ROTARY DAZZLES IKORODU COMMUNITY
Rotary officials at the event
It's a sleepy, fishing community located close to the Lagos lagoon. An agrarian community, Oreta is also a town with strong traditional beliefs with the indigenes readily poised to exhibit their craftsmanship in unique age-long masquerade displays.
But the quiet mien of this idyllic town was shattered when members of Rotary Club of Gbagada, District 9110, Nigeria, stormed the place to commission a block of classrooms.
It was joy unquantifiable when the rehabilitated block of six classrooms equipped with 12 toilets, generating set, sick bay, borehole and televisions sets were handed over to the school authorities.
This was done amidst fanfare, with the event assuming a carnival outlook that saw various types of masquerades trooping out to welcome the Rotarians.
The project was completed under six weeks through direct labour under the Rotary Club of Gbagada's 'Adopt-a-school project 2011-2012' initiative.
According to the Head Teacher of the school, Mrs. Dorcas Ojo, the once dilapidated school now looks attractive and new, adding that it would provide good learning ambience for pupils of the school. She thanked Nigerite Nigeria Limited for providing roofing sheets for the school and urged other corporate organisations to always see to needs that would add value to the society.
She however, noted that they still look forward to more assistance from Ikorodu indigenes.
'I thank the Rotarians and others that have contributed in no small measure to make The Local Government Primary School, Oreta, not only attractive and beautiful but conducive for studying for my students. The new building would make them to always come to school not only regularly but early,' she noted.
The President, Rotary Club of Gbagada, Dr. Tayo Lawal in his speech described the club as a humanitarian organisation interested in promoting goodwill in the society. He noted that about 800 million dollars has been committed to polio eradication, adding that the club also funds scholarships and its beneficiaries end up acting as peace ambassadors for the organisation.
Dr. Lawal stressed that its members are committed to the ideals of the club which include poverty elevation, disease prevention and hunger eradication.
'Promoting basic education and literacy is what has led to this project. We are ever ready to assist the local communities and hope the project would be sustained,' he said.
Mouths were left agape when the Otun Balogun Onigbagbo of Ijebuland, Akile Ige Adeniji Oluwo gave his speech. He noted that Oreta's bad reputation has been changed to that of celebration and joy, and decried the apathy displayed by members of the community when he was supervising the reconstruction of the school.
The man, who is also the president, Rotary Club of Oreta, highlighted the infrastructural needs of the community, noting that the place has started enjoying a facelift through the benevolence of Rotary Club.
Oluwo noted that the initial plan was to renovate just three classrooms but that Nigerite came into the picture and asked them to extend it to six, and also went ahead to supply roofing sheets worth 1.9 million naira.
According to him: 'Nigerite came in as a miracle. Only three classrooms were in use. Primary one and two were merged to fit into a class. While three, four as well as five and six were also merged to fit into two other classes. We had to buy books for the pupils. Presently, we have 300 pupils and hope to extend to 1000 with time. We are starting a new generation of Oreta pupils. Here, we have pupils that would drive the Nigerian economy.'
The gathering took on a more dramatic and appreciative tone when Emmanuel Majente, the assistant head boy mounted the rostrum to welcome and thank the august visitors for their benevolence.
He dazzled the crowd with his oratory prowess. The intelligence and proficiency of the boy earned him not just a standing ovation but monetary gifts from the Rotarians and other guests.
Describing the project as the best produced by members of the club during his tenure, the District Governor, Kennedy Ejakpomewhe noted that he has not commissioned a project of such magnitude since he assumed office.
He noted that the project had addressed critical focal areas of Rotary International, stressing that the club is associated with resounding and robust services that change lives.
'This has fit into the six basic focal points of the club. There is water to serve the community and community empowerment that would also address peace and conflict resolution. It also solves the situation of learning in the learning process. We would always partner with the state at all time,' he said.