22 September, 2017

GOODWILL MESSAGE FROM THE RT. HON. SPEAKER OF THE AKWA IBOM STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, BARR. Onofiok Luke ON THE MARKING OF THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF AKWA IBOM STATE


PROTOCOL 

Distinguished honourable colleagues, I welcome you to this historic sitting today. We sit here today in this hallowed chambers as products of the future that was built thirty years ago by our founding fathers. These were great patriots of whom we are indeed privileged to succeed by our sheer sustenance of the 25-year-old legacy of the Akwa Ibom state house of assembly.

Dear colleagues, management and staff of the House of Assembly, it is indeed a privilege for me to partake in the celebration of thirty years of great exploits, abundance, multiplications from God, prosperity, peace and unity, in Akwa Ibom State, a state that was created on Wednesday, 23rd September 1987 by the then Military Administration of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.

I recall vividly the great joy, excitement and shouts of jubilations that filled the air when the news of the creation broke and the fears and uncertainties expressed by the people who gathered in clusters to share their mixed feelings over the development, not certain of what the future would bring the way of the occupants of the mainland part of the erstwhile Cross River State.

We have in the last 30 years made breathtaking milestones, and bountiful progress. We have made lofty attainments. We have also grappled with the ups and downs of propagating the vision of an ideal society.

In the face of all these, we can boldly say that we have been more than conquerors. As a people, we were given a land wherein our founding fathers resolved to stay together, united and indivisible. They bequeathed us an enviable legacy, one which has put eternal springs in our steps.

With state creation came expectations of development, particularly of the state capital, Uyo and thirty years later, it is obvious that development and transformation has come to the Land of Promise which has metamorphosed into the land of fulfillment. This is evidence in the various stages of transformation that the roundabout known then as the Circus, later the Ibom connection and much later, the Ibom plaza has undergone, as visitors to the state will be quick to point out.

From the Pioneer Military Administrator Tunde Ogbeha, to Godwin Abbe, to our own Idongesit Nkanga, our first democratically elected Governor, Obong Akpan Isemin, Yakubu Bako, Joseph Adewusi, John Ebiye, Architect Obong Victor Attah, Chief Godswill Akpabio and currently Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, it has been thirty years of development in terms of improved road network, of quality infrastructure and other life touching projects; which cut across the state, the Education, Health, Science and Technology, Environment , Agriculture and Economic sectors. There is still room for improvement.

The rapid development of Akwa Ibom State and the provision of world class infrastructure would however not to possible without the seal of approval by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly which has, for 25 years, provided sound legislations and served as the clearing House for the execution of projects through appropriation procedures.

From 20th January 1992 when the first Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly was constituted till date, the House has had men of integrity preside over its affairs. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the State, let me pay glowing tributes to my predecessors:

Rt. Hon. Chief Jimmy Jimmy Ntuen , Rt. Hon. Barrister Nse Ben Ekanem, and Rt. Hon. Barrister Henry Affang of the 1st Assembly. Rt. Hon. Barrister Bassey Essien, Rt. Hon. Chief Peter Linus Umoh of the 2nd Assembly. Rt. Hon. Chief Nelson Effiong of the 3rd Assembly. Rt. Hon. Ignatius Kevin Edet Rt. Hon. Anietie Etuk of the 4th Assembly. Rt. Hon. Elder Samuel Okon Ikon of the 5th Assembly and Rt. Hon. Elder Aniekan Uko in the first part of the 6th assembly.

They did their bit creditably well while on this seat before the mantle of leadership fell on me.

As the Peoples Assembly, the 6th Assembly is committed to the strengthening of our lawmaking, oversight and representation mandate, while our legislative engagement will center around the wellbeing of Akwa Ibom people, whose participation in the law making process, the public hearings, will always have opportunity to make inputs. All this is to ensure that the collective dreams, hopes and aspirations of the people are reflected in each legislation that is passed by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

As legislators, we are conscious of the role of history in the development of any society. We are interested in being on the positive side of history vis-à-vis the development of the state. With this in mind, we will continue to make our modest contributions towards the development of the state. We will continue to be on the side of the people and craft people-oriented legislations aimed at improving the well-being of the people of the state and the state as a whole.

We are therefore committed as a legislature and as individual stakeholders in the future of the state to ensure that the labours of our heroes past shall not in vain.

At 30, it is time for every Akwa Ibom person to show commitment to the Akwa Ibom project which is a united, educated, prosperous and healthy state filled with healthy people who are innovative and creative, ready to conquer new territories.

We must, as a state, thank God for the various stages and seasons. We have experienced the good times, the rough times, the prosperous times. We must also draw inspiration from the great stories we have read of over forbears and their exploits and accomplishments.

As we celebrate 30 years of statehood, we must think of our young generation. Any nation that thinks about her future pays serious attention and importance to her youthful population. As we proceed from this 30th anniversary celebration, we should begin to have a systemic and planned blueprint aimed towards constructively engaging our youths and children. We must consciously and structurally make investments that will provide the enabling environment for our children to realise their dreams and progress in life so that they will in turn be equipped to give back their quota towards the development of our state.

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of our dear state, it is time to support leadership at all levels with words of appreciation and encouragement. Let us celebrate the seemingly little accomplishments that will add up to tangible results over time. It is time for Akwa Ibom people to rise above name calling, bitterness, divisive tendencies and selfish personal interest.

Rather than use official resources to build and expand our personal business empires, let us, as we celebrate 30 years, use our various positions to expand the Akwa Ibom empire by developing human resources, creating an enabling environment for investors, and furthering the Akwa Ibom project which is a united, educated, prosperous and healthy state. As leaders, selflessness and patriotism should define our engagements in public service.

I look forward to our Golden Jubilee as a state in the next 20 years, at which time the things we have wished for and prayed for, would have been put in place.

On behalf of Nsit Ubium state constituency which I represent, and the 6th assembly which I preside over, I felicitate with His Excellency the Governor, and people of our state on this auspicious occasion of the 30th anniversary. May God help us grow as a healthy, prosperous, and educated people under one leadership and under one God. Amen

Happy anniversary, Akwa Ibom state!

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