As the world celebrates the 2023 Father’s Day on Sunday, June 18, St. James Anglican Church, Asokoro, Abuja, literally rolled out the drums to celebrate and honour fathers on a day dedicated to fathers and fathers-to-be.
The Church said the aim of the special celebration and recognition was to appreciate fathers, who are rearly recognised and appreciated despite their numerous sacrifices, contributions and self-denial of pleasures in a bid to provide for immediate and extended family members.
Speaking at a special Sunday Service to mark the occasion held in honour of the fathers, Vicar-in-Charge, Venerable Benjamin Idume, with a message titled “transformed father”, described fathers as pillars of the family whom God has bequeathed the responsibilities of moulding, guiding and providing for the family.
He said: “Fathers occupy very important position in the family. They are decision makers, at helm of affairs. A father is the Priest and shepherd of the family.”
He challenged the fathers never to relent amid several discouragements, but continue, through the Help of God, to offer their best to their families, reminding them that the family units are looking up to them for provision, guide and protection.
He also admonished President Bola Tinubu, being the “father of the country” to see and treat the entire Nigerians with equity, fairness and justice, irrespective of religious, political, ethnic and other differences.
“This is the only way that he can secure the support of all Nigerians so he can succeed. Elections have come and gone, and many are unhappy with the outcome because of the perceived irregularities that surrounded the exercise.
“To this end, the President should find a way to bring everybody on board. Do justice to all so that everyone can have the sense of belonging in the country,” the cleric stated.
A member of the church, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, admitted the increasing economic pressure on families, but encouraged the fathers not to relent, but be alive to their responsibilities.
“We need more responsible fathers which will culminate in responsible families, and the society will be better for it. Undoubtedly, it’s the decay in the family levels that’s showing as moral decadence in the society. If we get it right within the family system, the society will be better.
“So, there’s need to do some ‘surgical’ work at the family levels so we can have a better society. For the President, he should have an open mind and ensure that he improve on the standard of living by introducing palliatives in response to the recent fuel subsidy removal which resulted in high cost of living,” the senior lawyer stated.
For his part, chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, said the event was organised to openly appreciate the fathers whom he described as unrecognised “unsung heroes” in the family.
Chukwunyere said: “It was a week-long event for us. We used the opportunity to hold health talks, business seminars, mental orientations, medical outreaches, and several other engagements that culminated in the Sunday service open celebration of fathers. We would continue to do more to ensure that fathers play their roles well as leaders/pillars of the family.
Another member of the Church, Ime Ufot, in his submissions, appealed to wives to increase their appreciation and support for their husbands, in recognition of the increasing financial hardship as a result of unfriendly government policies.
He added: “these days, you are not a father alone to your immediate family, there are several other extended members of the family who are relying on you for one form of help or the other.”
The LOC chairman urged the fathers to support the financial independence of their wives so they can support the family and their husbands whenever the need arises.