By Olayinka Latona
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has been decorated by Rotary International District 9110 as the Rotary Ambassador to Nigeria just as Pat Ikheloa was installed as District Governor for 2016-2017.
The event, which took place at the Shell Hall of Muson Centre, Lagos, was witnessed by dignitaries from all walks of life including the Esama of Benin, Chief (ROTN) Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, President, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh (SAN), and International Inner Wheel President, Mrs. Yemisi Alatise.
Speaking after the decoration, the Ooni called on Nigerians to respect their culture and heritage, saying that Africa is at the centre of the world hence the need for Nigerians to appreciate their God-given culture, values and norms as black race.
Ogunwusi also enjoined Nigerian youths to contribute their quota to the development of the country and show love and compassion to the less privileged in the society irrespective of their religion, ethnic and political differences.
“Let’s us keep extending hands of love to the downtrodden, the less privileged in the society. I believe the more we do that, the more the love of God will be drawn to us,” he said.
Ikheloa, in his acceptance speech, said the role of the District was to support the almost 100 Rotary Clubs in Lagos and Ogun states in fulfilling Rotary’s dream of touching lives, by implementing projects that address the six areas of focus which include maternal and child health, economic and community empowerment, water and sanitation, peace and conflict resolution/prevention, basic literacy and education as well as disease prevention and treatment.
Others include implementing bigger, bolder and better projects, reducing the cost of rotary on members, promoting more activities at the Zonal and club levels and equipping Rotarians with more Rotary knowledge.
The outgoing District Governor, Otunba Bola Onabadejo, said the Rotary year had been very eventful. “Our major concentration during the Rotary year was membership development and we were able to increase the number of clubs to 96 with members from 1,194 to 2,297. The Club that took first position in membership development is Rotary Club of Omole Golden”, he said.
Past President, Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate, Ramesh Biswal added that part of the mega projects for the district is eradication of polio which includes the awareness for parents to continue to take polio vaccines for their children. He explained that in addition to vocational trainings, traders would be empowered with soft loans while work would continue on an Eye Foundation Hospital in association with Rotary International among others.