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Our Akwa Ibom is 33 years old today to the glory of God. We definitely have good reasons to celebrate this epoch-making event howbeit the times and restrictions. As envisaged, the celebrations are being low-keyed but our greatfulness for a youthful life well lived will not be silenced.

In 33 years, we have stood tall with our shoulders high up with pride about our attainments and feats. As a matter of fact, we’ve achieved what most adults have and could not at age 33. From international to the national recognitions we have attained, one can say that Akwa Ibom is one among the youthful states who has washed her hands well and can therefore eat with her elders.

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For Thirty-Three years, we have striven, thrived and survived struggles and agitations with God on our side, through the hands of our sons and daughters of valour.

Women especially, have been quite instrumental to the giant strides we have recorded over the years.

From the days where they were only seen to times like this when they are now seen and heard like their male counterparts, Akwa Ibom women have engineered positive causes and have been effective in bridging the gap between what should be and what it is. Thanks to the 35% minimal slot for women in political offices – the jarring imbalance between men and women has become a thing of the past, leading to the formation of more women groups which are today addressing issues of unfairness, rape, child labor, child trafficking and the likes. Women can today beat their chests as stakeholders in the progress of the state and country.

Women’s participation in building Akwa Ibom has no doubt helped in achieving an equitable, peaceful and more prosperous society. Having attained exalted positions clamoured for, women have proven to be trustworthy, resourceful, creative, confidential and capable leaders in various positions accorded them hence, there is a need to congratulate all women of Akwa Ibom on their ability to prove their worth, while maintaining their integrity.

While it is important to laud these leadership roles of our women, it is also paramount that their leadership capacities at home be highlighted. It is no news that many highly-placed women in today’s society no longer have ample time for their families but for appointments and their career, which has taken a hard toll on their families.

A lot of women have transferred the passionate commitment meant for their homes to their political ambition thus, leaving the homefront neglected and abandoned which has resulted in divorce and emotional instability of their children. Moreso, the failure of mothers to teach, instruct, discipline and show their children the right path to follow has resulted in the alarming rate of moral decadence in today’s society. It is so bad that one can hardly find a well-mannered child in the midst of ten. Even in domestic chores, many children are nothing to write home about due to the absence of their mothers to put them through. With these children, our tomorrow is no doubt at stake. We will have half-baked mothers tomorrow as well as ill-mannered leaders if this trend is allowed to continue.

Without proper home training, children can grow to become wild, strange and irresponsible adults, and lawlessness will reach its peak. As serious as this is, mothers ALONE are most suitable for the role of proper upbringing. This is not to say that fathers and guardians cannot do same; research has shown that overtime, mothers have a way of influencing their wards more than other members of the family or society hence, no father; maid, relative or school teacher can better train a child than a mother.

Besides, the roles played by others are complementary and cannot serve “the main job” of a mother. Many times, those left with the duty of helping out in this capacity have ended up worsening the moral standards of children beyond repair. A lot of kids have been over-pampered by their grandparents or emotionally and physically abused by maids, neighbours and relatives, while others have been shown the way to illicit drugs, sexual promiscuity, hooliganism and other social vices; within few minutes, days or months of being entrusted to these people’s care.

Thereafter, they are not able to stop the urge to continue in the illicit acts and cannot confide in their ‘unavailable’mothers either. The trend continues until they become addicted to their habits that it tells on them years later. It is at this point of ‘no return’ that many mothers get to know and wonder how and when their children slipped out of their hands. They begin to feel unnecessarily remorseful and wish they can turn back the hands of time but, it is always too late to do so.

Simultaneously, men whose wives have turned more ambitious than ever before are also crying out for attention and respect from their wives. While some wives have left their culinary and laundry duties to their maids, others have transferred theirs to their husbands thus, taking their (husbands) understanding and assistance with the domestic chores for granted. As such, many husbands and children end up going to their workplaces and schools with empty stomachs. This negligence is responsible for the increasing cases of ulcer among young adults and has as well pushed a number of men into extra-marital affairs with cooks, maids and others who in the name of rendering assistance have torn families apart.

The bone of contention is that women should make out more time for their homes than their careers and businesses. Children particularly, should be given priority because they are tomorrow’s leaders; and leaders are a product of their mothers. In the Bible, mothers of Kings were often emphasised because a King is a product of his mother’s thoughts, discipline and training. The Bible again states that a wise son makes his father glad but, the foolish son is a grief to his mother. This implies that the society readily attributes a bad child to the mother while attributing a good child to the father. Therefore, to avoid the scorn and shame that will come from an untrained child in the future, mothers should rise to their responsibilities.

Children should be taught virtues of godliness and good living; courtesy and modesty, as well as the moral and social values of their environment. They should be taught in words and shown examples for effective assimilation. The home should be given priority because it is the fulcrum through which we attain other achievements. We fail as women if we do not fulfil our obligations to our home but succeed outside. So, if we must conquer territories, we must start with our homes and if we must lead nations, we must lead our homes first. We cannot put our state in her place if we cannot put our homes in place. It begins with the home. The state, as we know, is a union of families and villages, and the family is the basic unit of the society which is the foundation of the state itself.

So, Akwa Ibom women should go back to their drawing boards and reprioritize their agenda. The family should come first on that agenda because happy families create a healthy prerequisite of a strong political order in every sane society.

We are a brand known for courtesy, receptiveness and respect; we should transfer these values to our children for posterity’s sake.

Happy Anniversary!!!