I made a good decision to join Lions Club – Ndoma-Egba


I made a good decision to join Lions Club – Ndoma-Egba

 

Former Senate Leader and ex-Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, says he made a good decision to join Lions Club many years ago as his membership of the group allowed him to build friendships that positively affected and influenced his life.

Ndoma-Egba, a lawyer turned politician known for his philanthropic endeavours and service to humanity, made the disclosure at the 25th anniversary of the Achievers Lions Club, Lagos.

Narrating how he joined the Lions Club as a young man, the ex-Senate Leader who was the chairman of the occasion, said: “I made a good decision to join Lions Club. Now what did Lionism do for me? After youth corps I started practice in an old little town called Ogoja. I am sure a few of you here have heard of Ogoja. It’s a very historical town but has remained small. I was in Ogoja in 1980 when Chief BJ Ikpeme came with Edem Ikpeme and Bassey Edem to market a club called Lions Club. And I sat next to Bassey Edem whom I was meeting for the very first time. And after I made my contributions he said to me, what are you doing in Ogoja? I said I practice law here.

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“And he repeated the question three times and I said are you deaf? I said I am practicing law. He said you are a fool. I have been asking you because this town is not where you should be. I am the commercial manager of Pamol, move over to Calabar. I was just a year post youth corps. Calabar had all the big lawyers, Dr. Okoi Arikpo and co. How was I going to survive there? He said I’m the commercial manager. Eventually I had to move to Calabar. And the same day Bassey Edem got to know that I have moved to Calabar he gave me the retainership of Pamol that we still keep till today almost forty years after.

“And twenty years ago Engr Laitan Onolaja, I think I should use this opportunity to thank you for the good things you did in my life many, many years back. But 20 years Engr. Onolaja was at my investiture as a Senior Advocate and I insisted that Chief Bassey Edem must chair the occasion. Now, the friendships you develop in the Lions Club are very deep friendships. They are not convenient friendships. They are the friendships where you say a friend in need is a friend indeed.

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“And when you look at the code of ethics of Lions Club, you know that it is a code for life, a code for living. And it is no wonder that we in the Lions Club, we serve from the heart and we serve 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 52 weeks in a year.

“Now let us go back to what our code tells us. We serve, yes! But the world when Melvin Jones founded Lionism many years ago is not the same today. Today, we live in a world of disruption. Today, we have mobile phones. You can do everything from your phones. I wonder how we survived when we were young men when there were no mobile phones. I can’t even remember how we communicated. But now we have moved into another generation of AI, Artificial Intelligence. The whole world is disrupted. Can our values still remain the way they are in this disrupted world? Or, do we need to take a second look at our values?

“Now, how did I stop being active in Lionism? In 1990 -1991 I went to contest for governorship of Cross River State which I lost. And in politics if you don’t lose elections you have no experience. For me, that was my baptism. But if you look at our code, they say we shall not discuss partisan politics. When you become an active politician you speak only one language – partisan politics. So I did not leave the club. I was excluded.”

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Lions Club is an international service association headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, United States. Made up of more than 1.4 million members in over 46,000 clubs worldwide, it was founded in 1917 by Melvin Jones. Said to be the world’s largest service club organisation, the mission of the Lions Club International is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding. Lion clubs plan and participate in different kinds of service projects, show dedication towards the cause of the less privileged and the vulnerable, and engage in various events and activities aimed at helping to build a better society.


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