By Eric Elezuo
The Banquet hall of The Providence by Mantis Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, was literarily booming with excitement as guests, colleagues, well wishers, associates, friends and family members gather to witness the investiture of PCO Kunle Williams as he becomes the president General of the Pest Control Association of Nigeria (PECAN).
The event, which brought together the who is who in pest control business, also had in attendance stakeholders in health management, notable industrialists, government and inter-government agency officials as well as men and women of goodwill. It was more importantly, a veritable platform to celebrate the association’s 30 years of existence and keeping malaria as well as other killer pests at bay.
With the theme, MALARIA ELIMINATION THROUGH EFFECTIVE VECTOR MANAGEMENT, the programme, supervised the decoration of Kunle Williams as the new president, launch of N50 million fund for mosquito control programmes in rural areas, conferment of awards on deserving members of the society and induction of new member-companies into the fold of PECAN.
The programme, solidly in the hands of a grounded Compere, Saint Black, kickstarted with the recognition of notable personalities among others present, and prompted protocol with the colourful decoration of the president in waiting.
In his welcome address, the chairman of the occasion and Chief Executive Officer, Elizade Motors, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, eulogised PECAN as well as the good work they have been involved in, in the last 30 years. He also had some good remarks for the president, Mr. Williams whose tenure he prayed will be successful and full of beneficial experience. Chief Ade-Ojo’s presence at the event was short-lived as he handed over to Chief Ayo Jakun, who deputized for him and excellently anchored affairs.
Performing the investiture, the out going president, PCO Ayo Ogunyadeeka, praised the qualities of Mr. Williams, asking him to keep the flag flying and continue to live up to expectation.
“By this investiture, you are granted the privilege to be the voice of PECAN, and never to do anything to bring it to disrepute, either in your private or public life,” Ogunyadeeka said.
In his acceptance, Williams thanked the entire of PECAN for reposing confidence in him and making him their president. He also pledge utmost loyalty to the association and work to raising the standard the former presidents have set.
“On my honour, I’ll live up to expectation, and serve to better the lots of member companies and uplift the standard of the association through advocacy, inter-agency cooperation and many others. Thank you for choosing me. I promise I won’t let you down,” Williams enthused.
Williams’ investiture was followed by the lecture of the day by a Public Health Entomologist from the University of Lagos, Prof. Ayo Awolola.
Prof Awolola’s lecture titled Effective Vector Management as a Panacea for Malaria Control, was captivating, down to earth, and highly inspirational. Awolola took the audience down memory lane, explaining in copious details the whys and hows of mosquito infestation and transmission of malaria. He noted that Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo are the two countries that bear the burden of malaria in Africa. While Nigeria bears 27 per cent, DRC bears 10 per cent.
Hear him: “Malaria cannot be wiped out just by controlling mosquitoes because there will always be mosquitoes. What we need is a strong health system to get rid of malaria, and that entails an integrated vector control management because one method cannot control spread of mosquitoes. We need an integrated approach that can attack the larva, pupa and adult stage of mosquito breeding as well as appropriate health system.”
The event was spiced up with a cultural drama presentation on the dangers of mosquitoes and how it could be curbed just as Tomi Sax and his crew serenaded the atmosphere with eloquent music in addition to excellent cuisine served from the stable of Providence by Mantis.
The wife of the PECAN President, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Williams, was on hand to present plaques of honour to awardees in their moments of glory. Among the personalities who were conferred with GVMP and MVP awards were the Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the wife of the Commissioner for Information, Mrs Gbenga Omotoso. Others include Dr. Chioma Amajoh (Mama Malaria), Registrar, Environment Health Registration Council of Nigeria. Dr. Dominic Abonyi, National President, EHOAN, Sanitarian (Dr.) Sam Akingbeyin, Managing Director, Refuse Management Board, Kano, Hon. Abdullahi Gwarzo; MD, Masters Energy Oil and Gas, Bar (Mrs.) Patience Dappa; Chairman, Harvetfield Industries Limited, Prince Martins Awofisayo; Sarkin Fulani of Lagos, Alhaji Mohammed Bambado; Prof Sam Awolola, Immediate Past Peresident, PCO Ayo Ogunyadeeka and Director-General, Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. Timothy Osulale Olawale.
With donations from kind hearted Nigerians towards kill mosquitoes, kill malaria in rural communities initiative, to complement the efforts of various governments, it was obvious that a lot of positives will be seen at the end of the day.
A product of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Kunle Williams is happily married to Oluwatoyin, and they are blessed with two children, Oluwatomisin and Ayooluwatomiwa.