Monday, October 18, 2021 4:15 pm
The Edo Women’s Consultative Forum has commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for appointing one of their daughters and a shining light in their community, Prof. Obehi Akoria, as Commissioner for Health.
In a statement after their annual meeting and signed by the Forum Chairwoman, Dame (Dr.) Ivie Esther Akhionbare, the group described the appointment as a true testament to the governor’s promise to Make Edo Great.
Akhionbare also noted with delight, the fact that the new cabinet as announced, almost achieved a 50-50 gender balance, with five out of 11 appointments for commissioner and one of the two appointments for Special Adviser representing the womenfolk.
She described this feat as unprecedented in the history of Edo State and Nigeria and encouraged the governor to become the first in Nigeria to ensure an even gender balance in the remaining appointments.
The Forum noted Prof. Akoria’s track records in her career and expressed their absolute confidence in her abilities to turn the fortunes of the health ministry and the entire health sector in Edo around for the good of the people, especially the women.
Indeed, she is a shining light, a round peg in a round hole, according to women in the state.
She Has Been a Leader in Healthcare, Medical Education and Public Health
Her work leverages several competencies including expertise in Internal Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Geriatrics, Public Health, Leadership and Management, medical editing, database design, project and programme management, as well as public speaking.
Since 2005, as she wrote on her Linkedin page, she had worked extensively with the World Health Organization and the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria in the development of the National Standard Treatment Guidelines, and in the revisions of the National Essential Medicines List. I also taught several public health subjects in the online Master of Public Health programme of The University of Liverpool between 2011 and 2017.
She went further: “As the current sub-speciality Chair for Geriatrics in the Internal Medicine Faculty of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, and as a Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine, University of Benin, I train and mentor undergraduates, resident doctors, and professionals in other healthcare disciplines, in holistic, person-centred, quality healthcare, especially for older persons.
A life course approach to healthy ageing and wellness is the main thrust of my current advocacy, clinical and public health work.”
A member of the forum summarised her feelings thus: “This is probably the best news coming out of the health sector in Edo state in a long time. I know this woman very well. She has inspired so many and is distinguished from her peers for what she stands for and her past accomplishments”,
In the communique issued at the conclusion of the meeting, the Forum unanimously resolved to send a special appreciation letter to the Governor and his wife, for what they defined as charitable leadership that transforms lives.
“We have just returned from the urgent and timely intervention from Her Excellency, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, for women suffering from VVF challenges. What Her Excellency is doing is literally saving lives and restoring the dignity of generations of Edo women. In this state, we have never had it this good. To have a governor and a wife who care so much for the women of the state and even in many cases, prioritise their welfare is truly a turning point for us. So, we are very grateful to God and to Godwin and Betsy Obaseki”, she concluded.
They thanked the governor for enabling a meritorious system in the selection of his commissioners and admonished him to provide the support for the new commissioners to discharge their functions to the best of their abilities and in the interest of the people of the state.
The Forum, however, urged the governor to use his exalted office to continue to ensure the safety and security of residents of the state and to urgently look into the recent rising tide of poor road rehabilitation works implemented by contractors.