The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Ms Betta Edu, has emerged as the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Women Leader after a voting process on Sunday.
The 35-year-old defeated former Director-General of the National Center for Women Affairs, Helen Boco-Eta, who refused to step down for her as the party’s consensus candidate for the position.
Boco-Eta’s refusal had delayed the convention, making the National Women Leader the most contentious position.
Mary Ekpere had stepped down in the early hours of Sunday in the Convention that began on Saturday.
All three women are from Cross River State, where the position was zoned to but Betta is from Calabar South like Boco-Eta while Ekpere comes from Cross River Central.
There’s confusion on whether Betta resigned from her position as health commissioner or not going into the convention. But she told newsmen“I resigned weeks ago.”
Speaking after the voting exercise, Betta said, “It’s victory for all women.
“APC is the biggest and strongest party in Africa and they have made history today. Because they have elected the youngest women leader in the history of political parties in Africa.
“It shows that APC is youth conscious. It shows that APC is ready to drive the change and even improve on what we have done in Nigeria.
“It shows that APC is ready to embrace both the old and the young using the bridge builder.
“We will create different programmes from the cooperatives” to improve women.
In other news, Save the Children International (SCI) has trained about 72 children from various secondary schools in Cross River State on leadership and policy roles.
The agency, in collaboration with the state government, through the Ministry of Women Affairs, also reconstituted the state Children’s Parliament by electing and inaugurating young members.
The Communication Engagement and Advocacy Officer, Ogoja field office, Mr. Akpan Effiong, said the children were selected from 18 local government areas of the state to inculcate the values of democracy in them.
He said that in the cause of their work, the agency discovered that children were not carried along when it comes to decision-making on matters affecting them.
Effiong said the essence of camping the children for four days in Danic Hotel in Calabar was to indirectly prepare them for the national assignment as policymakers that are free of bias, ethnicity and religious bigots in the future.
Speaking while inaugurating the parliament, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Women Affairs, Dr. Gertrude Njar, regretted that since the expiration of the 4th Parliament tenure, the ministry had not been able to conduct elections, which she said had serious lacuna in the system.
Mevin Broere of St. Patrick Technical College, Ugep emerged the fifth Speaker of the State’s Children’s Parliament, beating nine other contestants to that office, while Osika Etim, from Abi, emerged as the deputy speaker.
Other elected members are Divine Somtobechukwu, House Leader (Akpabuyo); and Egor Okam Elias, Deputy House Leader (Akpabuyo). Gabriel Elijah (Akpabuyo) was elected Chief Whip, while Enun Kanu Egwu got the position of Deputy Chief Whip and Ekpenyong Okon from Akpabuyo won as Clerk of the Parliament.