The Lagos State government, corporate organisations and well-meaning Nigerians have been urged to engage Rotary International in the distribution of palliatives to residents during the COVID-19 lockdown given the humanitarian body’s wide range of network in the country. The call was made yesterday by the president, Rotary Club of Ikeja South, Michael Effiong James, following the spate of protests and anger over the poor and inequitable distribution of palliatives by government officials.
Effiong noted that about 80 per cent of the over 100 clubs in District 9110 are located in Lagos and can mobilize their extensive network and know-how to help the government fight this pandemic as well as touch people’s lives. He added that Rotary is an organisation of professionals, with volunteers that are committed to the service of humanity, and therefore, would be able to use their knowledge of needs assessment, project siting, project monitoring and closeness to the communities to good effect.
Effiong added that Rotary’s time-tested record of probity as a result of the application of the 4-Way test has made it an organisation that is trusted worldwide which is the reason it holds the highest consultative status at the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council, which oversees many UN agencies.
He said: “I was in tears as I watched the good intention of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to provide succour to Lagosians in form of palliatives being rubbished by poor execution, and it occurred to me that Rotary can actually help to right this wrong. In Rotary, we have a wide range of professionals, from medical doctors to nurses, lawyers and engineers. These are not greedy or hungry people, but Nigerians who are genuinely passionate about putting smiles on peoples’ faces.
“This is a situation that they are best equipped to handle. They also have partnered with governments and individuals successfully in the past and see no reason why Governor Sanwo-Olu and Rotary International District 9110 Governor, Dr. Jide Akeredolu cannot join forces together to reach the masses and downtrodden.
“That is not all, due to Rotary’s experience with Polio eradication, its huge date bank of facts and figures may actually help the Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) in the area of contact tracing and enlightenment”.
Rtn James also used the opportunity to call on residents of Lagos and Nigerians in general to adhere to the instruction of hand washing for at least 20 seconds, social distancing, cleaning of hard surfaces around their homes and most importantly staying at home. He said these measures, difficult as they may seem, will help to flatten the curve, stop the spread of the virus, save more lives and enable us return to our normal day-to-day activities in good time.