The 116th Rotary International (IR) President, Shekhar Mehta, an Indian, yesterday joined other Rotarians to eulogize Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for the great service he has been providing to the state in particular and Nigeria in general.
Speaking when Gov. Ugwuanyi played host to Rotarians at the Government House, Enugu, Mehta, who spoke on behalf of all the Rotarians, told the governor that “the state (Enugu) is prospering under your leadership”.
The RI President, who is in Enugu with his wife, Rashi, to inspire Rotarians and non-Rotarians to give to the Rotary Foundation and increase its membership in pursuit of the organization’s laudable vision anchored on philanthropic gestures, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi, a worthy Rotarian, for the honour and respect he accorded his fellow Rotarians.
He also appreciated the governor for the beautiful and peaceful ambience of Enugu as well as “the warm greetings that you provided to Rashi (his wife) for her birthday” saying: “It means a lot personally to us”.
According to him, “As we were landing into Enugu, I did mention to my wife that this is a beautiful city because the houses here are very beautiful. And as we came into the city I also commended the governor that this is a beautiful city”.
The IR President explained that the 116-year old organization (Rotary Club) has spread to more countries “even more than the United Nations”. He said that they have a rich legacy, adding that the biggest programme the organization has is polio eradication campaign.
Mehta who disclosed that Rotary Foundation works with governments around the world as well as other Development Partners such as UNICEF and WHO, revealed that “we (Rotary) have made different changes in the lives of people, and about 3 million children have been immunized because of Rotary’s polio eradication campaign”.
He pointed out that “the biggest need is for us to work against COVID-19 and Rotarians around the world have not shied from doing their best monetarily”.
In his speech, the District Governor, Rotary International (District 9142), Okey Okonkwo, expressed gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for accepting to host the RI President who visited their District in Enugu, stressing that the Enugu State Governor is “one of us who has shown so much love and support for our organization”.
His words: “There is something unique happening in this state and the joy some of us have living in Enugu is as a result of the enormous effort our governor is putting into governance.
“The safety, happiness and general peacefulness we enjoy in this state is because of his multiple actions and his commitment to ensuring that dividends of democracy are delivered in spite of all the economical, security and public health challenges the country is facing since he assumed office.
“You do not need to go far to realize that Enugu State is really in the hands of God. If you walk around the town you will find so many testimonies that His Excellency is really working.
“Your Excellency, we are proud of you. We are proud of the wonderful things you are doing in this state and we will continue to give you all the support you need”.
In his welcome address, Gov. Ugwuanyi on behalf of the government and people of Enugu State welcomed the RI President and his wife, Rashi, and other Rotarians to the Government House, Enugu, and reiterated his great respect for Rotary International and its core values of service, fellowship, diversity, integrity and leadership.
The governor expressed delight that the world landscape is dotted with contributions of Rotary International in the areas of healthcare, education, peace building, water, sanitation, among others, adding that these interventions prove that the organization has elevated the quality of human life, human relationships and world peace through service, leadership and strategic relationships.
“As a Rotarian, past President of Rotary Club of Emene and now Governor of Enugu State by God’s grace, Rotary Four-Way test has been a useful guidepost to our administration. The Government of Enugu State, under my watch is committed to truth, fairness, goodwill and better friendship as well as benefit to all.
“The power of Rotary Club lies in our ability to give. I enjoin all to give generously in support of the Rotary service projects, for the power to give, is indeed the power to do good”, the governor said.
The member representing Awka North/South Federal Constituency, Hon. Engr. Sam Chinedu Onwuaso; Chief of Staff, Government House, Enugu, Rt. Hon. Dr. Festus Uzor; the past Rotary International Vice President, Yinka Babalola; District Governor, District 9141, Andy Uwejeyan; Endowment and Major Gift Adviser, Ijeoma Okoro; past District Governors; District Governor-Elect; District Governor Nominee; District Rotaract Representative; District Rotaract Representative Nominee; Rotarians and other guests, witnessed the occasion.