…With New Board of Directors
Rotary Club of Ikeja, District 9110 at a ceremony held at Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, on Sunday, installed Rotarian Gbenga Badejo as the 54th President as well as inducted Board of Directors for the 2021/2022 Rotary year.
Also inaugurated as members of Board of Directors are, Rotarian Sola Akinsiku, Vice President; Rotarian Rhoda Obeto Secretary; Rotarian Kayode Situ, Treasurer; Rotarian Jide Olayinka, Service Project Director; Rotarian Lanre Lawal. Rotary Foundation Director, Rotarian Chuks Ebede, Club Admin Director; Rotarian Osato Osawaye, Youth Activities Director; Rotarian Samson Agbato Membership Director; Rotarian Segun Adebowale, Public Image Director and Immediate Past President, Dotun Lampejo.
Present at the event were Past Presidents of the Club, friends and families of the new presidents as well as well-wishers.
This year’s theme: ‘SERVE TO CHANGE LIVES’ began July 1st and according to the Rotary International President, Shekha Mehta, the aim is for members to become more involved in service projects, adding that caring for and serving others is the best way to live because it changes not only other people’s lives, but also their lives too.
Welcoming Guest at the ceremony, the Chairman Investiture Planning Committee, Past Assistant Governor, Tunji Ola said Rotary Club is a wonderful club which had always been the best in the District.
He said the emergence of the new president was as a result of the good work of past leaders of the club and most especially the urge to help others in the society.
He urged every one most especially friends of the Club to support the new president in achieving more for the Club by helping the communities around them.
The District Governor, District 9110, Remi Bello in his remarks congratulated the new president and urged him to do more in order to change more lives.
“I am very pleased to be with you today to witness the investiture of a friend, a professional colleague to lead this Club in the change maker year, Adegbenga Badejo congratulations I wish you all the best.
“From the Rotary international president, you have been charged this Rotary year to do more, do more of service projects. I am very glad that this Club is not found wanting when it comes to service projects and I don’t have doubts in my mind that the change maker President Rotarian Adegbenga Badejo would do so much in obeying the Charge of the RI president who asked us to do more and what is that more to do, do more of service to our community,” he explained.
Adding that service to humanity is the hallmark of godliness, Rotarian Bello congratulated Rotarians that are present at the ceremony for their steadfastness and implore those that are not members of service organization like Rotary to join the Club.
He said the service projects listed by the Club showed that the club is really impacting the society and most especially to raise funds to be able to do more of service to the community.
He urged members of the club as well as friends to support the new president in order to do more and more importantly to work in line with the district which is embarking on a project on education and most importantly support the Rotary Foundation in other to continue the good work Rotary International is doing across the world.
The outgoing president of the Club, Rotarian Dotun Lampejo speaking before the handover ceremony said that outgoing president always has the greatest pleasure to hand over to the next president of Rotary Club of Ikeja because the Club is a very demanding Club.
“I was the 53rd president of the club, we have had so many successful past presidents and whether you like it or not COVID-19 or not, excuses are not allowed. So, we tried our best, although it was a very difficult year, we did our best.
“Now this Club is the second greatest Club in District 9110, we have Rotary Club of Lagos and then the Rotary Club of Ikeja, we have a long history and we have list of distinguished past presidents of our great club.
Describing what Rotary is all about, Rotarian Lampejo said Rotary is a humanitarian organization, promoting peace around the world. “Yes, here in Africa we have relatives to take care of, we have so many things to do for people but if you want to do your charity in a structured way it is better to join Rotary because here we do our things in a structured way.
Listing projects embarked on by the club last Rotary year, the outgoing president said the Club did projects within the seven areas of focus of Rotary.
The projects according to him include protecting the environment where the club contributed its own little part in protecting the environment, to keep the environment safe and a better place for the children.
“We have education and literacy projects in Rotary Club of Ikeja, in fact our star project here is, we adopted a school, Ikeja Junior High School, a public school here in Ikeja, that school because we have adopted it over the years was awarded the best school status in Lagos state this year and the principal of the school was also awarded the prize of the best principal in Lagos state.
Under maternal and child care, over the years we have given Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH medical equipment but last year because of COVID-19 we just bought the medical equipment for them.
“For Water and sanitation, we provided water, that’s a borehole and water treatment plant at Olusosun primary school, we also provided sanitation materials like sanitizers, brooms, bins and others to Ikeja market men and women to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the market.
