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Nigeria, if only we had fathers

By Prince Charles Dickson PhD
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So, very quickly I can tell loads of columns, and columnists this week like meself did be writing on everything politics, June 12, APC, PDP, election tribunal, education, practically everything but fatherhood. Besides, celebrating fatherhood isn’t our thing, and though we tend to celebrate motherhood with multiple days, who really cares about fathers, and that’s the big point and the minus to my conversation on this matter.

And this is me, and my mumbo-jumbo admonition on the subject and how it concerns us as a people. Fatherhood doesn’t come with an instruction manual. So it’s only natural that it comes with a lot of questions, from the tactical (“how to help my baby crawl”) to the deeply personal (“how to know if my child is making friends or doing drugs”). Infact I often tell people I am leaning on the job.

I do not know Saraki personally but who really doesn’t know Saraki, former Senate President, former governor, and former bank chief, he’s got a long list of things he was, but fact is he will always be son of Late Oloye Saraki, and he will always be father of his children. He will be forever a reflection of what he learned from his father, forget all that tales by moonlight of a curse from his father. Saraki is a product of the politics, actions and inactions of his father!

Our children are looking for danger all the times, while fathers are trying to keep them alive most times. However how do most Nigerian fathers try to keep their kids alive? Joshua Chibi Dariye, he’s my friend I dare say, lovable character, loads of charisma, former governor, former Senator, at some point he was supposed chairman on EFCC if information out there is correct, I don’t know if he’s former or currently a fellow of the prestigious accounting body ICAN—but hold it, like Jolly Nyame, the reverend not exact gentleman both are fathers in jail for having misappropriated public funds.

They ‘may’ be scapegoats but a sizable number of Nigerian political fathers don’t evoke envy of real sorts by their actions, they have sold embarrassment, and made shame look like Italian hand cut and sewn suits.

Fatherhood in Nigeria isn’t easy, not when government thinks all you deserve is a paltry N1000 a day and governors themselves fathers who earn millions legitimately and billions illegitimately don’t think you deserve it or even willing to pay it.

Tell me about fatherhood, and I will tell you of my 14+ old son who has a girlfriend. And how it shocked me, but why I think it is not the worst that could happen. You have to be adaptable because they constantly keep changing. They’ll do something that blows your mind and then they’ll spit all their food out on the carpet. That’s how children are; there are no manuals or best ways to raise them. But the sad part is when fathers lack the prerequisite parenting skills.

When our fathers dishonor themselves on several floors of states assembly, or the National Assembly throwing chairs, what kind of future fathers are we raising? I often say Fatherhood is great, because you can ruin someone from scratch. So how are you building a better Nigeria through the kids you are raising?

It’s a vogue and fashionable that most homes today practically have maids, parents are working class, no pun intended, however who leaves kids all under the age of 15 in the hands of another 15 year old and expects those kids to be raised any better. How much time do fathers spend with their kids.

Besides the public show of affection by fathers for their wives which is akin to the hypocritical love and unity preached by our political fathers. Don’t we see the rise domestic violence a reflection of the hatred and lack of tolerance evident in the Nigerian society?

So, like our chief daddies in the APC, PDP it’s really sad that they don’t realize that having children is like living in a frat house — nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up, and their responsibilities include but not limited to keeping that house in order, showing love, living by example. Ooops how could I forget that a lion begets a lion and most times the current crop of fathers are ominous signs of danger ahead, raison de etre for ‘Sniper’ drinking fragile minds or crazed entitlement seeking gullible youths.

A former governor and his son are guests of the EFFC, another has been in public circle (note, public circle, not public service) for five decades, he eats that which belongs to him, and eats that which belongs to his children, and the children’s children, in another case steals that which is meant for children’s children’s-children with reckless abandon.

Who’s your father, what does your father do, is your father alive, where’s your father a few questions of the yore years that evoked mixed feelings; these days interpretatively they have new meanings. Our daughters save their ‘benefactors’ phone contacts as ‘Daddy 1, Daddy 2 and Good Daddy’. Fathers have lost shame by their actions while other fathers live in shame by their inactions. The days where fathers raised the children of the community are behind us, as these days’ fathers lazy while children are either left to fend for themselves and cases for their fathers.

So are the likes of Obasanjo, IBB, Shonekan, Gowon, are they proud fathers, is this the Nigeria bequeathed to them, and do they at that “Goro-eating and Tomtom licking” meeting called council of states with small fathers called governors; do they think about the future of their children, or they are only concerned about their interests.

And before my concluding paragraph, to all the fathers who have lost children in the army that fight so that you and I can close our eyes, we ask that you find consolation. Those fathers whose children have been cut down in their prime through state security apparatchik we collectively ask that you find it in your heart to forgive this nation.

While, this fathers’ day, is just one day that not many care about, I end on this note, hence we are a highly religious people, may the Almighty Allah, bless the work of hardworking fathers, fathers that do not despise on the premise of race, ethnicity, fathers that are not faith bigots, who wont steal what does not belong to them. Fathers who live and let live, fathers who still find time to tell their kids tales of when Nigeria partially worked. Fathers that remain fathers to their children, fathers that have since departed the scene, they were good men, Ojobaro, Banta, and you could add your dad to this list) there are and were the true fathers, they preach, teach and live peace, they are not the problems, they daily seek solutions, and are open to learning wherever they find themselves, they are fathers of little villages, hamlets, they are fathers in their masjids, churches, and shrines passing age long ethics, and life lessons on brotherhood, like my father Charles whom I never really may understand, will their fruit of labor not be in vain, how long do we have to wait for Nigeria to be guided and guarded to greatness by great fathers—Only time will tell.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Prince Charles Dickson PhD and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."