A former Director in the Abia State Ministry of Education, Rotarian Dr. Inglis-Ekeke Asinyetogha Thelma has emerged the 53rd President of the prestigious Rotary Club of Aba.
The event which took place at the Banquet Hall of Enitona Hotel, Aba attracted prominent persons like the first Female Commissioner of Education in Old Imo State, Mrs. Bridget Nwankwo, first female Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Abia State University, Uturu, Professor Stella Ogbuagu, Nze Macaulay Nwankwo, the fifth President of the Rotary Club of Aba, 1975-1977.
Also, the event witnessed the recognition of various individuals in the society that have made their marks in the state including renowned Abia born Highlife maestro, Chief Bright Chimezie of Zigima music, Hon. Chief Paul Taribo, the incumbent lawmaker representing Ukwa East State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Stanley, former Deputy Speaker Abia State House of Assembly, Professor Ugoeze Roseline Ndimele, first Abia Female guber candidate, Hon. Dame Blessing Nwagba among other awardees.
In an interview with the incumbent President of the club, Rotarian Dr. Inglis-Ekeke Thelma, a graduate of Sociology of Development, Criminology and Social Work said that her call to service was long expected as she has within the 11 years of her membership of the club, served in various capacities which has exposed and equipped her with the right leadership training and skills she needed to pilot the affairs of the club within the one year of her presidency.
According to Thelma, she would dedicate the 365 days of her leadership as the President of the club towards achieving the goals of Rotary International which includes Basic Education and literacy, Water and Sanitation, Child and Maternal Healthcare, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Disease Prevention and Control and Economic and Community Development.
Thelma who retired as a Director in the Abia State Ministry of Education said “What sparked my interest in Rotary Club is because of my interest to serve my community. I know that in our communities, a lot of people are suffering, that is why I came into Rotary to ensure that I contributed my own quota in bettering the lives of the less privileged ones.
“I have been a member of the Rotary Club for the past 11 years of being a member. I have been actively involved in the activities of the organization both at the Local, District and international level.
“I feel good, happy and elated that today, I am the 53rd President of the prestigious Rotary Club International, Aba. I give God all the glory. God made it possible.
“The road map is for me to accomplish Rotary’s projects that fall within the six areas of service covered by Rotary which include Basic Education and literacy, Water and Sanitation, Child and Maternal Healthcare, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Disease Prevention and Control and Economic and Community Development.
“Rotary, has been doing all that it could to see how we can get rid of kinds of diseases like Polio. Just last month, we embarked on testing Aba residents of hepatitis B&C which kills a lot. So, what we are expecting now is for the Rotary action group to send the vaccines to treat those that tested positive to Hepatitis B&C.”
Speaking on the impact that Rotary played in the fight against Polio in Nigeria and Africa, Thelma said “right now Nigeria has been declared polio free and everybody is jubilating about it. So, we are going to continue in that measure to ensure that it will not reoccur again by sustaining vaccination. You know it is not only in Nigeria alone, but it is also a global campaign. That why we are donating vaccines to other Africa countries and other parts of the world where there are reported cases of polio to ensure that polio is totally eradicated.”
On how to generate funds to run her projects she said “Rotary encourages members to make freewill donations to support projects. I will make sure that I encourage our members to support the projects that we are going to execute. I will also solicit and reach out for financial support from corporate bodies and as well as other institutions and organizations that would like to support what we are doing.
“I would like to be remembered as the 53rd President of Rotary Club of Aba through the projects that I am going to embark within my service year. We have set things in motion in education, maternal health, water and sanitation, conflict resolution and so many of them. We are committed to ensuring that we come out successfully by the special grace of God.”
Rotarian Felix Dibor, the immediate past President of Rotary Club of Aba in an interview thanked God for leading him throughout his service year.
Dibor, who lamented low social services and arms giving engagement among the residents of Aba and the state said it was to encourage people to imbibe the act of giving and caring for the needy that made his administration focus on membership drive “I have just ended my one year administration and today, I am handing over to the 2019/20 Rotary Club of Aba 53rd President.
“In Rotary, we line up a series of programmes and activities that we want to achieve. I will say that it wasn’t an easy task. Once you are the President of a club, a lot is expected of you. You are expected to organize members and grow the membership and also do the necessary things that you need to do to move the club and the District Rotary forward.
“Right now, the club is particularly interested in membership development and membership drive and that was the focus of my administration within the last one year.”
Nze Macaulay Nwankwo in an interview commended those that came after him for keeping the dream of the founding fathers of Rotary alive.
Nwankwo while urging the newly elected President to pursue those dreams that Rotary is noted for, called on the members of the club to rally round the new administration to succeed, stressing that the success of the President is the success of the club and its members.
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