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Meet Akwa Ibom ‘strong’ women

In politics, academics, the judiciary and almost all facets of economic and social life, Akwa Ibom women are challenging the status quo and breaking bounds.…

In politics, academics, the judiciary and almost all facets of economic and social life, Akwa Ibom women are challenging the status quo and breaking bounds.

Almost every sector of the state has the footprints of women, not just making a mark, but dominating in some areas.

Senator Akon Eyakenyi

The state deputy governor, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, is one of such women.

She has traversed and held key positions in the political scene in Akwa Ibom and is the first elected female deputy governor of the state.

Before becoming the deputy governor, Eyakenyi, represented Akwa Ibom South in the ninth Senate. She was also the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

She was the Chairman of the Governing Council, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Commissioner for Industry, Commerce and Tourism, and Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Technical Schools Board. She served as Board Member 1 in Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board, as well as Supervisor for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture.

Before her foray into politics, Dr Eyakenyi started out as an auxiliary teacher, and grew through the ranks, before her voluntary retirement from the civil service. Dr Eyakenyi, who has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education, is a wife, mother and grandmother.


Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian Obot

Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian Obot is another woman holding the forth in the third arm of government, the judiciary.

Obot is the eighth substantive chief judge and third woman to occupy the office in the state. She was sworn in as Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State by former Governor Udom Emmanuel in October 2021.

One of her achievements in office is the inauguration of a monitoring committee for the administration of criminal justice in the state. According to her, the domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act by the Criminal Justice Law of Akwa Ibom State, would have a great impact on criminal justice in the state.


Dr Uduakobong Samuel Inam

Another woman who has inspired women in the state is Dr Uduakobong Samuel Inam. Inam, an economist, whose work experience spans commercial banking, academics, and the private sector, is the economic adviser to Governor Umo Eno.

She is also a university lecturer, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) and a full member of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES).

She has served as a member of the consulting team for the preparation of the Nigeria Sustainable Development Goals Implementation Plan (2021-2030); consultant/facilitator engaged in the preparation of the Gombe State Ten-year Development Plan (2021-2030) (An SDG-based Plan); United States Agency for International Development (USAID) consultant for the preparation of Sokoto State Ten- year Development Plan (2022-2032), as well as the preparation of the Ebonyi State twenty-five-year Development Plan (2022-2047).

She is a specialist in economic theory (macroeconomics and microeconomics), monetary economics, quantitative techniques (mathematical economics, econometrics and operations research), and finance and development economics.


Eunice Thomas

Another outstanding Akwa Ibom woman is Eunice Thomas, a non-executive director with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

Though a geologist and an industrial transporter, Thomas is the chancellor of Eunice Thomas Leadership Academy (ETLA), a certified trainer, coach, mentor, speaker and a relationship expert. She is a John Maxwell team member and an education enthusiast.

Before now, she served as the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development and the Commissioner for Education in Akwa Ibom State, which earned her the position of the longest serving female commissioner.


Dr Happiness Uduk

Dr Happiness Uduk is an associate professor in the Department of English, University of Uyo. She is the first female chairperson, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Uniuyo, and the first in the country, and currently ASUU zonal coordinator overseeing seven universities.

Uduk, who served for two tenures of four years as the immediate past ASUU chairperson, Uniuyo, said, “Competency and capabilities would make people call you to come and serve”.

She urged women to be committed and dedicated in the little corners they find themselves, saying the “sky is the take-off point for any female, who is ready to work hard.”

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