By Dike Onwuamaeze
A former Minister of Information, Professor Walter Ofonagoro and the former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Professor George Obiozor, have stated that the centrifugal forces buffeting the Nigerian federation would abate as soon as the country begins to cultivate the moral code for personal and business relationships embedded in the Four Way Tests of the Rotary Club International (RCI).
These moral codes asked for the truth, fairness, cultivation of goodwill and friendship that would be beneficial to all concerned.
They made this claim at the weekend during the investiture ceremony of the 36th President of the Rotary Club of Ikoyi, Mr. Dike Obih.
Ofonagoro, who was the chairman of the occasion, summarised the Four Way Test as truth, justice, fairness and equity, and said: “These are the only thing that will strengthen the Nigerian federation. If Nigeria will have fairness, equity, truth and justice everything else will fall in place.”
The retired Professor of History, who pioneered the study of Economic History of Nigeria at the University of Lagos, emphasised the need for the country and every Rotarian to rediscover these values and base all their actions on them.
He traced his relationship with the RCI from 1963 when he was an undergraduate student in Toronto, Canada, to 2002 when the Rotary Club of Enugu awarded him the Paul Harris Fellow, noting that the Rotary is one of the elite clubs.
On his part, Obiozor, who was the Guest of Honour at the occasion and a former Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States of America, said the emergence of Obih, whom he described as “one of our best and brightest,” indicated what Nigeria could be by embracing the worldwide principle of the RCI.
He argued that FCI is noted as “an organisation that believes in the dignity of man; intelligence without arrogance; wisdom with humility and statesmanship.”
Obih, in his acceptance speech, said that he would motivate a diverse group of business and professional people to have a good year that is in line with the RCI’s theme for the 2020, which is “Rotary Opens Opportunity.”
The immediate past President of Rotary Club Ikoyi, Mrs. Nkeiruka Akarutu-Balogun, congratulated Obih and encouraged him “to be strong and steadfast as this task you have undertaken is not an easy one.”