Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has lauded the human capital development initiative of the Ibibio People’s Union (IPU) for young women in the State.
Represented by his Commissioner for Economic Development, Labour and Manpower Planning, Barrister Ekong Sampson, Governor Emmanuel, who state this during the Graduation and Empowerment Ceremony for beneficiaries of the maiden edition of the IPU skill acquisition programme, at Watbridge Hotels and Suites, Uyo, said the gesture has been further described as setting a tone for progress and complementing the industrialization drive of the present administration through.
Ibibio People’s Union (IPU) is a US-based socio-cultural organisation of Ibibio people, also operating in Nigeria as Ibibio People Progressive Union (IPPU), with primary objectives of supporting and promoting Ibibio ideals as well as empowering the Ibibio people.
The maiden event which featured the graduation of ten beneficiaries, majorly orphans and less privileged young women, who had undergone 18 months training on fashion design, was graced by a delegation of United States-based IPU executives including: the Global President, Ikpafak Edet Udofia, Global Treasure, Ikpafak Ibanga, Global Women’s Leader and Oklahoma City Coordinator Ikpafak Dr. Roseline Nsikak, the Dallas Coordinator, Ikpafak Anietie Edohoukwa, the Pioneer Global President, Ikpafak Thompson Essien and the IPU Secretariat Building Committee Chairman, Ikpafak Martha Udoinyang. Others were the Global Vice President for Africa, Ikpafak Udeme Asuquo, Global Social Media Social Media Manager and International Rep for Nigeria, Ikpafak Ukpong Nathaniel, Uyo Coordinator, Ikpafak Florence Afahaide, the trainer, Mrs. Grace Akpan of Dynamic Fashions, Calabar, among others.
Governor Udom Emmanuel, represented by the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Economic Development, Labour and Manpower Planning, Barr. Ekong Sampson, thanked IPU for their support for the progress of the Ibibio nation and indeed joining hands with government to build the State.
The Governor congratulated the graduates. The help you have received is a sacrifice by people who are in the US to make a living but remembered home. Task them to ensure the help they have received does not end with them; as get established, wherever you will be, maintain the chain by remember raise another Ibibio person.
According to His Excellency, the present administration takes peace very serious, as an essential for its industrialization drive. He lauded the skill acquisition programme of IPU as being in line with the State government vision of industrialization and promised that to maintain the prevailing peace in the State, to encourage people in diaspora to come home freely and contribute to the growth of the State.
The Global President of Ibibio People’s Union, Ikpafak Edet Udofia, said the IPU is all about the Ibibio ideal; creating and sustaining an orientation that is best for the future of Ibibio, world over. In his words, “God made us Ibibio, we are Ibibio and we must think Ibibio”.
Ikpafak Udofia said Ibibio people at home and abroad were proud to have Udom Emmanuel as Governor and, more so, as a governor who has chosen to deviate from the “gather all, eat all” syndrome but thinks about the future of his people and invests in sustainable development. He said the IPU got challenged by the Governor’s ingenuity and moved to complement his industrialization drive.
The Tennessee-based Ibibio patriot said the skill acquisition and empowerment initiative was born out of a resolve by IPU to identify Ibibio people that could be helped, who will in turn help other Ibibios and so maintain a chain of help for Ibibio people. He affirmed that the maiden skill acquisition package comprised of 18-month fashion design training for 10 beneficiaries and intensive strategic business management and public relations training to enhance their capacity to maximize profit with their acquired skill. The IPU President acknowledged Governor Udom Emmanuel as an “Ikpafak” and thanked him for his enormous support to make the event a success.
The Global Women Leader, Ikpafak Dr. Roseline Nsikak expressed delight that the Dakkada mantra of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration was yielding positive results in the attitude of the Ibibio people. He reassured that IPU will do it’s best to make reposition abandoned widows, orphans and less privileged for a better life.
The Global Treasure, Ikpafak Ibanga, highlighted that the philosophy of IPU was targeted at creating a paradigm shift for the Ibibio people. He said IPU does not believe in temporary help of giving a person fish, but that in every Ibibio person acquiring fishing skills and a net. That, according to him, is the real help that can be sustained and passed on.
The Pioneer President of IPU, Ikpafak Thompson Essien, explained that the concept of “ikpafak”, which forms the organisation’s mantra is derived from the traditional practice of the Ibibio in which a small chisel-like piece of wood is used as an aid to split a difficult piece of wood or used in strengthening the local drum to make it sound good. Essien said the aid the chisel-like piece (ikpafak) gives in splitting the wood or strengthening the drum is what IPU represents in the Ibibio nation.
High point of the event was the presentation of sewing machines to each of the graduates and undisclosed cash gifts from the Global Women Leader, for accessories and initial take-off. The US-based IPU executives also raised an empowerment fund of Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000.00) for each of the graduates, accessible on conditions of getting a shop to commence full-fledged fashion design business within the year and accepting to train at least one Ibibio person free of charge.