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Sunday, 1 July 2018

Onofiok Luke A Case of When a Man's Good Deeds Speaks for Him By Aniekan Udofia

Nkana village in Etinan Local Government Area stood still for Rt Hon. Barr Onofiok  Akpan Luke who had come to consult the State Chairman of the People's Democratic Party(PDP) Obong Paul Ekpo to intimate him on his intention to run for the seat of Etinan Federal Constituency.

Despite the heavy rain, the people came out in their numbers to receive the Rt Honourable Speaker. One would have assumed that the visit of the people's and speaking Speaker will be a total flop with the heavy rain but  this was not to be as the people defied the rains to roll the drums for a man who has clearly epitomizes selflessness in governance. A lady dressed in a T-shirt with the inscription G3 for Onofiok Luke joked with her colleagues saying they must all enter the rain to welcome their principal because no matter the cost of their hair he would give them money enough to cover for it. And true to it , he didn't leave them comfortless.

The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly arrived Nkana to a rousing welcome with several big wigs from Nsit Ibom, Nsit Ubium and Etinan accompanying him. One after the other they took their turns to speak. Of particular note was Ambassador Dr. Andrew Unwanta the Chairman Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly  Service Commission who said he was not ready for the battle that will arise from selling a bad candidate at the 2019 General Elections, went on to say that in Onofiok Luke he has found a good product that can sell itself, thus he has fully thrown his weight to support the ambition of the Speaker. He narrated his ordeal in the 2015 General Elections and said he didn't want a repeat of such. He cautioned that his support for the Speaker's ambition should not be seen as an Iman Son standing against the aspiration of Iman since the Federal Constituency was about three Local Government Areas not particularly about one. Of course Ambassador Unwanta  is right as the Federal Constituency is not the same as the  State Constituency. In the Federal Constituency we are all bound by one interest getting the right man or woman for the job as long as he or she is from one of the three Local Government Areas that make up the Constituency and zoning arrangement in the Federal Constituency favours. So it is not surprising to see an Nsit Ibom son Rt Hon. Anietie Etuk being the Director General of the Onofiok Luke  Campaign an Nsit Ubium son for an office he too could have had a shot at if he were selfish.

The Chairman of Nsit Ibom Local Government Area Hon. Eric Akpan said Nsit Ibom would support Onofiok Luke Ninety Eight percent because it is the easiest route to Nsit Ibom taking their turn when next the position opens. Hon. Akpan extolled the virtues of Onofiok Luke and concluded that he is well deserving of the position he is seeking.

 Endorsements continued to pour in for the speaker from the elders to the women and the youth, everyone who spoke said Onofiok Luke is a good man that has shown capacity and also love for the people. And they believe a higher calling in legislative affairs for him will bring a higher reward for the Federal Constituency.

Speaking on the four cardinal phrases that define his aspiration: The Grace, The Man, The Voice and The Experience Onofiok Luke took out time to tell the people why he is the right man for the job. He enumerated the experience that has prepared him for the job and told the people he already has two bills that he would sponsor in the Green Chambers when he gets there.

The support base for Onofiok Luke is massive. According to the Speaker the three Chairmen of the Local Government Areas are in support of his ambition, 12 chapter officers in Etinan, 13 in Nsit Ibom and 18 in Nsit Ubium are all in support of his ambition. 3 Vice Chairmen of the Local Government, 3 Leaders of the Legislature, 9 Ward Chairmen in Etinan, 10 in Nsit Ibom and  10 in Nsit Ubium join the list of many supporters. And these supporters pledge their total support for him because of his person and his selflessness.

When Onofiok Luke said "My House of Reps ambition is fuelled by the yearnings and aspirations of the people Etinan Federal Constituency who seek a vocal and loud voice to articulate their interests in the national assembly." It was truly borne out of the strong faith that the people have in him. Many a time politicians have always hidden under the cover that my people say I should run for the office to declare their interest but for Onofiok Luke it has sincerely been the people yearning for him to run.

Come to think of it who would have a product like the Rt Hon Speaker and would not flaunt him and also  seek a higher calling for him. In Onofiok Luke many have found hope, in Onofiok Luke hospital bills have been paid , in Onofiok Luke school fees have been paid, in Onofiok Luke food has been on the table of the widows and even widowers, in Onofiok Luke shelter has been on the head of the homeless, in Onofiok  petty businesses have been established to empower people, in Onofiok Luke is a renewed hope of better future for many. Little wonder the profile of this man has continually soared.

The 2019 General Elections will be a defining moment in our country Nigeria and particularly Akwa Ibom State where the party in government is not the same as the  party at the Centre. If President Muhammadu Buhari's integrity were never to come into question and his age truly defining a man that fears nothing to lose, then the 2019  General Elections will be decided by votes. It is almost certain that votes will count in Nigeria come 2019 elections and how popular the candidate of a party will show the party's seriousness. It is on this ground that the PDP which has Onofiok Luke will source for several of his kind to win elections. But his kind don't come by name but by good deeds. It is these good deeds that have spoken for the man and the book of remembrance is always opened when it concerns him.

The apparatus for rigging elections are not available to states that are not of the same party with the government at the centre neither it is a guarantee that it is available for the ruling party given the President's disposition. Meaning opposition States will desire more than anything the elections to be kept on the ground , what some will call a level playing field. When this level playing field is provided what name can play will be the next question. In a Etinan Federal Constituency it is as certain as the rising of the sun that Onofiok Luke will win any elections that a level playing field is provided. So why risk an unpopular candidate when the risk of being an opposition party seeking election is more grave and you dig another grave failing to choose the right candidate.

When the State Chairman of the PDP obong Paul Ekpo said the party was determined to return the party to the people . It is  clear that such move is in the best interest of the party. If we have ever bothered to know about the antecedent of the man in charge of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the State as the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Mr Mike Igini, then we would know that there will be elections in Akwa Ibom State. At several fora  Mr Igini has stated his resolve to conduct election and not selection in Akwa Ibom State. So the business almost certainly may no longer be  as usual.

Onofiok Luke has sown seeds that will germinate in any elections concerning him. His support for a candidate may even be enough to see such a candidate succeed not to talk of himself being the candidate.

The consultation of Obong Paul Ekpo could have just passed as a mere ritual but not when it concerns Onofiok Luke. The people must make a statement about it. And that statement was loudly made in Etinan. It became a case of since we can't beat them let us join them because whatever concerns the man Onofiok Luke has a "tsunamic" effect.

Again I say that Rt Hon. Barr. Onofiok Akpan Luke was created for such a time as this. It will be defining moment for Etinan Federal Constituency in 2019 and many have already began to speak that in Onofiok Akpan Luke they trust. Trust is sacred and if Onofiok Luke has held it for this long without betraying it, better days are ahead for the Federal Constituency. We all pledge allegiance to the Federal Constituency and not Local Government so it will not be a big deal for the support for Onofiok Luke's ambition to be stronger in Nsit Ibom and Etinan and when Nsit Ubium  also give total support it must not be because Onofiok Luke is from Nsit Ubium but that he is the best for all. A new dawn beacons in Etinan federal constituency.