“Another important project we did last year which we will still continue this year is an area that is of special interest to us, Peace and Conflict Resolution. We have a joint project with the Emmaus Rotary Club, District 7430, Pennsylvania, USA and the Mediators Beyond Borders International, (MBBI) to organize the MBBI International Peace Training Institute (MBBI- IPTI) in Lagos.
He said the training was to empower and train women peace builders in West Africa. “This programme is between Nigeria and five other West African countries and is still ongoing, it is going to end in this year
“So, I urge all of us here to support Rotarian Badejo and you can be rest assured that whatever you give us in rotary club of Ikeja will be well spent well accounted for, most importantly will touch lives.”
Earlier in her keynote speech, titled: “The Role of Arbitration In Peace Building And Conflict Resolution, Mrs. Dorothy Udeme-Ufot, SAN, said what Rotary is all out for in providing humanitarian services, advancing good will and peace is not only important in Nigeria but the entire world because there is need for peace in the society in order to make the world a better place.
She said it is clear that disputes will always arise in every sphere of human endeavor. “Conflicts extend beyond contractual and commercial relationships to domestic, political, cultural and social engagements which have to be resolved.
“People get into conflict situations because their interest and their values are challenged or because there is a shortfall in their expectations or needs and consequently there is a need for a mechanism for conflict resolution and I dare say there is no better alternative than arbitration in certain situations.”
Ufot said It is easy to help resolve a conflict that stems from a clash of interest but more difficult to deal with a conflict that stems from a clash of values. “It is even more difficult if not impossible to resolve a conflict where basic human needs are not met.
“It is the difference in the values and the lack of basic human needs that depicts the pivotal and important role of arbitration in peace building and conflict resolution but more importantly the role of Rotarians and indeed every one of us is important in achieving sustainable peace and conflict resolution,” she said.
She continued: “Peace according to Ronald Reagan is not the absence of conflict it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.
“The Rotary Club as a humanitarian organization says on its website that peace is the cornerstone of our nation. I charge everyone here to continue to work to create peace in our local communities, in our states, in Nigeria and in the world, and I believe that the little we do will bring about global peace.
“We have a responsibility to continue to carry out service projects and support peace initiative and take action to address the undermined causes of conflicts including poverty, discrimination, lack of access to education and unequal distribution of resources,” she added.
“I am aware of the Rotary seven areas of service which are Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Diseases Prevention, Water sanitation and Hygiene, Maternal and Child health, Basic education and Literacy, Community and Economic development and Supporting the environment, I am not sure if the areas of service are in order of business but definitely there is none that is less important than the other.”
Congratulating the newly installed President, the Keynote speaker said she was delighted to be at the ceremony to witness the investiture of the president for the Rotary year.
“Sir Adegbenga Badejo who I have known on a personal and professional level for several years is a man of deep conviction, industrious, have sound moral judgement and as someone who is so called to service which as I understand is a core value of the Rotary Club.
“I wish him all the best in his Rotary year as the 54th president of the rotary club of Ikeja. I have absolutely no doubt that he would make measurable and sustainable impact with the support of his team and every other member of the Club.
She said she is very confident that the Club have chosen the incoming president well. “I have absolutely no doubt that your incoming president Mr. Adegbenga Badejo will show the qualities you desire in a leader.
“I have no doubt that he is endowed with all the qualities which will help him to lead the Rotary Club of Ikeja district 9110 to the next level by making impact.
“It is my charge to everyone present here today both Rotarians and guest that we should all participate and commit our resources to these areas of service in order to make our local communities, our country and indeed the world a better place.
“Also, we must in our individual endeavors and circles of influence serve as arbitrators and harbinger of peace and conflict.
“Resolving as arbitrators and Rotarians who pursue as a core area of service, peace, conflict prevention and resolution, we must equip ourselves and utilize the platform trainings and opportunities that Rotary presents as an organization.
Ufot added that as Rotarians, “in the pursuit of peace and conflict resolutions, we must as arbitrators possess the following qualities, we must possess communication skills, we must be competent, objective, discreet, we must possess the temperament that will enable us patiently resolve conflicts and subdue them.”
In his inaugural address, the New President, Rotarian Gbenga Badejo said Rotary club is an accumulation of professionals across the world providing humanitarian services and building good will and peace so that the world would be a better place to be.
“But what is interesting is that we have fun doing so. We have fun providing humanitarian services, we have fun building peace and that is why today we have eminent personalities among us and as Rotarians I must behoove you to further the interest of making the world a better place.”
