Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says it is not the ability to father a child that makes one a father, but the courage to raise one.
Osinbajo spoke with State House correspondents on Sunday after celebrating 2019 Fathers’ Day at the Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja.
The vice president attended the service with his mother, Mrs Olubisi Osinbajo, Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha among others.
“It is not the ability to father a child; the ability to have a child that makes you a father; it is the courage to bring up one; ability to raise one.
“That’s what really makes you a father and I think the responsibilities of fatherhood are so many; whether one is a biological father or whether you are one who wants to take care of other children.
“I think that all of us, as men, have a role to play in the life of so many, not just our biological children but so many of them who have no fathers.
“Even to some who have fathers to who we have responsibility to set example to lead exemplary life, to bring them up as the scripture says in the way of the Lord.”
He urged men to love and honour women, adding that woman are not subordinate to men but created equal to them.
Osinbajo said that the responsibility of the father was incredible; adding it was important to teach young men growing up that they must honour all women and not just their wives.
“Of course, you must honour and love your wives; but I think that it is very important that we honour women.
“We don’t treat them as subordinate to us; they are created equal to men.
“But most importantly, we must honour them and recognise their role as partners, not just in families, but in society as well,” he said.
On his part, Omo-Agege, who earlier took the first Reading of the service from Malachi 1:3-6, urged fathers to be exemplary.
“It is not what we tell our children, but the lives we lead and they see us lead; that is important in the life of fathers,’’ he said.
He said such would help a lot in the formative years of children and make them responsible members of society.
Mustapha said that Fathers’ Day was not about the celebration but a reminder of the role men had to play in their families as physical and spiritual heads.
He said that by the celebration, fathers were reminded of the fact that they were the priests of their homes; therefore, they ought to pray for their families.
According to him, when children are aware their fathers prays for them, the chances of their drifting will not be there as they know that the eyes of their father are constantly on them.
“Constantly, you are reminding God that he has entrusted you with this responsibility and you ought to live up to the responsibility.
“The second thing is that, as fathers, we are supposed to exemplify the life of Christ in the lives of our children because we are just like letters that our children read on a daily basis.
“It is not about how much we say; or what we say; it is about our lifestyle.
“The other reminder is that we are bread winners in our families and we ought to provide for our families,” he said.
Mustapha had earlier taken the second Reading of the service from Exodus 17:8-16
Delivering the sermon, the Chaplain of the Aso Villa Chapel, Rev. Seyi Malomo, advised fathers to be sensitive and avoid any aggression that could harm their families.
Malomo said fathers should lead their children in spiritual exercises like fasting and prayers.
He reminded fathers that their actions had direct implications on their children.
There were also prayers sessions for President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo, the legislature, the judiciary and for unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.