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Rotary worldwide president visits, lauds Nigeria’s efforts to be polio-free


Barry Rassin

Rotary International worldwide president, Rotn. Barry Rassin, and his wife, Esther, were on Monday night received in Nigeria with pomp by hundreds of Rotarians at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja.

During his visit, he will be hosted by the four Rotary districts in the country while also having an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari to commend efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against polio.

With two years and three months without any fresh incident of polio, and only few weeks left, Nigeria is on the verge of being declared a polio-free country by the World Health Organisation (WHO), leaving Pakistan and Afghanistan as the only countries left battling with the disease.

This was the soothing welcome message from Rassin who was hosted to a reception yesterday at the Rotary Centre, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos. “The significance of my visit is to appreciate the efforts of Rotarians in Nigeria who have been struggling hard to see that polio is completely eradicated in the country as one of the three countries left with polio in the world.

“Rotarians here have been doing fantastic jobs and I am here to say ‘thank you’ for what they have done and are still doing and I am proud to say that Nigeria is one of the strong countries in the Rotary world as Rotary here continues to grow in membership, donations, service and commitment to do everything possible to make the world a better place,” he said.

He further commended Rotarians in Nigeria for keying into the theme for the year, which is ‘Be the Inspiration,’ which has been manifesting in the various activities and projects.

Rotary International Director, Rotn. Yinka Babalola, said of the 16 districts in Africa, Nigeria has four, representing 25 per cent and of the 32,000 Rotarians in Africa, Nigeria accounts for about 11,000, representing 43 per cent.

Rassin was later hosted by the Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate, Indian community and Indo Eye Care Foundation at the Indo Eye Care Hospital, on Airport Road, Lagos.

The governor, District 9110, Rotn. Kola Sodipo, said the activities of the district has been geared towards the theme of the Rotary year.

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