God is the hardest taskmaster I have known on this earth, and He tries you through and through. And when He finds that your faith is failing or your body is failing you, and you are sinking, He comes to your assistance, in one way or the other and proves to you that you must not lose your faith. As I found out, God is always at your beck and call, but on His terms, not on your terms. I cannot really recall a single instance when, even at the eleventh hour, that He has forsaken me. – Mahatma Gandhi

Let me start this my penultimate address for the Change Maker Year 2021-2022 with the above quote from one of the greatest minds of all time.  You will have a better appreciation of this quote towards the end of this address.

Sometime during the year, I said: “Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?” Yes, I am not the one saying it, it is the scripture. It is now evident that I cannot deny ANY. It has been a wonderful yearindeed.

My charge to you my fellow Rotarians for most part of the year as always be to ‘beat the clock’ and win with other Rotarians.  It is still not over until it is over.  We still have about 60 days to achieve more and coast home with more laurels.

We have reasons to thank the Most High because this time some two years ago, we were all locked up due to Covid-19 pandemic. 

I remember the May 2021 address of the then District Governor, Dr. Jide Akeredolu, where he exclaimed: “If there was any moment in our lifetime that can be referred to as a defining moment in history, this is it. From the beginning of time, mankind has faced various catastrophes, armed conflicts, which have changed the course of history. The generation before us lived through the second world war. Their own predecessors went through the first world war and the influenza pandemic of 1918.  The Coronavirus crisis has already changed life and livelihoods as we know it.  

The three main life events we cherish in almost all cultures are now isolated non-events:  Births, weddings and deaths! People are still giving birth, marrying and dying, but all alone, or at a 'safe distance', redefining the meaning of family bonds and friendship”.

We are today free from the bondage of that period, to God be the glory.


I started the month by leading the team of field workers vaccination team in the 1st OBR at Idi-Araba, Mushin Lagos State by visiting the Seriki of the community to commiserate with him and the community over some missing children. 

I sought Seriki’s support to allow our field workers unfettered access to children of the community for vaccination exercise.  We were appreciated and the vaccination exercise went smoothly despite the early morning rain.


We hit a net gain of over 1000 members during the month.  A larger part of the net gain was from internal growth though thirteen new clubs have been formed to date.   Let me once again express my sincere appreciation, for the unprecedented growth that we have never witnessed in the history of our District, to the District Membership Committee led by its Chairman, PDG Pat Ijehon Ikheloa, and our Change Maker Presidents with their clubs’ membership Chairs.


RI Board of Directors’ approval of our application to re-organise District 9110 into two autonomous Districtswas received during the month.  Our Rotarians were very happy for the approval, and we had a celebration get-together the same day we received the approval.

Let me use this medium to congratulate all our District Leaders, my Change Maker Presidents and all the Rotarians in our District for this monumental achievement.  It is not over until it is over.  The approval is provisional; we have two conditions to meet by 1st July, 2023.  We must grow our membership to 5,000 at the minimum and 80% of our clubs must be more than 2 years old.  

This is a task before our clubs, especially my Incoming District Governor Omotunde Lawson, our Imaginative Presidents and all the Rotarians in our District.  Our Change Maker Rotarians have made the change; the ball is now in your court.  We cannot afford to drop the ball at this stage. As a matter of fact, we are almost there.  Once again, I congratulate each and everyone of us.  Thank you and thank you again!


You will recall that we had already nominated PAG Femi Adenekan for 2024-25 earlier before the approval for re-organisation was granted. However, his nomination was tied to the expected re-organisation ofDistrict 9110 in 2024-2025.  Since PAG Adenekan’sclub belongs to District 9112 (Provisional), there is urgent need to fill the vacant office of DG 2024-2025 for District 9111 (Provisional).

I am glad to report that we have started the process of nominating the District Governor for 2024-2025 for District 9111 (Provisional).  Meanwhile, we shall present PAG Femi Adenekan at the forthcoming DISCON while the yet to be nominated DG for District 9111 (Provisional) would be presented at the lastDistrict’s event of the year, Evening with the 

District Governor on the 30thJune, 2022.

In reporting the RI Board’s approval to the Districtfounding fathers and some of our traditional leaders, I led the District team to the Doyen of PDGs, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi mni; Kabiyesi Osile of Oke-Ona Egba, Oba (PDG) Adedapo Tejuoso and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba (PP) Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo.  We were well received by the leaders.  PDG Adelusi-Adeluyi presented me with a compendium of his life compilation.  I had always thought I knew the-man Julibut the compendium showed that he has a larger-than-life image than what I knew of him. Our Royal Fatherswere happy to receive the good news and prayed for the success of the new provisional Districts.


Ogun Rotarians hosted the first ever Iftar (Breaking of Ramadan fast) with the DG.  It was a new experience in our diversity.  The event was attended by both Muslim and Christian Rotarians.  Immediately after the Ogun Iftar event, we hosted the Easter Fiesta at The Rotary Centre with the DG in attendance.

The Lagos version of Iftar was held at the Rotary Centre the following week.  Our Rotaractors led by the DRR Deji Shobowale were in attendance at all the events while Rotaract District also organised its own Iftar with the DRR.


