By CHIBUIKE NWABUKO
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Rotary Club of Abuja CBD on Friday unveiled its songbook as part of celebration to mark its six years as a club.
The club also honoured three outstanding Rotarians with Lifetime Achievement Award and its past presidents were given Certificates of Merit.
The chairman of the ocassion, Chief Mike Ozekhome who was represented by his son, Barr. Osilama Mike-Ozekhome hinted that Rotary tradition of rendering humanitarian services endeared him to the organisation because he was touched by the desire to help other people.
Barrister Mike-Ozekhome, who revealed that he is himself a Rotarian, said he is motivated Rotary’s values of diversity and inclusion as well as integrity and leadership.
The President of the Club, Rotarian Max Amuchie, who highlighted the essence of the songbook, informed that song is a major aspect of fellowship in Rotary.
According to him, most Rotary clubs have songbook, adding that the Rotary Club of Abuja CBD is not an exception. “We have always had a Rotary information booklet containing songs put together when the club was chartered six years ago and we felt there was need to review it, include more songs that were omitted in the information booklet and produce a proper songbook. So we now have more comprehensive songbook with songs that will make our fellowships more lively.”
He used the opportunity to commend the five past presidents before him for the parts they played to bring the club to where it is today.
In his words, “As we mark our 6th anniversary today, I am standing on the shoulders of five past presidents and they all played their parts to bring us to where we are today.”
He said the event was also an opportunity to raise fund for the block of classrooms the club is constructing at the Central Primary School, Gidan Gimba, the club’s adopted community in Nassarawa State. In Rotary he said, every club adopts a community in a rural area to do humanitarian work. “You go to a community made up of people who cannot pay you back but need help, so we adopted Gidan Gimba in Nasarawa State”, he said.
The President listed some the club’s interventions in the past to the Gidan Gimba community as: skills acquisition programme, out-reach for polio, provision of borehole, medical care like free eye test and donation of sundry materials including drugs, sanitary pads and other relief materials.
He said currently, the Rotary Club of Abuja CBD is building a block of classrooms, three toilets and headteacher’s office in the primary school at Gidan Gimba village, Nasarawa State.
Rotarian Amuchie said the school has only one block of two classrooms with no toilets for staff and pupils and no office for the headteacher. He said open defecation is practised in the school as a result of lack of toilets.
Highpoint of the event were the presentation of Lifetime Achievement Awards to Rotarian Joshua Hassan, a Past District Governor (PDG); Rotarian Leke Adepeju, a Past Assistant Governor (PAG) and Rotarian Evelyn Onyilo, a Past Assistant Governor (PAG). PDG Hassan, who was represented by Rotarian Ayo Oyedokun, the Immediate Past District Governor (IPDG), District 9125, was honoured for his life-long commitment to the ideals of Rotary and the role he played in chartering the Rotary Club of Abuja CBD.
PAG Adepeju, who is widely regared as the song master, was honoured for his contribution to Rotary through music and Rotary songs. Rotarian Amuchie said PAG Adepeju wrote the club’s anthem and compiled songs for the club when it was chartered in 2016.
PAG Onyilo was honoured for her enduring contribution to Rotary and for starting the Rotary Club of Abuja CBD and working with successive presidents of the club to grow the club and mentor younger Rotarians.
The five past presidents of the club were given Certificates of Merit. They are the Charter President, Rotarian Salome Garba, who is also a Past Assistant Governor; Rotarian Martins Odeh, the club’s second president; Rotarian Yelwa Abubakar, third president; Rotarian Ganiyu Daramola, fourth president and Rotarian Anne Uche Obi, Immediate Past President of the club.
Speaking to journalists on the sideline, one of those honoured, Rotarian Evelyn Onyilo, expressed delight that she was touching lives from what God has given her. She said the award would spur her and other recipients to do more as service to humanity is the best thing one can do. “It is Godly because all the holy books prescribe it that we should take care of the poor and those in need”, she added.
Sundiata Post recalls that Rotary Abuja CBD was chartered on November 25, 2016 and has had five past presidents before the current president, Rotarian Max Amuchie.