By Solomon Umanah
Members of the Akwa Ibom Frontline Market Women Association have been advised to embrace unity and eschew all forms of ethnic rivalries so as to maintain leading position as a formidable economic group in the state.
The commissioner for women affairs and social welfare, Dr Ini Adiakpan, who gave the advice, shortly after the election of the new state executive of the Akwa Ibom Frontline Market Women Association in Uyo, recently, pointed out that the group was not ethnic-based, but was established as an umbrella body for market women in the state, irrespective of their ethnic, religious or socio-political affiliations.
Adiakpan recalled that there was a protest over the delay in conducting election into the various offices of the association upon the expiration of the tenure of the immediate past executive which, she noted, necessitated the conduct of a mock election that was rejected by the members.
While stressing the importance of zoning of vacant offices within the association to reflect the three senatorial districts of the state, Adiakpan maintained that the election was purely a ratification exercise as the major contenders had voluntarily backed out of the contest thereby paving way for the peaceful conduct of election into the office of the President alone.
She urged the newly elected executive to adopt the policy of inclusion by ensuring that all the members were given equal opportunities to contribute their quota toward the growth and development of the association.
In her acceptance speech, the new president, Mrs Affiong Bassey, who emerged unopposed at the end of the exercise, thanked the state government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, for stepping into what she termed as “seeming crisis,” which resulted in the peaceful conduct of the election.
Bassey pledged an “open door” administration throughout her tenure and urged the aggrieved parties to join hands with the new executive in order to move the association to an enviable height.
High point of the occasion was the inauguration of the 17-member state executive of the body by the director of Legal Matters in the Ministry, Bassey Eka, Esq.
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