ISABELA CITY, BASILAN -- Governor Jum Akbar has declared her inauguration into office Thursday as "one of the historic moments in my public life."

Akbar, who ran under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD ticket, emerged as the winner in the three-cornered gubernatorial race in the May 10 automated elections by garnering 69,350 votes.

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Akbar, who is serving her second term as govrnor, cited two important reasons why her oath-taking Thursday as historic one.

"First, in my political life, I have realized that the people of Basilan still needs me and believe and respect my system of governance, despite of the trials and hardship that my administration has encountered in the past three years," Akbar said.

"Second, the good people of this province, the Basileños made me part of the history of this beautiful province, for being the first and the re-elected lady governor of Basilan and perhaps throughout the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm)," Akbar added.

"I am greatly honoured and humbled by this rare honor and privilege," she said.

Akbar noted the Basileños respect her as shown by the fresh mandate "of having me re-elected in my second term as your provincial governor" despite being a woman.

"By your acts and faith in my administration, I will then faithfully commit myself, with the help of our Almighty Allah to continue to work hard for the development of our province," she said.

She said the Provincial Government under her stewardship will work out to provide the Basileños the accessibility of the basic social services.

She described the recently-held automated election as free from intimidation, coercion and dictatorial mandates "from those powerful."

"All of us are winners because we are all men and women of goodwill whom I need to work with to promote better understanding, reconciliation and new beginnings among us and among our people," she declared.

"Indeed, I have no precise words to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone," she said.

Akbar's oath of office was administered by Regional Trial Court Judge Leo Principe, which was witnessed by officials of the different government agencies to include the police and military as well as civic organizations.

Only Akbar was inaugurated into office Thursday since Vice Governor Alrasheed Sakkalahul was in Manila.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to hold a special election in the town of Al-Barka to be able for the poll body to proclaim the winners in the Provincial Board race. (Bong Garcia)