NIGERIAN-born mayor of Brent Councillor Ernest Ezeajughi bowed out of office yesterday after completing two terms as the borough’s number one citizen in the first ever virtual valedictory ceremony as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
Councillor Ezeajughi was first elected mayor in 2019 and went about discharging his duties with gusto during his first term. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, he had to cut back on his outings during the year but in recognition of his sterling work, the council voted to return him to office for another year.
In September last year, Councillor Ezeajughi, a scientist, was elected to serve as the mayor of Brent for another year following the first ever virtual annual general meeting (AGM) of the council brought about by the pandemic. Yesterday, at the end of an unprecedented back-to-back two terms in office, he bowed out gracefully, handing over to deputy mayor Councillor Lia Colacicco.
In his valedictory speech, Councillor Ezeajughi expressed particular delight about how he was able to raise funds for his pet charities the Sickle Cell Society and the Jason Roberts Foundation during the two year period. he received recognition from numerous bodies and people, including the former emir of Kano Alhaji Lamido Sanusi for impacting the lives of local people through both charities.
First set up as a registered charity in Brent in 1979, the Sickle Cell Society works alongside health care professionals, parents, and people living with sickle cell to raise awareness of the disorder. On the other hand, the Jason Roberts Foundation is a registered charity working to support young people to celebrate diversity and promote respect across the UK.
Councillor Ezeajughi said: “It has come to that time of the year after two years of serving the great people of this Borough to hand over the baton to my successor to continue the service to our residents. It was an excellent start on May 1 2019 at the Grand Hall with a full capacity with people, family and friends from all over UK and Nigeria in attendance.
“The journey has been great with a lot of time put in to project the image of the borough, my charities and service to the residents of the twenty-one wards. It gives me great pleasure to be given this final opportunity to convey my thanks and briefly reflect on my mayoral term as the two mayoral years have gone very fast.
“I am so proud to have been the Mayor of Brent and it has been a real honour and each and every one of you has made my time more rewarding as a result of your help and support. Over the course of the two years, I had the opportunities to engage with people locally, nationally and internationally, including attending over 500 events, from visiting schools, churches, mosques, temples and synagogues, care residential homes, opening of New council homes, food banks, award ceremonies of achievers, Brent construction sites, etc.
My mayoral year was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, however, I worked with the council in the sensitisation and communication via video recordings/messages with regards to the dangers of the virus to our local residents. Finally, on my visit to Nigeria in the last two weeks, the main highlight was to hand over a dental bus donation from the Angel Foundation in collaboration with the Denver Wesleyan Church, North Carolina to the Cafe charity in Anambra State. “