The major responsibility of a legislator anyway in the world is to make laws for the good governance of the society.
Accordingly, those elected into the legislature are usually immersed in law making process to justify their mandate.
On the other hand, some legislators with vision and progressive ideas veer into other populist activities that have the potentialities and capabilities to touch the lives of their people.
The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon (Barr) Onofiok Akpan Luke, is one of the notable visionary legislators of the times.
Luke, who is serving his second-term in the State Assembly, was first elected five years ago by the good people of Nsit Ubium State Constituency, after leaving gargantuan feats as the pioneer Speaker of the 109-member Nigerian Youth Parliament; a non-stipendiary institution put together by then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to help generate inputs from elite Nigerian youths into the country’s mainstream governance.
Apart from his legislative functions, Speaker Luke, who recently turned 38, has carved out a niche for himself as one with unassailable penchant for grassroots empowerment, wealth creation for citizens and has attracted development projects to not just Nsit Ubium Local Gocernment Area where he represents, but the entire Akwa Ibom State.
As a Lawmaker, the Rt Hon Onofiok Luke has impacted positively on so many lives. His philanthropy knows no bound. His political operation knows no party but all Akwa Ibom indigenes. Little wonder, his house in Ewet Housing Estate, is always a mecca of sort at all times.
It is worthy of note that, Barrister Luke is one of the few lawmakers (in the State and National level) who runs multiple schemes to empower youths and women as part of his constituency development projects. Some of the schemes are: the Constituency Transport Scheme (CTS) and the Seed Capital for Business Start-up (SCBS). The schemes have in the last five years economically empowered hundreds of households across Nsit Ubium state constituency which he represents in the House.
The Speaker is also the founder of The Onofiok Luke Legislative Internship Programme (TOLLIP), Nigeria’s only stipendiary internship programme designed to train youths on legislative basics, entrepreneurship, community development and volunteerism, as well as conflict resolution.
It will be recalled that in his first-term alone, Barr. Luke held two efficacious constituency briefings; in March 2012 and December 2013, where his predecessor and former member, Nsit Ubium State Constituency in the State House Of Assembly, Elder Aniefiok Thompson, openly declared that “lives would have been easier for not just the people of Nsit Ubium, but the entire Akwa Ibom people, if the State has two other politicians with equalled philanthropy power like Onofiok Luke”.
Aaron Burr, a succesful politician from the United States of America, said: “Never do today what you can put off til tomorrow. Delay may give clearer light as to what is best to be done. For the time being, thirty six (36) months have passed since the last official briefing. But, as Burr said, some delay would bring superlative and unmatched results.
Certainly, the countrified town of Nsit Ubium Local Government Area will be sparkling on Wednesday, 21st December, 2016, for Barr Luke’s third constituency briefing.
Already, Nsit Ubium constituents who are in high spirits say they will shirk all commercial and other activities, join several distinguished guests that are expected from far and near to witness a unique moment when many members of the Speaker’s constituency, would be empowered with various items to make them self-reliant and, possibly employers of labour.
Governor Udom Emmanuel and wife, Martha, the Deputy governor; Obong Moses Ekpo, all the thirteen (13) members of the National Assembly from Akwa Ibom State, members of the State Executive Council, House of Assembly members, clergymen, royal fathers, socio-political and cultural groups in the State have all confirmed their physical presence at the mega event, tagged; “Constituency thanksgiving service/briefing.
The event which has as its theme ‘celebrating God’s Amazing Grace’, will hold at the Nsit Ubium Local Government Council field, Ikot Edibon at 9.00am prompt.
It will however, afford the Ikot Etobo in Nsit Ubium born Speaker an opportunity to appreciate God for his benevolence upon his life and political career, and will also use the occasion to report progress to his constituents.
And I ask, where would you be when the amazing parliamentarian would be celebrating God’s amazing grace?