By Sunday Ani
The Rotary Club of Lagos, Festac Cosmopolitan, in partnership with the Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, has launched an aggressive project campaign to make the environment safe for the citizens.
In its ‘Rotary adopt-a-street project’ programme aimed at achieving this lofty goal, the Club has already adopted the median section of the Festac 1st Avenue, starting from the main entrance gate to the intersection with 2nd Avenue for beautification, conservation, maintenance and sanitation.
This was revealed by the Club’s President, Mrs. Uzoamaka Akaneme, at the Amuwo Odofin Local Government Secretariat on Wednesday during a courtesy visit to the local government chairman, Dr. Valentine Oluseyi Buraimoh.
Mrs. Akaneme said the courtesy visit was to enable the Club confer on the council chairman the award of Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International and also to induct him as an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Lagos, Festac Cosmopolitan.
According to Ik Ugwu, presentation of Paul Harris Fellow recognition is the Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programmes.
Congratulating Buraimoh for the recognition, which came largely due to his commitment to Rotary Foundation programmes and to humanity, Mr. Ugwu reminded him that Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of the Rotary Foundation.
“A contribution to the Rotary Foundation is an investment in the ideal of goodwill, peace and understanding. That is an ideal held high by Rotarians the world over, and one that Buraimoh clearly shares. As Rotary works with such individuals of good will, we believe the ideal will become a reality.
“Today, we have the honour and pleasure of to recognise Buraimoh as a Paul Harris Fellow. We also present these emblems of appreciation given to each Paul Harris Fellow,” he said.
Speaking on the chairman’s induction as an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Lagos Festac Cosmopolitan, Mrs. Akaneme said the Club believes he is a leader in his chosen vocation, and that he manifests qualities that fit membership of the world wide community of Rotary.
“The community will know and judge Rotary by your actions and ideals. You will become an ambassador for Rotary and you will carry these ideals and the principles of Rotary service to those who know you or with those with whom you are associated.
“Honorary membership in Rotary is a privilege, which carries with it many obligations, and we believe that you will recognise these and welcome them as opportunities for service,” she said.
She later presented to the council chairman the lapel pin by which other Rotarians and the public would recognise him as an honorary Rotarian of the Club for a period of one year, which is renewable.
She made it clear to the council chairman that the recognition attracts all the privileges but without the obligation to pay dues or attend regular meetings of the Club
“It is also my pleasure to present you with this framed 4-way test of the things we think, say or do. We trust that you will hang it in a prominent location in your office and endeavor to apply it in every situation and circumstance. We most heartily offer you the right hand of Rotary fellowship, she added.
In his response, the elated Buraimoh expressed his gratitude for the honour and promised to do everything to support the Club to create a safe and friendly environment in Lagos.
He stated that the Club has challenged him like never before in his lifetime. “I have seen the project you embarked upon at the entrance of 1st Avenue and the emblem you placed there to show the world the good job that Rotary is doing. It is touching that a project of this nature and magnitude can be embarked upon by the Rotary club. I want to assure you that by this project, you are sending a positive message to the world that Rotarians are exceptional in our community. They value nature, beautification of our environment and result oriented and community services. I am assuring you that I am not just an ordinary member but a full-fledged member,” he said.
He commended the initiative saying the tree offers residents the opportunity to breathe in good oxygen, especially at a time when most industries located within the council area run on generators, thereby polluting the environment and constituting health hazards.
He promised to use his good offices to mobilize well meaning residents of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area to join the club and support its activities. He also promised to attend their meetings from time to time to give support to their activities.
“And as a government, we will partner with you to do other projects you might initiate. I am sincerely grateful and proud of you,” he noted
Speaking on the project, past assistant governor and deputy project manager, Ikechukwu A. Onodi 60 king palms grass and lilies have already been planted in the median throughout the entire section, with a perimeter fence constructed and installed. “We also plan to maintain the planted palms and grass by watering, manuring and regular manicure, as well as conduct monthly sanitation exercise in the adopted section as volunteers to keep it free from litter, other pollution,” he said.
“In furtherance of Rotary’s support for the environment, the project will provide beautification, conservation, sanitation, pollution reduction and improved Health,” he added.
The highpoint of the visit was the symbolic commissioning of the project at the 1st Avenue by the council chairman.