He explained that all the areas of focus in Rotary are seven and the Rotary International has systematically developed an evaluation with the international system that ensures that none of these areas is exempted to the detriment of the other.
Badejo said in line with the basic education and literacy, focus is on primary education and that is in line with the District. “That is why the district Governor has mandated all Rotary Clubs to focus attention and adopt a primary school because that is the foundation.
“That is why is in Ikeja our target for this rotary year is to follow what Rotary has asked us to do, we serve to change lives and that is why we have identified projects that will change lives. We have evaluated the appropriate analysis and we have decided in Rotary club of Ikeja to raise a minimum of fifty million naira.
He listed some of his big projects and priorities for the Rotary year, to include a youth centre for leadership to be located in the Central Business District in Ikeja.
Badejo said discussions are on with Lagos state government to build a youth center in Ikeja which will be a center for leadership and training. “We have presented the proposal to the Deputy Governor of Lagos State Dr. Obafemi Hamzat on my visit to his office on my first day in office, July 1st, 2021.
“I also have plans to set up an ICT center for children in the SOS village, we would also help to alleviate poverty, to reduce the suffering of the masses and we have done this over the years with our revolving loan to market men and women which span over 20 years and they have been paying back, it has not failed.”
The president said the Club had donated blocks of classrooms with complete furniture in one of the schools that was adopted “but we plan to also build games hall or hub that can accommodate handball, badminton, volley ball and provide sporting equipment for these children to have random vocations, whoever cannot become a chartered accountant can at least become a games athlete, we all should have equal opportunities, nobody should be left behind.”
On maternal health, he stated that every year the club celebrate Christmas in LASUTH Ikeja “and this year we will keep up the spirit of service, also like we have always done, we pay medical bills of indigent patients and we provide medical aid.
“We have been donating sewing machines, hair dryer, pepper grinder, we have been providing vocational trainings and these we will continue this year.”
Thanking guests for identifying with the noble cause for serving humanity, the President called on Friends, Corporate bodies, Associates to collaborate with Rotary to actualize these projects this Rotary year “and any one that has contributed to our success will be duly recognized and acknowledged.”
Dr. Olugbemiga Aina, Representative of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat said Rotary Club is complementing the state government in areas of poverty alleviation and infrastructural development.
“Your commitment has shown that we do not have to get to leadership position before we can impact people’s lives but in our individual capacities we can all contribute in our own little way to make life comfortable for the vulnerable in the society.
He said such efforts will go a long way in deepening the efforts of various governments’ efforts in alleviating poverty and making life easier for the people of the State.
“I heartily congratulate Rotarian Badejo on his investiture as the 54th president of Rotary Club of Ikeja and I want to challenge the executive to continue the good works that the club is doing. I also want to advise past president and executive members not to discard their support but to continuously support the Club.
“For the fundraising, I will appeal to all individuals here present to support the club by donating generously to help them succeed as they have already rolled out the list of highly impactful projects they are going to embark on.
“As the government we will continue to support not only your club but all the other associations, organizations and individuals who continue to complement our effort to achieve a greater Lagos,” he said.
Highlight of the event was the decoration of honorary Rotarians which include Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Prince Abimbola Olashore; Mr. Tayo Ayeni; Mrs. Dorothy Ufot; DIG Adeleye Olusola Oyebade (Rtd) and Very Reverend Magdalene Idowu Boyo.
Some set of people were also presented with awards at the ceremony in recognition of their philanthropic works in their communities. Among them are Past President Olusegun Osunkeye, who was recognised for 50 years in the service of Rotary; Dr. Yemi Onabowale, MD, President/CEO, Reddington Group for Disease Prevention and Treatment.
Others are Mr. Tayo Layeni for his philanthropic achievements; Mrs. Dorothy Ufot, SAN, for Peace building and conflict prevention; Very Reverend Magdalene Idowu Boyo for her philanthropic achievements, Dr. Tunde Okewale, MD St-Ives Specialist Hospital for maternal and child health care; DIG Adeleye Olusola Oyebade (Rtd), Peace Building and Conflict prevention and Prince Abimbola Olashore of Olasoore International School for Education and literacy.
All awardees and guests donated to support Rotary projects at the event with Very Reverend Magdalene Idowu Boyo and the President siblings represented by Prof. Sola Badejo promised to support Rotary Club of Ikeja in any project of their choice.