my hands after she was delivered; I will never forget. That was the
first time I was holding my biological child in my hands – that is an
unforgettable moment. That experience happened to me five times and each
one remains a delight. There is nothing like being able to look in the
eyes of a little child and see that you are holding in your hands a
letter you are writing and sending to a future you may not see. Because,
whether we like it or not, wherever these children go, they carry not
just our DNA in them, but also our name. It requires also the
responsibility not to derail them. These children look up to us
(parents) as their hero because we are the first world they are
encountering. This is why the greatest gift a father can give his
daughter or his son is to love their mother.
recall that I did that several times with joy. I remember that for my
first daughter, my lower lip was her greatest pacifier. She refused to
take the natural pacifier. But once I offered her my lip, she would lick
and suck it. Up till today, she calls me her pacifier, but not my lip
though. She is married. She only used my lip as pacifier when she was
under one year.
job. My father died when I was two plus but my mother poured herself
into me. I was single-handedly raised by a widow and I was an only son
between my father and mother. I learnt what it means to be a father and
mother at the same time. Fatherhood is an awesome responsibility. Today,
I joke with my children, I say a father is a banker produced by nature.
He is a permanent automated teller machine, but I’m looking forward to
them taking care of me in my old age, not now though. Honestly, there is
nothing like a home where both parents know their duties,
responsibilities and obligations towards their children. Children raised
in a stable environment hardly mix with wrong crowd or become victims
of peer pressure.
said when she was much younger, whenever I was about to say goodbye to
her before embarking on a trip, she would pretend as if she was asleep.
She kept wondering why I had to embark on international ministry
–related trips all the time then. She felt I was always travelling. She
held it against me for a while until a time came when they (she and her
siblings) were in America and Britain for their education and they saw
how bills were being paid promptly. I had stored up and set aside enough
resources for them over the years. They then realised that it was hard
work I was doing for their future. But back to your question, if I had
my way, I would reduce my trips, which I’ve done considerably now and
stay more with my family because one must never succeed in ministry at
the expense of one’s family. I thank God that I realised that early; not
losing one’s family and gaining the whole world.
wanted all my five children to be girls. I see how female children take
care of their father. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I
told her the Lord revealed to me we would have five children. God
answered my prayer twice and answered her prayer thrice. She won. She
has three boys and I have two girls.
created an enabling environment for them. I never dictated to them what
to study. We (my wife and I) ensured that we created an enabling
environment, gave them the exposure they needed, took them to the best
schools within and outside the country. Based on their patterns, they
each chose the course they wanted to study.
she attended Emory University where she studied political science. She
also attended the School of Oriental and African Studies, she majored in
African history. She wants to be a lecturer and professor. My second
daughter is an interior architect; she has a master’s degree in interior
architecture. My first son is a communications director, while my
second son is an information technology guru, he also studied in London.
My last child who just graduated studied political studies.
ways; we don’t all have to be pastors. No one compelled me to do what
I’m doing, God called me. I won’t force them into it.
everything he has called you to do. I thank God for grace to do all I’m
doing. My children know that once I enter the house that is home moment,
family moment – a time I don’t joke with. Everything I’ve done in life
has involved my children. I have never done anything that they are not
part of. They always know the reason for which I do whatever I do. If
what I’m doing is not good for my children, I don’t do it.
raised to have value for money. My children don’t have an entitlement
mentality. They know one has to work hard to succeed in life.
daughter was in final year in secondary school. She did so well in her
studies and was excited about her graduation party. She told me she
needed a pair of shoes, bag and gown. I asked her how much she would
need to purchase the items; I think she said N50,000 or so. I told her
she deserved more than that. I told her to come take N100,000. I put it
on the table, she took it and said, ‘thank you daddy.’ As she was about
to step out, I asked her to return the money. I told her she should wear
what she had at home. I explained to her that she had nice clothes and
shoes and that if she started to buy clothes and shoes for every
occasion, she would ruin herself in future. Today, that lesson has
become an asset to her. My children never spend money anyhow.
verbally. If they repeat the same thing a second time, they are
corrected with a rod of correction not a rod of vexation. I don’t slap
them. My wife has two canes by her bed side called rods of correction – a
long and short one. When a child misbehaves, he or she will say how
many strokes of cane he or she should receive. After the child is
flogged, he or she says thank you sir and ma. I have never slapped my
children. The Bible talks about rod of correction.
task easy, my wife who turned her back on her banking career to stay
with our kids and the second person is my mother. She ensured her values
were communicated to them. God helped us. It is a miracle to raise a
proper child because of peer pressure. A child you do not train properly
will sell the houses you are building. Fatherhood is an awesome
responsibility. If you can’t raise a child; don’t bring them into the
world. And the responsibility of training children shouldn’t be passed
to mothers. Fathers should train their children. The role a father
plays in the life of a child is different from a mother’s role. I’m
pained when I see homes without fathers.
But when we were much younger, I used to assist her with chores. I got
into the bathroom one day and saw that she had soaked her underwear
waiting for me to finish having my bath. Before she got into the
bathroom, I washed everything for her. If she can help me with mine, why
shouldn’t I help with hers?
was also interested in her. One day, I went to her house on foot while
the other man drove to her house in a Mercedes Benz, but she still chose
me. On one of my trips to Germany, I bought her a Mercedes Benz. I
personalised the number plate for her and presented it to her. I told
her I appreciated her accepting me when I had no car.
married for a long time. Our marriage is only 33 years, it is short. I
married my wife when I was 30. I told her I would be with her for 60
years and then leave the planet and tell her to continue (smiles). But
the secret to having a successful marriage is mutual respect, trustful
give and take and understanding of each other’s needs. Marriage is not
man’s idea. It is God’s idea.