Like previous years, we celebrated Father's day in June 2015. This memorable day marked by churches, mosques, entertainment centres, businesses, social media platforms and more was considered special for Fathers all over the world. I suppose, to tell them how important their roles are in our world. Thinking about the 21st day of June when this day was celebrated in Nigeria, I remembered feeling so grateful to be a father and also remembered my Dad and other great men that have impacted my life, some late and some living and felt really happy that the world did not fail to recognise the contributions of men who have attained this status in our society.
Many like me basked in the excitement of the day following the special prayers, messages, events that graced the day but I had cause to think about a lot of things that inspired this text I am sharing with you via this medium. I was wondering if fathers in Nigeria celebrated for the same reasons like Fathers in other countries of the world. While contemplating the reason why fathers in Nigeria had course to celebrate, I decided to ask some men around me why they felt they should be celebrated on this day and these were the responses I got: 'I thank God that I am able to take care of my family and provide them with everything that they need not every father does that you know', another goes 'I do not have kids at the moment but not many fathers or even men at my age are married, so I am glad I am being celebrated for being responsible' and another goes 'well since there is mother's day, there ought to be father's day. If married women with children are celebrated for attaining that status, we too as men should be accorded the same right as well' and the responses went on and on for a while, some were very funny and some caused those of us gathered to contemplate until Mr. Simon one quiet man I had watched asked me 'You, Chuka tell us why you asked the question? ' 'Well' I began 'I am not sure we are celebrating for the same reasons that many men in other parts of the world are celebrating. I said this because, I know that every man that has a family here has a small country which means that our families have to be seen like a small Nigeria and we all ought to take care of Nigeria the way we take care of our families. Men in other parts of the world especially in developed countries may have cause to celebrate because they have done a lot of things that are ideal in their society ensuring that their societies survive and that almost everyone benefits from the stability that they have provided in their economies. I am not sure we can say the same of Nigeria. I am strongly compelled to ask our leaders and everyone who has toyed with and ravaged Nigeria "WHAT DID YOUR FATHERS TEACH YOU?" History taught us what the likes of Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubabakar Tafabalewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Odimegwu Ojukwu et al stood for. Those were some of the fathers who fought for Nigeria and for the rights of their people not because they wanted to amass wealth for themselves but because they wanted Nigeria to be the best country in the world. I have sometimes wondered if the fathers we have today especially the ones we see in our leaders were handed the virtues these men possessed or if they were raised by people they could never call fathers resulting in the kind of Nigerian nation that we have today; a nation where people clamour to rule not because they have got objectives that would benefit the masses but because they want to loot the nations treasury for themselves and their kins, a nation where poverty is gradually becoming our definition, a nation now listed among first options whenever vices are mentioned and more. These thoughts caused my questions Mr. Simon. I am not sure if many fathers worry like I do about what the generations that will come after us will become if we do not go back to those good old generations when our fathers stood for what was right not because they were easy virtues but because they knew that if we can build the nation, then we can build the people and live better with and for ourselves'.
The concern shared through this medium Jewel Publishers provides should be the concern of every well meaning Nigerian in the world especially those of us who reside in Nigeria. Fathers must return to the drawing board and provide the right mission statement that would take us back to our days of Glory irrespective of what our Fathers taught us. We must ensure that we do not educate our children because we want them to be thieves or corrupt people using the smart things they have learnt to rub our nation, No! We must educate them to understand that when education prepares you for life, it prepares you to live life that would first honour our creator; God and also benefit the people who live around us. Our greatest wish is that the new leadership of this country would stir the boat towards this mission so that many can follow.
In July, the team at Jewel Publishers encourages all of us to live with this awareness so that Nigeria can be better again. Selah! I wish you an attainment of those expectations you have for the month of July 2015. More Grace.
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