By Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna 

The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime C omission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu (first left) and Governor Nasir El-Rufai(right) at the commissioning of the EFCC Kaduna Zonal Office on Thursday.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said that as long as he remains in office, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Alhaji Ibrahim Magu will continue to remain as the Commission’s boss.

The statement came 48 hours after the Senate asked the acting president to remove the EFCC boss.

Represented by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, at the commissioning of the Kaduna zonal office of the EFCC, Professor Osinbajo said he had the same confidence and conviction President Muhammadu Buhari had about Magu’s capability to function effectively in the office of the EFCC.

Osinbajo said: “Shortly before the President left the country, I asked him about Ibrahim Magu and the President said he believes in what he is doing. He has his support. I want to also affirm here that Magu has my support. As far as I remain the acting President, Magu remains”.

EFCC boss, Magu in an address urged the Federal Government to immediately embark on the building of a prison in Sambisa forest for those arrested and convicted of corruption.

However, he explained that for the prison to become a reality, the judiciary arm of government should cooperate with the Commission.

He said that illegal monies are likely to be abandoned by corrupt persons at the nation’s airport and other places in near future as it happened at Kaduna airport some few months ago. Magu warned that if concerted efforts were not made to rid the country of corruption, the monster will infest the citizens and adversely affect the nation’s economy.

Said he: “We want to call for the establishment of a prison in Sambisa forest in order to keep away corrupt people from our midst. In this case, the judiciary has direct influence to help in the fight against corruption. But concerted efforts are being made by some big Nigerians to neutralise the fight against corruption”.

“We must change the narrative by fighting back those that do not want the fight to succeed. I remain committed to the fight against corruption, and I commend the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai for encouraging EFCC to establish a zonal office in Kaduna. We must, therefore, join hands together to kill corruption before corruption will kill us”.

Meanwhile Speaking in his capacity as the Kaduna state governor, El-Rufai disclosed that the anti-graft agency had helped his government to recover over N500m from immediate past government officials who had milked the treasury.

He said the state government is ready to provide land for the EFCC training school in the state as well as for the building of their staff quarters.

Earlier, a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee, Professor Femi Odekunle pointed out that the presidential committee is behind Magu for his commitment in the fight against corruption.

Odekunle said, “We are not going to be cajoled by any technicalities. We will support the commission because most of our leaders are corrupt”
Source: The Guardian

​Osinbajo Appoints 14 New RECs

Osinbajo Appoints 14 New RECs

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The federal government has approved the appointment of 12 persons as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following their confirmation by the Senate.

Similarly, two appointees were retained on the REC list made by acting President Yemi Osinbajo thursday.

A statement signed by Bolaji Adebiyi, the Director Press, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the appointments were with immediate effect as they had been ratified by the Senate.

The newly appointed RECs, according to the statement, are: Professor Godwill Obioma, (Abia); JamesLorliam Apam (Benue); Dr. Nwachukwu Orji (Ebonyi); Dr. Iloh Joseph Valentine Chuks (Enugu); Dr. Nentawe Goshwe Yilwatda, Plateau; Umar Ibrahim (Taraba); Mr. Emeka Ononamadu Joseph (Imo); Obo.O.Effanga (Cross River); Professor Francis Chuckwuemeka Ezeounu (Anambra); Dr.Briyai O. Frankland (Bayelsa); Ibrahim Abdullahi (Adamawa); and Agboke Mutiu Olaleke (Ogun).

Those reappointed as RECs were Alhaji Ahmad Makama (Bauchi) and Hussaini Halilu P, who is representing (FCT).

Source: ThisDay

Reject treasury loots,  Osinbajo charges church 

Osinbajo Tells Church to Reject Treasury Looters

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said people who loot the public treasury or their organisations are doing so out of greed, and not because of any political objective of keeping a war chest for the future.

Osinbajo made the remark yesterday at the celebration of Father’s Day at Aso Villa Chapel, during which he also challenged the church to teach the lessons of honesty and integrity.

”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. In any case, even if you want to do that, you have no right to do it,” he said.

His message from the pulpit certainly strikes a chord against the backdrop of the avalanche of corruption cases the Muhammadu Buhari administration has been pursuing.

The campaign had suffered some setbacks of late, with controversial verdicts by the court that tend to let go the accused.

Osinbajo, a professor of law and also a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, felt the church has a role to play.

“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 establishment where you work, we would not have the type of problem that we have in this country.”

“In Genesis 18:19. God was speaking about Abraham. And God said he had known him or called him in order that he may command his children and his household after him that they keep the way of the Lord with righteousness and justice that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He had spoken to him.

“In other words, God was saying that He called Abraham, in particular, because he realises that Abraham will command his household, will command his children to do righteousness and justice and to fear God. And if you back this up with Genesis 12:2, God has spoken concerning Abraham, that He will make Abraham a great nation. Genesis 12:3 says, God said, I will make you a great nation.

“In other words, the role of the father is supposed to be that of building nations, building generations. And Abraham is the example God set for us; of a man who God wanted to be the exemplar of the type of conduct that God expects of fatherhood; a man who will teach his children and children thereafter the way of righteousness and justice and the way of fear of God.

“When I listened to His Eminence, the Prelate of the Methodist Church a few minutes ago, talking about the importance of the type of training that he received as a child in his family. I’m sure many of us here are reminded of that type of training. A type of training where you are taught and reminded about integrity, primarily as the first order of business; that you must be a person of integrity. You must be truthful, you must be trustworthy, you must be honest, you must be forthright. That is the foundation. And in the days he referred to, Catechism was an important part of our lives. Even just knowing the 10 commandments was enough to teach you about righteousness, teach you about the way of truth and I think that is very important, especially for us today as Christians.

“Christian fatherhood in particular is a position that God has placed us as exemplar to our nation. The Christian father is the one referred to in Genesis 18:19; the one who will teach the way of righteousness and justice to his children and would teach the fear of the Lord. And I just want to say to all of our leaders (and I was speaking with few of our Christian leaders just last week, both of the PFN and CAN just last week on various occasions) that it is the role of the church to build this nation. And 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, 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 the one who saved the world, how to be like Jesus. It is not easy.

“Every time that we come to church, we are told about giving. But we need to talk more about honesty. We need to talk far more about honesty. In the same way we talk about giving, we need to talk more about honesty because just like His Eminence said, Nigeria’s great problem is not the absence of prosperity. It is as he so eloquently put it, 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 where it is today. It is the greed of so many; many who have been placed in position of authority. It is their greed that has landed us where we are, where it is difficult to do the sorts of things His Eminence saw in Washington and so many other places. You cannot steal half of the resources of the country and expect to build the sort of things you see in other places.

“And if the church says you are not allowed to steal and we will ostracize 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 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 establishment where you work, then we would not have the type of problem that we have in this country. If only the church does so. Just the church.

“Just as Christian fathers today, it is our duty as God spoke concerning Abraham in Genesis 18:19, it is our duty to build up a generation of righteous men and women, a nation of just men and women who fear God and puts God above everything else. And I believe that the Almighty God will help us. I just pray that the Father of fathers, the One who has called us, one who has saved us will bless each and every father here today in the mighty name of Jesus. The Almighty God who is the great Father of all fathers will ensure that we get everything we need to make our families, to make communities truly great and to make our nation great.”
Source: ThisDay