Enwono-Abasi Elisha

The big auditorium was filled to capacity as Her Excellency’s motherly, yet, stern-gentle and kind voice reverberated like a falling spring through the minds of the audience, with wisdom, advising the Boy-Children on the need to shun ways which can mar their future.


A cross section of the Secondary schools at the event. 

True, the boy children from Secondary Schools across the State left with minds full on what to think and live about as the First Lady, Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel took time to summarise the speakers’ assertions through the 2022 International Boy-Child Conference.

Her Excellency, Wife of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel speaking on the occasion.

Strengthening the voices of life coachers and great mentors whose wealth of knowledge and experiences were worth sharing, the Akwa Ibom State First Lady admonished the Boy-Child of good morale and obeying their parents, constituted authorities and the law. They became the screen for the Boys to see life through and choose which path to follow.

The event set aside to celebrate International day for the Boy-Child by Jerome Teelucksingh, Ph.D, a thought leader on gender issues and founder of International Men’s Day, was officially inaugurated on May 16, 2018, worldwide. But since then, the Akwa Ibom State Government only marked the event on May 16, 2022.

It was a moment for Stock-taking and accepting the reality of the burden of negligence on the Boy-Child over the years with ripple effect on the society today. This is why Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh thought it wise to balance the equation on both genders which require equal attention.

Prof Effiong Johnson addressing the audience.

According to Prof Effiong Johnson who admitted that the negligence of the Boy-Child is the repercussions which the society reaps today and calls for an emergency rescue.

“For long the Boy Child has been abandoned by the society and the society is now reaping the repercussions of the negligence. The boy child has gone into cultism and other vices early, while the Girl- child who was earlier groomed is prepared to face the society positively.

“The Boy Child conference is an emergency, very timely and it should continue if we’re expecting a more responsible society.”

Giving the Keynote address on the theme of the event, ‘Boosting Optimism, Restoring Self-Worth,’ the academic Don, Prof Johnson said for a Boy-Child to aim at a successful living, he must be optimistic about life and never be a mediocre.

He coached the boys on mentorship and illustrated how choosing a good mentor can give focus and advances ones life.

Mr. Aniekeme Finbarr adressing the Students.

Another coach, Mr. Aniekeme Finbarr spoke on the topic; ‘Dare to be different: Migrating from Mediocrity to Excellence’ said excellence must be the watchword of a Boy-Child who sets out to be positively different from the societal crowd.

He added that a Boy-Child must be taught by the parents, guardians and teachers to be able to own up his mistakes and be self- accountable which is the beginning of being responsible. Finbarr added that failure in any case should be made to be seen as part of a success story, not a definite end of a process. He said Boys should be taught to exude positive characters in the face of challenges.

Mr. Idy Uworoufin Enni testifying to the Students.

Another Speaker, Mr. Idy Uworoufin Enni spoke on the topic; ‘What They Won’t Tell You About Cultism,’ chided the students present never to consider or be lured into cultism as it is never a rosy journey.

He gave the admonition as a repentant cultist and said 90% of school dropouts are cultists. Mr. Enni added that cultists live a life of fear and die shameful death.

While Etiyene Ekong explained qualities expected of a Boy-Child by a Girl-Child to include; intelligence, God fearing, responsible, Discipline and the ability of the Boy-Child to create a secured environment for the safety of the Girls-Child.

Barr. Emem Ette, Secretary AKSGBVC giving her appreciation note.

Also speaking, the Secretary of Akwa Ibom State Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Committee, Barr. Emem Ette thanked members of the Committee for a successful outing, appreciating her Excellency, Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel for being an advocate in the campaign against abuse, rape and other social-vices to boost a good environment for a Boy-Child.

The event themed: ‘Boosting Optimism, Restoring Self-Worth’ was put together by the Akwa Ibom State Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Committee and in attendance were the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, Mr. James Edet, Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Information, Chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, Cmd Nsikak Okon, and others. They unanimously said the Conference was timely to create awareness to the boys’ needs and help to give them the needed orientation and reorientation for a better society.



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