The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has described Rotary International as the biggest army of change makers in the work, acknowledging its campaign against polio eradication and its effort in promoting peace across the globe.
Osinbajo made the remark at the declaration of the 2018 Zone 20A Institute of Rotary International held at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos recently.
The programme was attended by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; his Ogun State counterpart, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun; Rotary International President-Elect, Mr. Mark Maloney; Chairman, International Organising Committee, Asiwaju Michael Olawale-Cole; Convener of the Zone 20A institute , Yinka Babalola, among others.
Speaking on the efforts of Rotary in adding value to humanity, Osinbajo said Rotary “is undoubtedly one of the foremost service organisations with over a century of footprints of its good work of intervention in basic needs of humanity almost everywhere one turns.”
With more than 1.2 million members in about 35,000 clubs and over 200 countries worldwide, the vice president noted that there “is no gainsaying that Rotary’s network of volunteers that work locally, regionally and globally to provide humanitarian services by promoting peace, combating hunger, improving health and sanitation, providing education and training and eradicating polio, remained the biggest army of change makers in the history of our planet.”
By hosting the Institute which brings all Rotary leaders from across Africa together, the vice president said Nigeria “has shown clearly its relevance in Rotary even at a global scale. Members of Rotary globally must “not to rest on their oars.
“We live in a world at the moment where almost everyone needs to be a Rotarian, going by the increasing rate of violence and hatred which unfortunately cause distractions from the real issues of wellbeing of our people.
“Rotary has over the years impacted positively on humanity without interference from political, cultural and social differences. From all indications, Rotary’s six areas of focus is a clear pointer to a resolve to perpetually partner with governments to address basic challenges faced by the greater number of our people.”
In his remarks, Babalola said all Rotarians in Nigeria, especially those in Lagos State, “are indeed proud to play host to the rest of Africa by hosting the 2018 Institute which is the biggest Rotary programme ever held in Nigeria.”
Yinka Babalola commended the enthusiasm of Rotarians that culminated in the series of service projects implemented by clubs year in, year out, thus reminding them of the need to double efforts in recruiting more quality members and support the Rotary Foundation in the bid to achieve the goal of a separate zone for Africa.
Also at the institute, Olawale-Cole said Rotarians “are committed to actively raising the quality of life of the people. We want all men and women, regardless of race, creed or circumstances to achieve their full potential and to have access to quality life.
“Rotary’s mission is to provide service to others; promote integrity and advance world peace and understanding through a fellowship of business leaders, professionals and community leaders. This explains why service above self is our motto.”