A call has been made to the Lagos State Government, individuals and corporate organisations who are currently deploying all manner of palliatives in cash and kind as a result of the effect of the coronavirus lockdown to use the network of Rotary International.
The call was made by Rotarian Michael Effiong James, President, Rotary Club of Ikeja South, following the spate of protests and anger over the poor and inequitable distribution of palliatives by government officials and others.
James noted that about 80 per cent of the over 100 clubs in District 9110 are located in Lagos State and they can mobilise their extensive network and know-how to help the government fight this pandemic as well as touch people’s lives.
According to the Rotarian, who is also a journalist and the Editor, Ovation International Magazine: “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.
“Rotary is an organisation of professionals, who, as volunteers, 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.
“In addition, its time-tested record of probity as a result of the application of the 4-Way test has made Rotary an organisation that is trusted worldwide, which is reason it holds the highest consultative status at the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council, which oversees many UN agencies.
“In Rotary, we have a wide range of professionals, from medical doctors to nurses, lawyers to engineers, these are not greedy or hungry people, but Nigerians who are genuinely passionate about putting smiles on people’s faces, so 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 that Governor Sanwo-Olu and Rotary International District 9110 Governor, Rotarian (Dr.) Jide Akeredolu cannot join forces.
“That is not all.
“Due to Rotary’s experience with Polio eradication, its huge data bank of facts and figures may actually help the Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Centre For Disease Control in the area of contact tracing and enlightenment.”
Rotarian 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, would 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.
He revealed that Rotary International has encouraged clubs to intervene in the fight against COVID-19 and while some have already done theirs, Rotary Club of Ikeja of South and others, are fine-tuning plans to embark on impactful intervention projects as contribution to the global effort.