By Olawale Ayeni, Abuja
As President Muhammadu Buhari re-appoints Princess Gloria Akobundu as the National Coordinator/ Chief Executive Officer, African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development/African Peer Review Mechanism (AUDA-NEPAD/APRM) Nigeria, for another four years in office, it’s her season of thanksgiving to God Almighty and appreciation to the President while urging the staff and all stakeholders to join her in taking the Agency a notch higher.
In her words to the Management and staff of the Agency on her reappointment at the end of first tenure on September 26th, she attributed her recorded successes to the entire workforce.
According to the statement signed by the
Media Assistant to AUDA-NEPAD/APRM boss, Abolade Ogundimu, the management and staff all contributed to the achievements of the Agency in the last four years.
“There is no way I will sit here till September 26th without thanking God and the respected colleagues (Management and staff) that God gave to me, the builders and the people that made it possible for me to work here.
I give God all the glory, for the opportunity to serve our great country with the entire staff, for the opportunity to meet you, the opportunity to identify with talented men and women, to brainstorm with you on how to move our great nation forward.
“God has been kind to us. All glory be to God. From the first day I stepped into this office, God has been merciful. I thank for the proactiveness and opportunity to meet with good people like you.
“All glory to God and I give you all the credit. I Was not born in NEPAD, I never knew about NEPAD but you thought me about the Agency and together we did all we could do to the best of our knowledge.
“I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for appreciating our little contribution towards realizing his set goals in the areas of promoting good governance and development of our great nation,” she said.
Akobundu therefore urged the management and staff not to relent in their commitment to duty, so that next four years would be more fulfilling to the nation and the Agency’s workforce.
“As management, we have designed 3-Ps, and the Directors have been very proactive, towards succeful implementation of that roadmap which is in line with Federal Government’s 9-point Agenda.
“The 3-Ps represent `Productivity-Partnership-Prosperity’ Like a farmer that labours , clear his land, watch it germinate and then he harvests. I will say our next four years will be years of harvest,” she concluded.
In their individual and collective responses to the news of Akobundu’s reappointment, management, staff and labour union leaders of the Agency rejoiced over the development, showered encomium on her rare stewardship in the last four years.
The Director, Programme Development and Implementation in the Agency, Mr. Maxwell Zacheus extolled the CEO’s virtues.
“The CEO is somebody who says the truth no matter whose ox is gored. Truth is like a surgery, it hurts but at the end, it heals.When you tell a lie, it pacifies but the consequence goes a long way
I thank God for this Day. It has pleased God to bring all of us together. I have been here in less than a year, not enough to know somebody. I have learnt many things since I got here, one of them is truth”.
The Director Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr. Charles Ibezimako said “she is a colossus, energetic and intelligent. I appreciate God for taking her thus far. Her first tenure was a success and I believe the next four years will be very exciting”.
Also, the Director, APRM Department, Mrs. Adefunke Adimula saw the appointment as God’s plan to further elevate the Agency and the nation.
“I thank God for making our path to cross. She is a leader with wisdom and ability. I pray that God almighty will take you higher and higher, surround you with more good people to realise the mandate of the Agency”.
The Agency’s Deputy Director of Account, Mr. Muhammad Argungu said “I thank God for it gave me a great pleasure to congratulate our CEO, Princess Gloria Akobundu on the reappointment. It means her efforts in transforming the Agency, carrying out the Second Review process and many more have been rewarded by God almighty”.
Also, Assistant Director of Administration, Mrs. Henrietta Okafor said “ it is not easy to work and be saddled to do it again. It means the person has done so well. She has the Wisdom to direct affairs of the Agency better than before.
“I pray that God will help us, the followers to live up to expectations,” she said.
In the same vein, Comrade Aliyu Abubakar who responded to the Presidential prerogative with satisfaction.
“In the last four years, if there is anyone to thank for the progress of this office apart from God, it is our mother. She has given a lot of us opportunities, where many of us could not had dreamt of being, she had supported us to be there.
“We are happy that in the last four years, you had been kind to us and we are grateful to God for that. On behalf of all the Unions in the Agency, we pray that Almighty God will give you the wisdom, knowledge and power to take the Agency to higher heights,’’ he said.
Dr. Emmanuel Abang, Senior Special Assistant to Akobundu who earlier served as Director PDI in the Agency said
It is gratifying to say all the departments, units and staff contributed immensely in supporting this great amazon to record successes in the last four years. A life of an Agency in four years is no mean feat. We are all proud to be part of the success.Our Boss appreciates all of us for collaborating with her. It is true that a lot is still expected from her and with God and support of all us, the Agency will soar higher in the next four years so that we Can have the Africa we want, `The Nigeria we want’ and the ‘AUDA-NEPAD/APRM Nigeria We Want,” he said.
Also, Mr. Jubril Muhammed, a retired Director of Administration and Finance (DAF) in the Agency expressed gladness over the reappointment.
“Princess Akobundu is full of wise counsel. She has been so nice to me. Her advice even helps one to go about personal life in a better way. That is my personal experience and I wish her all the best in life”.
Mr. Abolade Ogundimu, Media Assistant to the Agency’s Boss said
her simplicity and humility in service will surely open better doors for her. She is a rare leader to all those who are privileged to work with her, from the least to the topmost.Hon. Princess Akobundu is above board in many ways. Her tribe is humanity, her religion is fairness to all.
“What else do you which such an enigma than success, success and success in all her engagements. I thank President Buhari for providing the platform for the nation to benefit more from Princess Akobundu’s visionary and passionate wealth of selfless service to humanity,” he said.
It is on record that the Agency had made some giant strides within the last four years of Akobundu’s dynamic leadership.
Her constructive and meaningful participation at continental for a earned her membership of African Union-APRM Taskforce Taskforce Committee on Governance Response to COVID-19 and other pandemics.
It would be recalled that President Buhari accented to Second Peer Review of the Country in 2019 to be conducted by APRM Nigeria under the stewardship of Akobundu, the exercise had been ongoing since July,2020 to gather adequate data on how to better deepen good governance and socio-economic development in the Country.
Currently, through AUDA-NEPAD Nigeria, Smallholder Farmers in the country who constitute about 90 percent of Nigeria’s farmers to be empowered with requisite skills and inputs that would enhance their productivity and prosperity at the grassroots.
The Programme would be implemented through counterpart funding by developed partners and state governments in the country, expected to commence after inauguration of its National Steering Committee to be chaired by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara State.
Obviously, the nation stands to derive more benefits of having a discerning and visionary amazon as the Boss of its Development and Governance Agency.