By Florence Alor
For about one hour last October, Mrs. Veronica Akpan, Chief Superintendent of Police and the first woman to head the intelligence unit of the Lagos State Police Command held women at the 21th anniversary of God of Peace Women Ministry spell bound by her testimony. It was the testimony of her rise in the police force and the crowning of her joy with a baby after about 10 years of marriage.
Akpan who spoke after the guest speaker at the event, Pastor Mrs. Opuanya Acha had charged the women to apply wisdom in the management of their homes did not mince words telling of the goodness of the Lord and how the Lord brought an end to her shame.
Her testimony became more intriguing as she shared how she suffered ridicule and at the same time elicited undue concern from people as a result of her supposed fruitlessness. She recalled how somebody embarrassed her when she was celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary on Facebook. “The person said to me there was no reason for my celebration. In fact the person wrote on my Facebook wall, “I don’t know what to write because there is nothing to show for your marriage.”
That comment almost spoilt her day. But because she had resolved not to allow anything to steal her joy she resolved to carry on. She said there was another time a woman came to her and said she was ready to help her carry her pregnancy in case her womb could not hold pregnancy. But she gently turned down the offer. But as God would have it, the Lord showed up in due season. She got pregnant and was able to carry her own baby and delivered successfully about a year ago.
It was a turning point in her life. The miracle in her life was a contact point for many other women who had similar situation. They were able to tap into the grace in her life and have since become pregnant while some had given birth too.
She also shared the testimony of her miraculous elevation to the post of the officer in charge of the Intelligence unit of the whole of Lagos State Police Command pointing out that it could only have been God who could have done that. She noted that the position had always been reserved for men because it was believed that women did not have the carriage and capacity to run the office. But as God would have it, her boss did not hesitate to recommend her for the position when the office became vacant.
While challenging her listeners not to exhibit slothfulness in their places of assignment, she said, “I can tell you from my own life situation that you are the one that can stop yourself from getting to the top. God is always ready to take us to the top but then we need to be diligent. It is in our diligence that God would step in. In my case God helped me to exhibit due diligence in the office and that was why I was promoted to be in charge of the whole of the intelligence unit in Lagos State Police Command and thereby was the first woman to occupy the position. It can only be God at work.”
Earlier, she had charged the women to be security conscious. She said, “Make sure you’re conscious of yourself wherever you find yourself. Be aware of your surroundings. If you see strange things, people or strange event around your area raise the alarm. Let your phone be your companion.”
She told the women that gender based violence is on the increase. “Women are now stabbing husbands to death. This is because some women are bottling anger. And when we bottle this emotion for a long time it boomerangs. There are cases of women who are being molested sexually and otherwise. Because we are emotionally involved we don’t want to speak. Some speak through violence. This is not right.”
She said many of the reports coming to the police indicate that abuse is now on both the male and female end. “Our children are serious victims. Some mothers violate their male children. We have had to attend to cases where older women were caught fondling with the private parts of young boys. We see cases of fathers abusing their daughters. There was the case of a woman who had three daughters and all the girls were being violated by their father”
She then urged the women to be bold enough to report cases of abuse while also urging them to dissuade from abusing young people. “The situation that we find ourselves as a country today is worrisome. The vigilance should be on many ends. We as mothers have a responsibility to put our homes in order by eschewing all forms of violence.”
Pastor Mrs. Acha in her message espoused the topic, New Wine noting that new wine indicates the Holy Spirit assuring that God was going to visit all the women in their homes. She said, “It is the time for celebration. It’s about a miraculous season. It’s a time of celebration, harvest.”
She pleaded with the women not to give in to self-pity noting that it separates one from reality adding, “I will like to urge you to be temperate in all things, be compassionate and look for the good of others. Be compassionate. Change your strategy. Don’t give Satan what he wants. Stop being negative, envious and jealous. Envious people don’t like people that are happy. Stop being jealous of other people because you don’t know the struggle they are going through.”
She observed that “Some women are over sensitive. They read meaning to every statement and every word said about them. If they don’t talk about you you’re dead. Stop being over sensitive. Carry the new wine and forget what people say. We must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and not to self. Let the holy spirit move you not self. Spend less time thinking of personal things that tend to put you down. If somebody does not greet you why not greet the person.”
She said there was a time she took the decision to always be the first person to greet her maid. “I just wanted to know if I would die if I was the first person to greet my maid. So each morning before she opened her mouth to greet I would have greeted her. She was embarrassed. I did that for three days consecutively. And that was it.”
She stressed further, “Being oversensitive can be evil. It means you’re selfish. It is a symptom of pride. It means you’re taking things too personal. You are unspiritual. It makes it difficult for you to receive counsel. It hinders honest and open communication. It does not help relationship. You can fight it.”
The convener of the event, Rev. Mrs Olusola Kukoyi was full of gratitude to God for the 21st anniversary of the ministry as she radiated joy at the event. “I thank God that we are here to celebrate what God has done in the life of this ministry. It has only shown to us that it pays to work in unity. We would not have been here if we are not united. It is a thing of joy for us to get to where we are today.”