Igala com­mu­nity hon­ours 12 ‘women of sub­stance’

Daily Trust - - HOME FRONT - By Barakat Ab­dul­lahi and Hauwa Say­eed

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of pro­grammes at the Nige­rian Tele­vi­sion Author­ity, Eugenia Abu, was among 12 women of Igala ori­gin given merit award as ‘women of sub­stance’ on Tues­day.

Or­gan­is­ers of the first-ever Igala Women of Sub­stance Merit Award in Abuja said the award is to cel­e­brate the con­tri­bu­tions of women to de­vel­op­ment.

It is the first time in the 20 years of “Who’s Who in Igala­land” that women are the fo­cus of awards.

Hi­lary Amodu, a trustee of the “Who’s Who in Igala­land”, said the award recog­nised women “who have ex­celled in their field of en­deav­our and con­trib­uted to the de­vel­op­ment of Igala land.”

Speak­ing at the award din­ner, Amodu said it was to spur so­cio­cul­tural growth and de­vel­op­ment in sci­ence, ed­u­ca­tion and so­cial in­fras­truc­ture with its most prom­i­nent in­di­genes lead­ing as ex­am­ples.

Among re­quire­ments for the award are that the re­cip­i­ents must have made re­mark­able con­tri­bu­tion to their com­mu­nity, main­tained high sense of in­tegrity, had pos­i­tive im­pact on the com­mu­nity, pro­moted the cause of Igala land, pro­jected its im­age at home and abroad and had grass­roots en­dorse­ment for their nom­i­na­tion for the award, ac­cord­ing to Amodu.

He said the thrust is to strive to do more to em­power their com­mu­ni­ties.

Abu was re­cently voted Nige­ria’s ‘Most In­spir­ing Woman’ and is said to have men­tored and taught more than 200 tele­vi­sion and ra­dio broad­cast­ers.

Other re­cip­i­ents are Dr Rose­mary Ab­dul­lahi, Igala­land’s first fe­male med­i­cal di­rec­tor and the sec­ond from north­ern Nige­ria be­fore she re­tired as a di­rec­tor;

Lami Amodu who once headed the Uni­ver­sal Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion and is the first north­ern woman to head Queen’s Col­lege, Yaba and Aisha Ibrahim who made record as the first Igala girl at the col­lege and cur­rently head of op­er­a­tions at Tincan Is­land Port, Lagos.

Other re­cip­i­ents in­clude Aisha Emeje, a former first lady of Kogi State and cur­rent ad­vi­sor to the gov­ern­ment on in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions and in­vest­ment; Rekiya Abaji, Di­rec­tor of Na­tional Pro­duc­tiv­ity Cen­tre; Sala­matu Eluma, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for Hu­man Resources at Fed­eral Air­ports Author­ity of Nige­ria; and former head of Kogi State civil ser­vice, Sabina At­tah.

The award for “women of sub­stance” was also given to Lucy Og­badu, who be­came the first pro­fes­sor from Igala­land in 1992 af­ter ear­lier win­ning a math­e­mat­ics prize for five con­sec­u­tive years and rose to be­come di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the Na­tional Biotech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Agency; Aisha Isah, le­gal ad­viser to Dan­gote Flour Mills; Aza­lea Kadiri, deputy gen­eral man­ager, mar­ket­ing, Fed­eral Hous­ing Author­ity; and Jus­tice Rakiya Ok­panachi, a judge of the High Court, Ajaokuta be­fore her retirement in 2013.

In a lecture, Di­rec­tor of Na­tional Broad­cast Com­mis­sion, Arm­strong Idachaba, said per­cep­tions and stereo­types have con­stantly cast women through­out his­tory as op­pressed, marginalised and rel­e­gated to the back­ground of so­ci­ety.

“Their con­tri­bu­tions are every­where to see but they are not cel­e­brated,” he said.

“The Bini King­dom (which shares affin­ity with Igala­land) cel­e­brates Idia for sin­gle­hand­edly lead­ing a war against the Igala na­tion (whose first monarch, or At­tah, was a woman) and has an ivory mask in her hon­our, but the beauty of it is that she’s cel­e­brated,” Idachaba said.

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