Ben Agande, Abuja.
President Goodluck Jonathan has called on state governors not to shy away from signing death sentences passed on convicted criminals saying that as leaders, their responsibilities include doing both the “sweet and the ugly part” a long as it is sanctioned by law.
In a message at the Villa Chapel to commemorate the Fathers’ day celebration, president Jonathan expressed worry that discipline which used to be the hallmark of the family is gradually being eroded because of negative influence of modernism.
He said: “These days, because of modern life, discipline is almost gone. Discipline can be in various forms. In the states, it could be admonition. Magistrate can just admonish and allow him to go. From admonition to various forms of punishments, it could be imprisonment. The extreme is capital punishment.
“In the case of capital punishment, the state governors will sign (the death sentence). Even governors sometimes find it difficult to sign. I have been telling the governors that they must sign because that is the law. The work 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” the president said.
He president said fathers are expected to be role models where children will want to be like their fathers, saying that they must of fail to discipline their children when necessary.
“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. 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 said.
Earlier in his sermon, The President of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, Rev. Soja Bewarang, said if Nigeria must move forward, those working with the President must refrain from stealing public funds and must be honest.
“If this country must survive, all men working under the President must practise 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 practise honesty and you must not steal,” he said.
He asked Nigerians to pray for good fathers like Enoch; those who will walk with God like Noah; those who will feat and trust God like Joshua; and men of faith like Abraham.
The special service which had Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State as the special guest of honour was also attended by 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.