It needs no emphasis to say that water is essential to life. This is why the Rotary Club International has made it a point to fill this crucial need wherever they discover it in the communities they work. This core policy thrust is what made the Rotary Club Ikeja-GRA District 9110 to for the third time install a water facility in the 9 Brigade Army Cantonment Ikeja. The previous two were done in the high density areas while this recent one totaling 3500-capacity tanks was done to directly impact the 9 Brigade Medical Centre.
It is noteworthy that Rotary Club International is the only nonprofit accepted in the United Nations. This is to underscore the groundbreaking efforts and impact of the international organization on humanity.
At the commissioning of the water facility covered by Oki Samson of Trek Africa Newspaper, the President of the Rotary Club Ikeja GRA, Rotr. Alex Abah noted: ‘Water is a key area of focus in the Rotary Club. The medical centre lacked adequate water so we decided to embark on this project. We have been partnering with the cantonment.’
‘We will do more projects here. We will do Rotary Club Family Health Day. This is the third borehole we will be doing here. We will continue to find ways to support the cantonment which is our primary neighborhood.’
Speaking on behalf of the Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Saraso, the Garrison Commander Lt. Col. T. J. Abdallah asserted that the military cannot succeed without the support of the civil population. He said: ‘The support of the civil population is in many forms, most importantly, what they give to family of serving soldiers. Most soldiers here in this cantonment, I can tell you, are engaged in one operation or the other. This applies to almost all fighting formations in the Nigerian Army throughout Nigeria. But all these soldiers have their families in the barracks. The support you can give to these soldiers on the field is what you do for their families.’
‘A soldier in the field is a person who has sacrificed his life for the peace of the country. If I am on the field now, my biggest concern will not be my own life but what happens to my family in my absence whether during or after my life. This type of projects are some of the projects that give soldiers confidence, strength, and morale to keep on fighting. Imagine a soldier in the field and his wife is suffering in the hospital because of water. How will the soldier feel?’
‘I thank the Most High for making this project a success. We can not thank the Rotary Club Ikeja GRA enough, the value they have given cannot be quantified. We say thank you to them and pray that the Almighty God will continue to bless the organization, all the members and cater for their families just as they are supporting our families.’
‘I also thank Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Saraso who has shown in many ways his willingness to uplift welfare standards of officers of Nigerian Army since assumption. The support received from the medical corps from the headquarters, we say thank you to the Corps Commander and the staff. We say thank you to the Commanding Officer of 9 Brigade Medical Centre who didn’t sleep for some days to ensure that this project is a success.’
The Cantonment Medical Officer who has been at the forefront of making the project a reality with the partnership of the Rotary Club shared her thoughts on the project, ‘In a bid to optimize medical care for the clientele of this medical centre, this project has been made possible. With this, the Rotary Club has scored yet another signature impact in the Ikeja Cantonment and the families here and by extension, the entire Nigerian Army.’
The erudite army medical doctor added: ‘I appreciate Brig. Gen. Saraso whose interest in the welfare of officers and their families in this cantonment is unalloyed. I also appreciate the men and officers of the 9 Brigade Medical Centre.’
Rotr. Sylvia Abdallah, the past President of the Rotary Club spoke more on past impact projects that has been done in the cantonment. ‘We are here to commission yet another borehole in the cantonment. We have done 2 before and another 1 now. We did a 3-day family health day here which attracted 830 participants within the community. We had screening for cancer, eye screening and referred those who needed to be referred for more medical attention to eye centres, dental clinics and others. I advise the public to find a Rotary Club and join one. But where it is not possible, please be your neighbor’s keeper. There is so much that needs to be done in our society. I also advice that parents devote time to properly train their children. They are our future after all.’
The commissioning ceremony had in attendance other members of the Rotary Club Ikeja-GRA and many army senior officers including the Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Lader Saraso; Garrison Commander, Ikeja Cantonment, Lt. Col. Tahir Abdallah; Acting Director, Directorate of Monitoring & Evaluation, HQ, NAMC, Col. David C. Ibeh; Matron, 81 DMSH, Maj. Y.Y. Clifford; Acting Commander, 9 Brigade, Medical Centre, Ikeja, Maj. Nneka Ani and Lt. Omale Innocent who compered the ceremony.