By Christian George
Melinda French Gates (formerly Melinda Gates), in one of her famous speeches, said that “a woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman but the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.”
As if she had seen that Uyo Senatorial District had never had a taste of a female leader since its creation, not just an ordinary woman but a leader who knows what to do for her people; one with not just a strong voice but with stamina to withstand political pressure and drag development to the nine Local Government Areas which make up Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District also known as Uyo Senatorial District.
Princess (Dr.) Victoria Ibokette, the trailblazer, the always first and first ever female aspirant to vie for the stool of leadership of the Uyo Senatorial District, under the platform of Africa Democratic Congress (ADC) happens to be the voice Melinda Gates referred to. No wonder that since the creation of Akwa Ibom State, indeed, Akwa Ibom North East, it had been men who had managed the helms of affairs of the District and had moved it to where it is, with several of them enjoying more than one sitting.
The time for transformation has come, hence, the emergence of Princess Ibokette to transform the strategy of representation with the view to offering her people the best they deserve.
Fully energized, knowledgeable, pragmatic and heavy with loads of developmental projects, Princess Ibokette has vowed to use her disposition as not just the first female to contest for such a delicate position but to challenge her fellow contenders that what series of male representatives who, some had served for more than a tenure could not do, she as a woman had seen the openings created and will use her wealth of knowledge to build her people to benefit greatly from her representation.
It is unarguably believed that Uyo Senatorial District needs a paradigm adjustment and not just another political party but a female who has what it takes to build her people and evenly distribute development within the nine local government areas that make up her district.
It is on record that a woman has never mounted that seat of representation. Starting from the time of Senators Akpan Udoedeghe to Effiong Bob, Ita Enang as well as Bassey Albert, all of the Peoples Democratic Party, it had been like its leadership is saddled in the hands of men who belong to the umbrella family.
But Princess Ibokette is contending for the seat this time to break the jinx and usher in fresh air for the people of Akwa Ibom North East as she will eventually hold the mantle of representation come 2023.
Her emergence under African Democratic Congress (ADC) will drag in the necessary development of the people.
It is no longer news that in today’s world, many organizations have invested in their female employees so much knowing the importance of women in leadership.
A careful look at even the sphere of politics shows that for candidates to create a balance, the men would go alongside women as their deputies but this had never happened in the history of Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District where a woman had been given the forefront to manage the resources that belong to the nine local government areas that make up the district for the full benefit of all as well as making developmental laws for the good of the people.
Based on this, women are assumed to be the best in management, starting from home and a woman like Princess Ibokette, groomed from childhood by God-fearing parents, was educated.
In her bid to ensure that the expectations on her are met, she had to nurture a platform to fruition where she could give back to the society.
The floating of a not-for-profit organization was established with the sole aim of using her wealth, expertise and knowledge to benefit her people, not necessarily related to her by blood but that all who are suffering could be alleviated as well as faces beautified with smiles.
Being one of the first of her kind in the state to establish a nongovernmental organization, she has, within these years annually hosted a golf tournament, an event that does not only bring about unity and togetherness but excitement through Sports including Soccer, Table Tennis, Cycling and Golf.
Others are Medical Outreach, Skills acquisition and Training, Scholarships, Prayer summit and Farming brought about investments where many of the citizens of the state have become beneficiaries.
As an entrepreneur, teacher, gospel minister and visionary leader, she had been concerned about the growing maltreatment, abuse and abduction of female children which her foundation immediately sought the intervention of God by organizing a prayer summit, not just for girl children within her domain but for the release of Chibok girls as well.
In a proposition to encourage youths, especially those who are about to face the labour market, Princes Ibokette offered a recipe to students during the recent convocation ceremony of Peace Institute of Management and Technology.
The senatorial hopeful, who is contesting for the 2023 election under ADC is appealing to the people of Uyo Senatorial District to come out on the day of the election and massively vote her to the seat where she would be able to deliver the loads of developmental projects she has in her blueprint for the benefit of all.
Also, voting Princess Ibokette to the seat will be an indication that the people of Uyo Senatorial District need freedom, motherly guidance; strong and knowledgeable leader whose strength is in service to humanity as well as a change of leadership of one party from inception and need to try a female representative who can breakeven and succeed even where men could not strive that much.
Many share in the belief of Kavita Ramdas that “we need women who are so strong that they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so rational and so disciplined they can be free.”