Some clubs visited The Rotary Centre to hold their DG’s visit. Holding the visit at The Rotary Centre did not affect the primary objectives of the Clubs receiving the DG. However, this practice will not be encouragedby the District. 

Nevertheless, the Clubs fulfilled one of the elements of functioning Rotary clubs by receiving the DG on the official visit. As at the last count, a total of 117 clubs have been visited out of the 138 clubs as at end of April 2022.


After my consultation with the Incoming District Governor Omotunde Lawson, it has become imperative to appeal to our leaders both at the District and Clubs to prevail on Clubs to be circumspect in deletion during this period of our provisional re-organisationapproval. Let us be our brother’s keeper this time around to ensure that our provisional approval became final approval.  This is not the best of time to lose club or member for whatever reason.


Scholarship will be awarded to 85 scholars already in the scheme in addition to 35 new awardees who scaled through the WAEC aptitude test and Scholarship Committee oral interview. This will bring the total award for the year to 120 scholarships of N100,000.00each (N12 million). The presentation ceremony will take place on the 6th May, 2022 at The Rotary Centre.  

On your behalf, may I use this medium to express my thanks to our clubs and individual Rotarians for your pledges of about N52.9m out of which about N34.0m has been redeemed to-date. I wish to encourage clubs and Rotarians to fulfill their promise of supporting this good cause.  I wish to use this opportunity to thank the Scholarship Committee under the leadership of Rtn. Prof. Akin Akinlabi for a job well-done.


In my last address to you, I expressed my disappointment in our Clubs’ poor response in sponsoring indigent members of our society for the subsidised micro-credit scheme of not more than N100,000.00 per beneficiary.  The situation has not changed.

May I please appeal to our members to support indigent people by sponsoring them for the loan.



The last leg of training for the year, Extended DTA,was held and very successful. Once more, let mecongratulate the Incoming District GovernorOmotunde Lawson for a successful training. Icongratulate our District Leaders, especially our District Trainer, PDG Kamoru Omotosho, and his team for very impactful training programmes.


We have few days to the commencement of District Conference 2022 holding in Abeokuta from May 12 - 15. I am pleased to announce that RI President Personal Representative (RIPPR) to the Conference isPDG Ms. Rosetti Nabbumba Nayenga of RI District 9213 Uganda.  We look forward to receiving her while I appeal we extend our usual warm hospitality during her stay with us.

I am also happy to inform you that registration for the conference has reached our target figure of 1,600 attendees.  The response to be Conference ICON and sponsorship have been impressive.

As I told Rotarians in my last address, I am confident that it will be a conference with a different experience in terms of networking, fellowship and fun, motivational and inspirational speakers. Get ready to dance at the conference; so come along with your dancing shoes. 

Our social events will be full of pomp and pageantry. It is going to be a celebration galore at DISCON 2022, an assurance given by the Chairman, PAG LanreAdedoyin and members of his committee.  


All arrangements are now at top level for Houston, Texas Convention 2022 holding between 4th and 8thJune, 2022.  Rotarians and family members have started obtaining their visas.

The On-To-Houston Convention Committee of the District, under its Chairman, PAG Niyi Adesanya, isstill going ahead with the plan for a befitting hospitality in the USA by the District.  The committee is in the process of arranging a group travel by appointing a travel agent with affordable air fare.


The Committee under the Chairmanship of PP Adeniyi Otuniyi is organising an Essay Writing Competition among schools in the District.  The objective of the competition which has reached the semi-final stage is to inculcate the spirit of fairness in our youths.


The Wheel Chair Committee under the chairmanship of PAG Tunde Ezichi, is set to give out 30 wheel chairs to beneficiaries at The Rotary Centre on Saturday May 7, 2022 at 10.00 am. Rotarians are invited to attend the event.


Adopt-a-School (WASH) was designed as a global grant project worth about $295,000 but no one anticipated the delay that followed. Please refer to my opening quote of this address which provides the appropriate context. Despite our available DDF and cash from Clubs, securing International Partner and support became a nightmare to get the project off ground.  

We had to split the project into two phases of about $144,000.  Succor came the way of the project when RI President Shekhar Mehta fufilled his promise of providing any District that is able to grow its membership by 500 net gain with a partner.  

This is what came in at the eleventh hour that made us to push for the global grant application completion and now awaiting various authorization.  Fifteen of ourclubs subscribed to the project by payment of their counterpart fund of the grant of N1m each. Our expectation is that if the project is not commenced this Rotary year, it will be executed next Rotary year.

I must not forget to wish our Muslim members happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration. I pray that Allah accept your fasting and overlook your shortcomings.  May we witness more of it in the land of the living.

“Together we can, together we will”.

Let me end this address by saying that I cannot thank you enough, on behalf of my wife, Nike, for the constant support and plead that it is not over until it is over.

Remember  that the clock is still begging to be beatenas we gradually wind down the Rotary year; let us continue to beat the clock and be the confirmed ‘Change Makers’ as we ‘serve to change lives’.


Remi Bello, FCA