NCF, others stage memorial walk in honour of Adetokunbo Alakija

By Fabian Ekeruche

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Waka Community International Foundation, Q-Life Family Clinic and Health Emergency Initiative (HEI) have staged a memorial walk in honour of the late Dr Adetokunbo Alakija.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the walk, which took place on Saturday in Lagos, began from the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki, through the Ikoyi bridge and back.

NAN reports that the late Alakija was the Chairman of the Lagos Health Management Agency, Medical Director of Q-life Family Clinic, Board Member of the NCF and a member of the Waka Community.

Dr Joseph Onoja, the Director-General, NCF, told NAN that the 2023 edition of the walk was done in memory of its amiable board member, Alakija.

Onoja described the deceased as a gentleman and everything to everybody.

“His life was an illustration of somebody who was very impactful. So, as a board member, we thought it wise as an organisation that we should come out to walk with his family and his organisation, and all the other people associated with him when he was alive.

“It is quite interesting to know that during the last edition of the walk last year that he was part of it.

“So, that was why we thought that it was necessary to come and use this opportunity to honour a very honorable man who lived his life for nature and for people,” Onoja said.

Mr Lorenzo Mba, the founder of Waka Community International Foundation, said the 2023 edition of the walk was the third series of Waka with Q-Life and HEI.

Mba said that the 2023 edition was very unique because it was in honour of the memory of Dr Adetokunbo Alakija, who marched with the Saints in May 2022.

“Alakija was a good man and an avid ‘Wakathelete’ (a name we call members of Waka Community International Foundation) and we aim to immortalise his name.

“We made a promise and we are continuing to deliver on that promise. We gave our word and we are keeping our word,” Mba said.

He said that the walk and demonstration of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid were driven by the conviction that a healthy Nigeria is a wealthy Nigeria.

According to him, it is worthwhile to inform, educate and persuade Nigerians and indeed the world to take personal responsibility for their wellness by walking and eating right as well as quality sleep.

He said that the over 3,200 members of the Waka Community in over 40 countries and in many cities in Nigeria were encouraged to walk a minimum of 30 minutes daily and to eat healthy, in controlled portions and get adequate sleep.

Mba said that walking is the oldest and safest form of physical exercise and is non-discriminatory on grounds of age, gender, level of physical fitness or location.

“Walking also has many benefits such as helping maintain a healthy weight and helping lose unwanted and undesirable fat.

“Walking helps prevent or manage various conditions including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

“Walking also helps to improve cardiovascular fitness. Walking contributes to clearing the mind and it boosts our moods.

“Walking is a low impact exercise and so it is gentle on the ankles and knees. We encourage folks to walk indoors or outdoors depending on choice, safety or convenience.

“Walking is also inexpensive. One can walk bare feet indoors and on beaches. To walk outdoors require nice fitting and affordable running shoes. So, what’s really stopping you from walking,? Mba asked.

One of the daughters of the deceased, Alero Alakija, said that her father was very passionate about walking.

Alero thanked all the non-governmental organisations and individuals who trooped out en masse to honour the memory of her father.

In his goodwill message, Mr Pascal Achunine, the Executive Director, HEI, said that apart from honouring the memory of Alakija, the event was put forward to call attention to the importance of healthy living.

Achunine said that walking is a very important step to stay healthy.

“One of the key things that happened today is conducting of CPR and First Aid training given a little tip on what people should do when emergency happens.

“We have trained over 4,500 organisations in Lagos on how to respond to emergencies.

“So, those who participated in this walk learnt the tips of CPR.

“There is also a clarion call, especially to you the press to call people’s attention on the need to conduct CPR first aid training for organisations individuals and churches,” Achunine said.

He said that CPR should be conducted on people that have heart attack and cardiac arrest, instead of taking pictures and putting them on social media.

“So, we enjoin everybody to be part of saving lives,” Achunine said.

The event was graced by people from all walks for life.(NAN)