By Edet Okpo
With the appointment of Dr. Ini Adiakpan as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Akwa Ibom women, youths and Staff of the Ministry must be assured that the incumbent Commissioner is one of Akwa Ibom’s finest administrators, a tested woman of capacity, a fountain of pragmatic concepts, and a dynamic team-player whom Governor Udom Emmanuel, in his discretion and panache for excellence, has graciously chosen to add her quota in driving the vision and mission of the Ministry.
First and foremost, it is pertinent to emphasize that, by appointing Dr. Adiakpan purely on merit and pedigree to replace the redeployed Dr. Glory Edet, Governor Emmanuel has once again proven that he is an ingenious professional in the leadership responsibility of hiring and engaging the rich human resources of the State, knowing exactly who fits where what and why. The momentous appointment of this intellectual and game-changer further confirms the leadership philosophy of His Excellency to bridge the gender gap by giving women critical roles to play in our democracy as well as in the governance trajectory of the Completion Agenda.
Here is another goal-oriented Amazon whose impeccable and towering credentials of public service the governor knows he and Akwa Ibom people can always count on in driving his administration’s objectives of growth and development for the State. No gainsaying that the Akwa Ibom is blessed with another woman-mobilizer, motivator and mentor with appreciable service mentality who will not only push ahead from where her predecessor stopped, but also effect added value to her office portfolio.
Practically in every facet of her purpose-inclined life leading to the present, time and events seemed to have prepared Dr. Adiakpan as if she foresaw what strategic role she will have to play today in the sustainable development and emancipation of women and youth of Akwa Ibom State. As such, her name is a household brand in entrepreneurial engagements and transformation of youth and women of the state.
Prior to her current appointment, she had served as State Coordinator, NAPEP, a domesticated avenue for integrated training and enlightenment of women and youth for meaningful love to be in existence. She had also served as Project Manager, Federation of Akwa Ibom Women Association, as well as in double capacity as a Consultant and Lead Surveyor, Pro-Natura International, a socio-economic platform that undertook the survey of coastal communities in Akwa Ibom State for peculiar developmental models. Dr. Adiakpan has also been a Community Entry Facilitator and Community Interface Coordinator (CIC) for Indigenous Oil Companies and NGOs in the State, in addition to being the Executive Director of Lush Farms. .
At more elevated levels, the multi-talented goal-getter had served as Electoral Commissioner, Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC), between 2008 and 2012; National Organizing Secretary, National Association of Educational, Media and Technology of Nigeria (NAEMTN); and Chairman, Partners for Peace, a group that is a hallmark for advocacy for peace.
As a trailblazer and politically active Nigerian who does not sit on the fence, Dr. Adakpan holds the unbeaten record of having been the first female Councilor for Ward 1, Eket Local Government Area. As an egghead, it is equally pertinent to also mention that this great woman of substance is a private entrepreneur, public servant, author, publisher, motivational speaker, life’s coach and teacher in her own right.
As an established grassroots mobilizer, serving as a nexus for metropolitan connections, it is fitting that the incumbent Commissioner shall now have stronger and more functional synergy with the Deputy Speaker of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Princess Felicia Bassey, who is a champion of women concerns by virtue of her office as Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs.
It can, therefore, be foreseen with certainty that a greater number of women will be mobilised for more active participatory democratic governance in the state. On this basis, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel must be generously appreciated for leading the charge in this connection and assured that another dependable soldier has entered the battlefield to advance the cause.
To sum up, the deserved appointment of Dr. Ini Adiakpan as Commissioner for Women Affairs is an idea whose time has come. Granted, it must be admitted, the name may not have rung a bell in many quarters before now, but here is a distinguished woman and silent achiever who does not know how to blow her own trumpet on mountain tops but allows her commitment to duties and impact to speak for her, provided the work was done according to target and expectations.
On this grand note, the new Commissioner is challenged to once again prove her mettle beyond expectations even as she had done in previous engagements in the collective interest of women, youth and the generality of the Akwa Ibom populace. Thank you, Governor Udom Emmanuel! Congratulations to you, Dr. Ini Adiakpan!