From civil service to community service…life of an Amazon at 60
Amidat Abimbola Aduke Anifowoshe has indeed inscribed her name on the sands of time, particularly in Lagos State Civil Service (Ministry of Education, District VI) where she held sway as Permanent Secretary/Tutor-General. Little wonder the Blue Roof Hall at Lagos Television (LTV) premises, venue of her pen down/60th birthday party that was held recently was filled to full capacity with overflow.
The well-attended party had in attendance the Deputy Governor Lagos State, Her Excelency Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who represented the governor, His Excelency Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with Alhaji Saheed Adebule, husband of the deputy governor as chairman of the occasion. Other guests at the event include members of the State Executive Council and members of the state House of Assembly, the Oba of Epe, as well as family, friends and well-wishers.
Born on November 1, 1956, to the family of Onigemo Alamuwa of Isale Eko (Lagos Island), the educationist on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, pulled out of the civil service officially, following her attainment of the mandatory retirement age of 60.
Amidat or Aduke as she is fondly called, attended Islamiyyah Ahmadiya School Elegbaata-Offin in Lagos Island for her primary education in 1969, and Egbado High School Igbogila now Yewa Secondary School Igbogila, Ogun State for her secondary education between 1970 and 1974. As president of the school old students association, the school improved with laudable educational development projects.
A graduate of Business Administration from University of District of Columbia (UDC), Washington D.C; she holds a post-graduate diploma in education from the University of Lagos Akoka, which she bagged in 1992, a diploma in Information Technology from Yaba College of Technology in 2010
She was appointed the principal of Ansar-u-Deen Girls High School, Itire, Lagos in 2003, where she held forth till 2007 before being re-deployed as principal to Ransome Kuti Memorial Grammar School, Mushin, after it was handed over to the missionary.
The deputy governor described her as a dedicated and committed civil servant, saying that she will be greatly missed in the State Civil Service, particularly in the Ministry of Education. She, however, urged other civil servants to emulate her.
As a thoroughbred professional, Amidat was a senior member of All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), and was vice chairman Mushin Zone in Education District VI. This position she held with unbroken service and no blemishes before her appointment as permanent secretary.
Shortly after the party, the beautiful ebony black took out time to speak to this reporter on life at 60, career and plans for the future.
You are 60 and you are officially pulling out of the civil service, what is it like to you?
With an infectious smile she said: “I’m grateful to God for life. I feel so joyful and great because there is nothing more I could have from the Almighty God but a sound health, mind and wonderful career that ended at the highest peak.”
“I’m also grateful to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for finding me worthy and capable of serving as a Permanent Secretary/Tutor-General in the state under his administration towards the end of my career. May the Almighty bless him more and grant all his heart desire,” she added.
On her next line of action, she says, “I will be engaging more in community development and service, particularly youth development. As you know, the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. It is said that the best legacy you can give to youths is education and development.”
“I will align with the popular saying…don’t give a fish but teach me how to catch the fish and I will fend for myself. I believe that when the youths are developed and empowered they will achieve and crime will be drastically reduced if not totally eradicated. I will do all within my means to assist them because they are the leaders of tomorrow,” she added.
Asked what informed her decision to take to youth development instead of women, the grandmother and wife of the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State, Architect Wasiu Abiola Anifowoshe, said: “As a teacher, I started from the junior secondary school, and I cherished the adolescents.
“Majority of them cannot tell what they undergo daily in their quest to be meaningful in life. As a psychologist and a teacher, I have realized that it is important to develop the youths because when they are developed they become responsible men and women. Again, when you develop the youths, they in return develop the community.”
For her, there is no problem with the Nigerian educational system; rather, the challenge is implementation of the good policies that have been formulated. “The implementation of policies is critical to the educational sector development in Nigeria. And for us to have good policy implementation, there is need for teachers capacity development, which Lagos State government is really interested and has started such programmes.
“Also, there is need for facility upgrade and development. This the administration of governor Akinwunmi Ambode has taken as top priority. When there are good and adequate facilities, conducive for learning, it helps in the development of both the youth and the teachers,” she enthused.
A member of various professional organisations including, Chartered Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria (IPAN), National Institute of Public Relation (NIPR), National Institute of Management (NIM), National Institute of Corporate Administration (NICA), National Institute of Professional Educator (NIPE), Teachers Registration Council, and Lagos State Body of Permanent Secretaries.
As an indisputable and one of the most experienced and senior substantive directors in the state teaching service, Amidat was honoured with various awards including that of the Muslim Teachers Association of Nigeria in 2015. The Army Children Junior High School also honoured her for her contribution to the growth, progress and development of the school and the education district.