…She promises giving women sense of belonging in governance
By Bisi Ezekiel
Fortune smiles on Dr.(Mrs) Akon Etim Eyakenyi, the serving senator representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District as she was named the Deputy Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State.
She got the position without much Ado while many male political figures in the party lobbied in the state and even in Abuja to be picked. But the party and it’s candidate beam the searchlight on the woman of substance who is no push over in Akwa Ibom politics.
Many factors could have worked for the Senator to have been found worthy of the position by the party’s governorship candidate, Pastor Eno Umo.
Among the many factors is her unprecedented humility.
She was screened by the PDP Deputy Governorship Screening Committee on Wednesday, June 22 alongside 27 other state running mates of the party at the PDP secretariat, Abuja.
Seeing herself as the face of Akwa Ibom women in government, she told journalists after being screened that she will represent the interest of women in government.
In her words, she said ” I am going to represent the slot of the women but I am going as a mother for the 31 local government of Akwa Ibom State covering both men, youth, elderly.
“I am going there to serve, to set a standard and ensure that after me, another woman can pick up the position, I will also ensure that women have their due and right at the executive, legislative and party level.
“I am also going to be a model and standard to every woman in Akwa Ibom State.”
She appreciated the party, the governor of Akwa Ibom and stakeholders who approved that a woman be given the slot of deputy governor for the first time.
Senator Eyakenyi has always acknowledged the grace of God for every position she attain in life.
She said ” I want to start by saying that for every position, God is the one that identifies who to put into position, but people also have a way of pushing one to a position. I belong to the Peoples Democratic Party, the PDP in my state. I have been there since inception and I have contributed my own quota to my people under the umbrella. I am accessible to the people. I have served my people in different capacity.”
Speaking on how she has been getting appointments and positions in a male dominated environment, she said “I want to say that I identified what the needs of my people were, I identified what they definitely wanted me to do”
She said her own philosophy is service and commitment to humanity.
Always at home with her people in her senatorial district, the Senator said “Without pride, if you have access to my people in Akwa Ibom South senatorial district, they will tell you that this time they have a Senator. If you have listening to radio, online , social media you will see that Senator Akon Eyakenyi is working.”
“The three things that a good Senator or a good representative is expected to do are good quality representation in and out of the floor of the Senate on behalf of your people, the oversight function and then the briefing of the people.
The deputy governorship candidate called on the people of Akwa Ibom to fully support the party, herself and the governorship candidate to win the coming election.
She said “it is by voting us into power that we can continue the good work and developmental strides of our efficient governor, Emmanuel Udom.”.
Senator Akon Eyakenyi PhD is a native of Mbokpu Eyoakan in Urue-Offong/Oruko Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State by birth and Oron Local Government Area by marriage.
She attended Primary School, Uko Uyukim, Oron; Methodist Teacher’s Training College, Oron; University of Cross River State (UNICROSS), Uyo, AKS; and University of Calabar, Calabar where she obtained First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1974; Teacher’s Grade II Certificate (TCII) in 1979; Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) in 1986; BEd, MEd and PhD in 1990, 2000 and 2015 respectively.
As a professional teacher, Senator Akon Eyakenyi started off as an auxiliary teacher and upgraded to Mistress II and I, Education Officer and Senior Education Officer while working for the then Cross River State Ministry of Education, Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board, and lastly, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education before retiring voluntarily from the civil service.
Senator Dr. Akon Eyakenyi’s political journey started with her appointment in 1991 as Executive Chapter President of Better Life Programme in Oron Local Government Area and Supervisor for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture and she had to run both offices concurrently. She was subsequently appointed as Board Member 1, Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board in 1991, Commissioner for Industry, Commerce and Tourism in 2000 – 2005, Chairman Akwa Ibom State Technical Schools Board in 2013 – 2014, Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2014 – 2015, Chairman Governing Council, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic in 2016 – 2018 and Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District from June 2019 – 2023.
The deputy governorship candidate has held several other part-time appointments locally and internationally. She is widely travelled, has attended several local and international conferences, organised and coordinated several programmes, workshops and conferences and has a number of publications to her credit.
Distinguished Senator Dr. Akon Eyakenyi is extensively experienced and exposed. She has civil and public service experience ranging from local government, state to federal government. She has served in both executive and legislative arms of government. Senator Eyakenyi has been in the service of Nigeria for 4 decades and counting.
She held many leadership positions and appointments in the past. These include; Member, Technical Committee on the Realization of Ibom Deep Sea Port inaugurated by His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State – June 2015, Chairman, Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on White Paper of Commission of Inquiry into Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property – 2014 to date. Chairman, Technical Board, Federal Housing Authority, Nigeria – 2014, President, 24th Governing Council of United Nations Habitat (UN-Habitat) – Worldwide – 2014 – 2015 and Rapporteur of the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (AMCHUD).
Others are; National Focal Point / Champion of the Continental Initiative on ‘Strengthening Partnerships for a New African Urban Agenda’, Chairperson of the Administrative and Technical Coordination Team -New Africa Urban Agenda being co-championed by Mr. President and His Excellency, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana , Chairperson, Ministerial Representative to the Committee on Pilot Housing Scheme Project to deliver 50,000 Homes, Chairperson to the Committee on the Implementation of Nigeria Mortgage Re-Finance Company (NMRC) 10,000 Housing Units, Chairperson to the Committee on Verification and Auditing of Federal Government Lands and Landed Property in the 36 States of the Federation and the Capital Territory, Abuja – July 2014, Chairperson to the Committee on Reclamation and Infrastructure Development of Water Bodies In Lagos State .
She is a mobiliser, mentor, role model, philanthropist and an unrepentant community servant. She has received several awards, honours and recognitions among which is the Paul Harris Fellow (PHF), a major donor in the Rotary International. Senator Eyakenyi is a pace setter, peace maker, very humble and exceptionally diligent and dutiful, she is an advocate for children and women welfare, a staunch advocate for democracy and rule of law, highly detribalized and very accommodating. She is a good Team Player, honest and a member of several professional organisations. Distinguished Senator Akon Eyakenyi is a devoted Christian. Her hobbies include reading, community development and travelling.
Senator Akon Eyakenyi is happily married to Elder Etim Eyakenyi of Iquita in Oron Local Government Area and the family is blessed with 5 Godly and adorable children.
By Bisi Ezekiel