Dr Bassey-Anwan Akra
Dr. Bassey-Anwan Akra, foremost educationist, is a woman of many firsts: First Student to become Principal of Union Secondary School Ibiaku, Itu, first African principal of Union and Edgerley Memorial Girls Secondary School, Calabar, first female Commissioner in the then Cross River State and by extension, the first woman to be appointed commissioner in the former Eastern Nigeria. She is also the first female member of the Governing Councils of the University of Ife, Ile Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, among others. Her fame began with the transformational leadership and coaching she brought to bear on her job first as teacher – the first old student to be employed by the school – and later as principal of Union. She was so revered by her students that most would take no action whether in school or at home during the holidays with considering how Mma Akra would view such actions.
A native of Use Ikot Oku in Ibiono- Ibom Local Government Area, Dr. Akra is a woman of great faith in God, an ordained minister and philanthropist. She was one of the first set of beneficiaries of the Eastern Nigeria Scholarship Scheme for girls to study science at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, graduating in 1965. She obtained her postgraduate and doctorate degrees in education and capped these with a postgraduate degree in Theology from Harvest International Ministerial Fellowship in 2000.
She was thrown into the national limelight when she was invited to Government House, Calabar by Captain Olumide Elegbede and announced as Honourable Commissioner for Health. She also acted as Commissioner for Education 1978- 1979.
Mma Akra is currently the President and Founder of Dr. Akra’s Mary Slessor International Foundation, founded in 1991. The Foundation has two Primary Schools and two Secondary Schools. Her hobbies include evangelism and witnessing for Christ. Which she does mostly in city centres and commercial centres. She is the Founder of Women Intercessors for Christ in Akwa Ibom State. She is biological mother to five successful children including Dr. Asukwo Mendie Archibong, a presidential candidate in the last election, and mother to thousands of her ex-students who have remained in close contacts through the years.
Akwa Ibom celebrates a pioneer.