By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Another top aspirant in the governorship race in Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Onofiok Luke has declared to ensure no dislocation in development templates laid down by the past leaders of the state, if elected governor in 2023.
Luke acknowledged the legacies laid by former governors Obong Victor Attah, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the industrialisation revolution of the incumbent governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel as footprints development that have advanced the state to commodity hubs.
The governorship hopeful made the declaration yesterday, when he made a consultative visits to the leadership of the State Chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the traditional rulers of his local government area, Nsit Ubium, led by HRM Nteyin Solomon Etuk, the Oku Ibom Ibibio, on Wednesday to officially inform them of his governorship ambition.
Onofiok, who is also the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary said he had prepared for an opportunity to be the governor of the state, and had carefully identified needs of different communities.
He stressed that he would prioritise the development of human capacity in areas of agriculture, entrepreneurship, aviation and maritime, where the state has comparative advantage, emphasising that Akwa Ibom under his leadership would raise a pool of qualified manpower with required competence to compete in the emerging industrialised economy 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.”
“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 is 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 secretariat in Uyo, state chairman of the PDP, Mr. Aniekan Akpan, who served alongside Luke, in the House of Assembly between 2011-2015, said Luke is a committed party man.
“You are a founding member of the party. We know you as a committed party man. The party appreciates you.”
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 Oku Ibom Ibibio 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 out 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.”
“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 maximize them wisely.”
The Patriarch of Ibibio nation, advised Mr 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.