By Mokwugwo Solomon
The Rotary Club of Nnewi, District 9142, on Saturday, July 20, installed Rtn. George Ugo Okonkwo, as its 35th president, to take over from Rtn. Epundu Obed Chukwunonso, who served the club as president for the 2018/2019 Rotary year.
In his valedictory speech, the outgone president, Rtn. Epundu Obed Chukwunonso, said that under him as president, Rotary Club of Nnewi grew its membership significantly, chartered new Rotary and Interact Club, fought tirelessly to eradicate polio through advocacy and donations to the Rotary Foundation, mentored younger partners in Rotaract and interact through active service collaborations, among many other achievements.
He also said that his administration had over thirty service projects conducted within Nnewi and surrounding communities, which, according to him, strived to address the club’s six areas of focus namely, promotion of maternal and child health, promotion of basic education and literacy, provision of clean water and sanitation, early prevention of disease and treatment as well as promotion of peace and conflict resolution.
While installing Rtn. George Okonkwo to take over as president of the club for the 2019/2020 Rotary Year, Epundu expressed confidence that his successor will have the ability and capacity to excel in the position as president.
“I have doubt in your capacity to excel as president. As a past Rotaractor, you already have the prerequisite foundation to take the club to the next level. You have proven yourself as capable hand in all the leadership positions held by you in the club and beyond. Now is the time when you must, indeed, remain inspired and be prepared to truly connect the world,” he said.
In his inaugural speech, the new president told fellow rotarians that there are too many worthy endeavours that the club could pursue, and, in so doing, reach as many indigent families as the club’s resources would allow.
He mentioned some of the projects and programmes slated by his administration for the year to include but not limited to adoption of Primary Health Care center as Rotary dedicated center with refurbishment and provision of essential services; distribution of Gluco Meter and blood measuring kits to 32 PHC in Nnewi, donation of 35 wheelchairs to indigent people to mark the club’s 35th anniversary, award of scholarships to indigent students, drilling of boreholes at adopted PHCs, robust medical outreach in communities, construction of children’s play ground at NAUTH, among other projects.
He said that the laudable projects could hardly be achieved unless the commitment of every member of the club remains intact.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of installation committee, Rtn. Michael Egbuniwe, thanked members of his committee for tireless and selfless services rendered towards the actualisation of the day. He also thanked invited guests, who made out time to attend the function; while also urging members to commit themselves towards the growth of the club.
The ceremony featured distribution of interest free loan to five women. The beneficiaries, Nkiru Nwankwo, Nwamba Elizabeth, Ogukwu Uche, Blessing Ibeabuchi and Eunice Achusim received N100,000 each, to enable them boost their businesses.
Also, some persons were inducted into the Rotary Club of Nnewi District 9142. The new inductees, among others, include Rtn. Ngozi Asonibe, Rtn. Chukwu Alphonsus, Rtn. Joseph Nzom, Rtn. Chikezie Ukadike, Rtn. Obidike Afam Ben, Rtn. Ekweonu Offordile and Rtn. Adamu Rex Michael.
The club also used the occasion to bestow awards to some individuals, who it said, contributed a lot to the advancement of humanity.