Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola is amongst the dignitaries expected at the 40th anniversary of Eko Club, which was founded as a club strictly for Lagosians, in 1974 in Lagos Island.
According to the President of the Club, Alhaji Babatunde Faruk Grillo, the 40th Anniversary of the urbane club, which holds from Friday October 10, 2014 to Saturday October 18, 2014 with the theme; ‘Building For A Better Future,’ is being planned to celebrate the founding fathers of the club.
Other activities lined up for the celebration are Anniversary Symposium and Photo Exhibition, Cultural Day, and Founding Fathers’ Day on 16th October, where families of the dead founding fathers would be honoured. Also, on Friday, October 17, there would be the Club’s Bumper Sitting and Charity Day, while Saturday 18th would be for the grand finale.
“We are celebrating the founding fathers of the club for what they have done for it over the years. I am the 17th President of this great club and we will continue to do our best to take it to a greater height,” he said.
Alhaji Grillo stated that the club has gone through a lot in 40 years, and that it is being financed through the contribution of members.
On what informed the theme of the anniversary, he said: “We were not there, when the club was formed and we are part of the club now, the elders have laid a good succession plan, and we have a better future. To become the president of the club is not an easy task; you must have been part of the system. So, building for a better future is appropriate since that is what we look forward to, you must have been an interested person to know what the club looks like.”
He said further that the club is non-partisan, adding that it has never been involved in the political activities of the state, but that members of the club offers advice to the government, when necessary.
In his contribution, the first president of the club, who is also the Ajiroba of Lagos, Alhaji Rasheed Williams, said that the 40th anniversary of the club is worth celebrating.
He recalled that the club was started in the shop of one Alhaji Sikiru Agoro of blessed memory by about 91 members, who used to relax in the shop after close of work to avoid traffic jam, but that the club now boasts of over 1,000 members.
“We thank God for what He has done for us today. 40 years is just like yesterday. It is a continous journey and we pray to continue for more years. We used to wonder how a club like Ikoyi Club was started in 1938 by the white men then. So, we have cause to celebrate ourselves for what we have been able to accomplish,” he said.
On the achievements of the club, Alhaji Grillo said that it has provided recreation centres and arcade for members and members of the public, while stressing that members have been able to imbibe the spirit of brotherhood over the years.
He explained that he plans to facilitate the building of a library in a secondary school in Surulere, where the club is based, partner Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) or the state Ministry of the Environment for the provision of convenience.
The president also emphasized that Eko Club is not given out its facilities on commercial basis and that it has always been part of the development of the state.
Also present at the event were the Vice President of the club, Alhaji Wazee Alli-Balogun, General Secretary, Prince Babatunde Adele, first general secretary of the club, Alhaji Rilwan Dawodu, and Chairman, Anniversary Media/Publicity Committee, Chief ‘Labi Ishola Lemomu.