By Kemi Yesufu
Members of the Abuja high society gathered in Agura Hotel, Garki on Saturday, August 19, to celebrate one of their own, Victoria Orakwue, as she was sworn-in as president of the Rotary Club, (Maitama District), Abuja. Though friends of the new president, came dressed to the hilt to have classy fun, their rendezvous turned out to be of great benefit to residents of Gawuluyi village in Bwari Area Council. Orakwue and members of Rotary Club Maitama used the event to raised N3 million to fund projects they had undertaken in the community. Gawuluyi which is a 30-minute drive from the Abuja city centre, despite having about 30,000 inhabitants lacks basic amenities. With the six areas of focus of the Rotary Club, including basic education, child and maternal care as well as disease prevention, the club is working on completing a nurses and doctors’ quarters, having renovated the Primary Heath Care Centre (PHC) in the village. The club in adopting the village has embarked on renovating its primary school, its PHC and sponsoring interventions to get more children into school and reduce disease infections through integrated projects.
It, therefore, was a case of partying for a worthy cause, when Orakwue’s friends took turns to announce their donations. First to start the display of generosity was wealthy businessman and former lawmaker, Senator Annie Okonkwo, who donated N1 million. Okonkwo who received an award for his long years of humanitarian work assured on his commitment to assisting the less privileged. Another of the awardees Christy Ademodi donated N1.5 million. Ademodi who doubled as the mother of the day called on well-off individuals to invest in the downtrodden, adding that organisations such as the Rotary Club should be supported as even government cannot meet the needs of the citizenry alone. Abuja-based entrepreneur, Ikechukwu Ifesie, who gave N.5 million got an award in recognition of his support for charitable interventions, especially in Abuja.
Other awardees included Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Georgina Ehuriah, businesswoman and philanthropist, Onyinye Adesina and former president of the club, Winnie Fonaka.
Abuja District Governor, Mbanefo Nnoka, who presided over the investiture assured that the money raised will be used for the club’s projects in Gawuluyi village.
“When some people are keeping millions of naira in septic tanks, we in Rotary Club are bringing our friends to help women and children. We are wiping the tears of the needy.
“It may be hard to believe, but there are people in some communities in Abuja, the capital of our country, who still drink from ponds. Our goal is to ensure that by the end Rotary year, there won’t be any community like these ones,” Nnoka said.
According to him, with the country sliding into a recession, with many individuals and firms trying to stay afloat financially, organisations like Rotary have to double efforts in order to meet their targets.
“My charge to the new president is for her to continue from where, her predecessor stopped and this simply means that she should continue doing good, by delivering on projects. She should also hold the club together by promoting healthy friendships. In the Rotary Club, we are friends bonded by the love of serving humanity and giving to the society.”
Speaking to Abuja Metro after her installation, Orakwue stated her intent to hand over key projects in the adopted villages of her club to its residents on time. She reiterated her pledge to implement interventions aimed at improving the quality of life in Gawuluyi community.
She called on Nigerians to support humanitarian bodies, with a history of transparency and accountability.