By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
As women the world over continue to celebrate women history month which officially kick-started on March 8, an Abuja-based group, Profiles and Biographies and Gender Perspectives, has called on women to emulate Lady Magistrate Helen Isong, wife of the national publicity secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Bishop Emmah Isong.
Pastor Ubi Onen, executive director of the group, who spoke in Calabar, Sunday, shortly after honouring Lady Isong as one of the 100 leading Nigerian women, said the clergy-cum magistrate had distinguished herself and was impacting Nigerians and should be regarded as a role model.
Onen, who said his group was profiling phenomenal women in the country who had contributed to the development of Nigeria and the world, explained that the compendium published by his group “is the most qualitative, most authoritative, up-to-date biographical profile on Nigeria’s 100 most inspirational and influential women.”
He charged upcoming Nigerian women, who may have been limited by circumstances of life never to give up, adding “some of these women we are profiling were also, at a point, regarded as never-do-wells. The lives of these women should motivate every other woman in Nigeria. These women had passed through the same challenges posed by patriarchal society, yet to they stood out from the crowd.
“Lady Magistrate Helen Emmah Isong has done very well in several areas; she is a fantastic woman of God, a fantastic member of the bench. One of the reasons that annual profiling is done is to encourage our young ladies to rise above limitations. If Lady Isong could get to where she is, then any other woman, who is focused and determined, can achieve her life’s ambition and dreams,” Pastor Onen said.
The director enumerated some of those who his organisation had already profiled, alongside Lady Isong, within the year to include, Justice Akon Ikpeme, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Aisha Yesufu, Amina Mohammed, Oby Ezekwesili; Professor Eka Braide, Justice Philomena Ekpe and Rosemary Obanya amongst others.
In her remarks, Mrs Isong commended the group for the honour done her, saying she was humbled to have been selected among 100 leading women in Nigeria and that the award would spur her into impacting her generation more.
She said, “The award is a tonic and I must confess that I am humbled. I never knew people were watching and were taking note of the little we are doing in our corner. I am not surprised because the Bible says if you serve God, God Himself will honour you, and I return all the glory to Him.
“I encourage our young girls to discover something unique in the chosen 100 women and try to emulate and pattern their lives towards them. Indeed, they have something embedded in them to offer and so should be regarded as role models. With this, our society will become a better place for all of us.”