As part of its service to humanity, The All Africa Service Project organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and coordinated by Lagos-Nigeria Festac Stake took off according to plan. The project took place on Saturday at Ajegunle Roundabout in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government Area. CYRIACUS NNAJI reports.
The Africa Service Project is an initiative of the Church which started some years ago where members are required to render services to their immediate community for the improvement of living standards, consequently members all over Africa render a three-hour service that would touch lives in the immediate community of residence.
For the 2019 edition of the programme which held on Saturday, August 17, 2019, the selection committee carefully examined relevant areas and the roundabout at Ajegunle/Boundary market was earmarked for cleaning and giving a face lift.
Partners included LAWMA, Local Government and even community leaders in the area and about 1,000 members of the Church from Lagos-Nigeria Festac and Lagos-Nigeria Yaba Stakes were expected to be part of the voluntary exercise which lasted between 7.00 am and 10.00 am.
Vincent Igbinedion, the president Lagos Nigeria Festac Stake said “We do this once every year, precisely on the third Saturday in August and members of the church come together and then contribute three hours of their time for community service. It is totally voluntary; we do it out of our own volition.
“But the impression we have been given is that human effort alone cannot make an impact but then, we have to make an impact, no matter how small. If everybody decides to make a little impact, I am sure the overall result would be enormous, if I contribute three hour and you contribute three hour the impact would be enormous,” Igbinedion stated.
On how long the initiative has been running he said “As far as I can remember I know I have been involved for about 14 years starting from Okokomaiko we have been coming down.”
Igbinedion also spoke on the modality for the Africa service project, “Sometimes it is unit based, you go to your branches, communities. Sometimes we can come together, identify a spot, and do something there. A stake is a group of units, and one administrative head. So today two stakes are involved here, FESTAC stake and Yaba stake. In FESTAC Stake we have 10 units of the church; Yaba has 10 or 12 also. So bringing 20 units together, it is quite a massive number. We have 6 stakes in Lagos, some have more, assuming 60 units of the church coming together in one location, that is a massive number. So they use their wisdom and say okay let two stakes join together and go in one place.”
On the choice of Ajegunle, he said, we looked for where the impact would be more felt, and it is more central because people are coming from Badagry, people are also coming from Lekki, so Ajegunle is central, nothing informed it apart from the centrality and where the impact would be felt,
Wasiu Fatai is the Secretary of Marina/CMS Park in Ajegunle, he said “The church is doing a good something. When an organization comes to a place like this, even many people want to know the name of the church. When people come to our garage today and see how clean it is, they will ask question. Even if the task force comes to this park today they will credit us. So it is a good idea. I am a Moslem, but I am trying to emulate from something like this because it is encouraging.
Mr. Adedeji Victor, Assistant Director Lagos State Waste Management Agency under the Advocacy, Monitoring and Information Department speaking of the clean up at Ajegunle Roundabout and how wastes generated would be disposed he said “LAWMA is a strong organization, we have different units, we have operational organizations in lawma that are responsible for deploying trucks for evacuation, our operational unit from the central is at Mushin, they will be here to evacuate the waste.
“We believe you are assisting government, you are assisting us, I am so impressed that the church has taken up the initiative, it has been going on for years and it is a very good gesture in partnering with Government to ensure we have a clean environment,” Adedeji said.