Posted by News Express | 3 November 2012 | 5,098 times
Akwa Ibom State swore-in its first female Deputy Governor today, with Governor Godswill Akpabio saying that with three key positions in the state occupied by women, the state was leading the revolution for gender equality in the country.
Lady Barr Valerie Ebe, who was confirmed yesterday by Akwa Ibom House of Assembly as the new Deputy Governor based on an official letter sent to the house by Governor Akpabio, succeeds Mr. Nsima Ekere, who resigned on Wednesday.
Said Governor Akpabio after the swearing-in ceremony: “Though gender was not a consideration in her appointment, a section of the public would definitely see her as being at the vanguard of our faith for more women participation in our governance. By her appointment, we now have a triumvirate of women in key positions like the Chief Judge, Head of the Civil Service and now the Deputy Governor. Akwa Ibom is definitely leading the revolution for gender equality in our country.”
According to Akpabio: “The swearing-in of Her Honour Lady (Barr.) Valerie Ebe as the new Deputy Governor of our dear state is historic. She is the first woman in the 25-year history of our dear state to occupy such a position. The burden of being the first is that her performance and achievements will either break new ceilings for women or close the ceilings against them. She cannot afford to fail.”
The Governor recalled that Lady Ebe had served Akwa Ibom with honour and distinction, noting: “Her core values had been integrity, enthusiasm and great people skills. I enjoin her to bring these attributes to her new office and see herself as a servant, indigene and friend of all of Akwa Ibom State. She should cease to think of her local government area because this appointment confers on her the citizenship of all 31 local government areas in our state.”
While congratulating Lady Ebe on her appointment and subsequent swearing-in, Akpabio expressed hope that she would put up an outstanding performance in the office, bring deep experience and a strong set of skills to this high office of public trust.
He thanked the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sam Ikon, and members of Akwa Ibom House of Assembly for the speedy confirmation of the appointment of Mrs. Ebe’s appointment, urging Akwa Ibom people at home and abroad to extend to the new Deputy Governor the same cooperation and support, which they have extended to him for these years.
“The partnership for change between my administration and the good people of Akwa Ibom State is still on. The change of baton in the Office of the Deputy Governor was nothing more than a shift of gear. I believe that, everything considered, we will run faster in the pace of our development and our momentum will only increase,” he assured.
Akpabio commended the outgone Deputy Governor, Mr. Nsima Ekere, who tendered his resignation from office for his services to the state, having served first as the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom Investment and Promotions Council (AKIIPOC) from 2007 to 2011, and lately as the Deputy Governor from 2011-2012.
The new Deputy Governor, who was born on March 26, 1947 from Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, had served a Commissioner for Culture and Tourism as well as that for Environment in addition to having served as a state PDP Legal Adviser.
Addressing the press after the event, the new Deputy Governor described Governor Akpabio as an amazing personality and a gift to Akwa Ibom State and promised to give him all the support and cooperation for him to record more successes in his uncommon transformation programme.
Highlight of the occasion was a minute silence in honour of Nnenyin Alison, wife of Akwa Ibom ex-Governor, Obong Victor Attah while the swearing-in ceremony of the new Deputy Governor was performed by the state Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Idongesit Ntem-Isua.
*Photo, courtesy Akwa Ibom State Government House Press Office, shows Governor congratulating the newly sworn-in Deputy Governor, Lady Barr. Valerie Ebe, after her swearing-in at Government House Banquet Hall, Uyo, earlier today.
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