The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Onofiok Luke has emphasised continuity in the development of Akwa Ibom State, saying he would build on the development templates and legacies laid by former governors of the state, including Victor Attah, Godswill Akpabio and the industrialisation revolution of the incumbent Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
Luke, who is one of the governorship aspirants in Akwa Ibom State, consulted the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and the traditional rulers of his local government area, Nsit Ubium, led by Nteyin Solomon Etuk, the Oku Ibom Ibibio about his ambition.
He said he had prepared for an opportunity to be the governor of the state, and had carefully identified needs of different communities in the state, as such he would ensure that there is no “dislocation in development” started by the past leaders of the state.
“I have been incubated in the leadership womb of this state for 15 years. I have interfaced with all strata of the state and her people; I know their challenges. With this exposure, I know the needs of the women, the youths and students. I have in the last 10 years carefully collated the specific needs of our communities and they have formed part of my social contract,” he said.
He pledged to prioritise the development of human capacity in areas such as agriculture, entrepreneurship, aviation and maritime, where the state has competitive advantage.
The aspirant also emphasised that the state under his leadership would raise a pool of qualified manpower with required competence to compete in the emerging industrialised economy of the state.
“We have built infrastructure in this state; we will continue to build on infrastructure but we have to build people. We will build the capacity of our young men and women to match the human capacity needs.
“Akwa Ibom is a largely rural and agrarian community, to close the economic gap between our people and the enormous infrastructural development we have already, the next phase of industrialisation will be agro-based and value chain development. We will build more commodity hubs, we are going to make effective use of existing hubs and increase them across the state to ensure that our people have value for their agro produce.”
The National Assembly member currently representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium federal constituency, said he was passionate about primary healthcare development and has developed a template that would guarantee accessibility and affordability of healthcare services in rural communities.
While appealing for the party’s support, as well as the blessings of the traditional institution, Luke said he would run an inclusive government.
Receiving the aspirant at the party’s secretariat in Uyo, state chairman of the PDP, Aniekan Akpan, who served alongside Luke, in the House of Assembly between 2011-2015, described Luke as a committed party man.
“You are a founding member of the party. We know you as a committed party man. The party appreciates you,” he said.
The chairman encouraged the aspirant and his supporters to go on with their consultations and campaigns with decorum and decency, and said that the party was open to every aspirant to express himself.
Earlier, the OkuIbom Ibibom who is also the Paramount Ruler of Nsit Ubium, Nteyin Solomon Etuk, said he was impressed at the depth of plans for the state as elaborately presented by the aspirant
“Having listened to you and members of your team, I am impressed by your speeches. I am happy to say that you have shown a high level of maturity by comporting and conducting yourselves in a manner deserving my commendation. This is what is expected of public office holders,” he said.
The monarch further said: “You are a young, dynamic and energetic man, full of zeal and enthusiasm to offer leadership to the people. God has endowed you with these qualities, and I urge you to maximise them wisely.”
The Patriarch of Ibibio nation, advised Luke and his team to keep their campaigns in a manner of “polite political communication devoid of hate speeches and hate messages.”
Meanwhile, Barr. Luke, has hinted that a full blueprint for his governorship will be unveiled on Wednesday 16th March 2022 at the Ibom hall grounds; even as he donated N5 million for the completion of the auditorium at the PDP secretariat in the state.