On Sunday, September 30, Mr. Ope Obafemi, a Lagos-based businessman and digital printing guru, will be inaugurated as the third president of the Rotary Club of Omole Ojodu, District 9110, Lagos.
The event is billed to hold at the Multipurpose Hall of the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Ikeja, it was learnt.
At a recent encounter, the Ado Ekiti-born philanthropist said his election as president by members of the club was a humbling experience. He said the new position would provide him a bigger opportunity to serve and touch peoples lives. He informed that a major focus of his tenure would be to eradicate polio at the grassroots. He said his tenure would also focus on education, health, community development and social integration.
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According to him, he would spend his term working on projects that would have tremendous impact on humanity, thus improving on the template of the Rotary Club.
Obafemi, who attended Christs School, Ado-Ekiti, said he had always loved to be involved in humanitarian activities. He recalled that he started as a member of the youth wing of the club in 1990 while he was an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) student of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti. He eventually became the president of the youth wing of the club during his HND programme at the institution in the 1993/94 calendar year.
Obafemi asserted: “In those days at the Federal Polytechnic, joining the club for me was basically like a juvenile quest for fun. But as I grew older, I noticed that some part of me was aligned with the Rotary principles, which is, selfless service to humanity. While I was in school, I was involved in many humanitarian services, like going out to clean the school environment, building a bus stop in the school and all that.
“I believe you dont need to have enough before you give to people. I lack so many things, but in my own little way, I always give to people that are in dire need of some basic things. And that is one of the principles I hold on to in life.
“Now, I have grown up to know what service to humanity really is. For me, any human being that is not inclined to selflessness is not complete.
“Shortly after my education, I was out of Rotary activities, basically to find my feet. But I came back in 2015 and became a chartered member of the Omole Ojodu District.
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Obafemi informed that there is a convention in the club which stipulates that each club must be project-driven. He noted that the six areas of focus in the club include peace and conflict prevention and resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, as well as economic and community development.
He said he would endeavour to touch all the areas of focus, including fighting polio at the grassroots, providing medical equipment and health care facilities to Akiode Primary Health Centre, providing chairs and tables to Oke-Ira Primary School, renovation of Ojodu Primary School Toilets, and taking care of the nursery section of Ogba Primary School. During his tenure, painting the school in Ogba as well as the cleaning and sanitation of the environment would also be a priority.
“My plan is to touch all the six areas of focus in my agenda, he continued. “Part of my plan is the eradication of polio. Rotary Foundation is worth over 1.5billion dollars, and the foundation has always been at the centre of polio eradication.
“In our club, we are going to create awareness, by organising road shows, calling on parents to bring out their children for vaccination and immunization. We are also partnering with corporate organisations and private health care givers, who will take care of all health related issues, such as high blood pressure tests and others. All these programmes and several others have been scheduled for action and implementation during my one-year tenure, he averred.
Besides these, Obafemi said he would endeavour to increase membership of the club by 30 per cent within the next few months. To achieve this, he informed that he had embarked on a daily routine of preaching the gospel of service to humanity and other principles of Rotary Club everywhere he goes.
“I always encourage people to join the Rotary Club. As a Rotarian, you give your talent, your treasure and your time. I preach the ideal of selfless service to people and the idea is to grow and boost our membership by 30 percent, he explained.
Obafemi said the club would be focusing on projects that are sustainable, assuring that he would involve all critical stakeholders such as community leaders, school authorities and residents in the maintenance of the projects.
He also informed that the investiture ceremony would also feature the inauguration of the Board of Directors and the launching of the clubs projects.
“The event is an opportunity to network and bond as one big Rotary family. And we are expecting prominent personalities at the inauguration,” Obafemi noted.