¶By Prince Bassey Jnr, UYO
The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon (Barr) Onofiok Luke, Thursday, said he would forever be grateful to Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, the Senate Minority Leader and Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District at the red chambers of the National Assembly for discovering the leadership qualities in him.
Speaker Luke stated this during the presentation of a paper on “The Falling Standard of Secondary Education And The Challenges of Future Leaders (Moral Etiquette As A Case Study)” at a one-day symposium organized by the Office of the Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Social Reorientation in partnership with Gospel 24/7 Media for Secondary Schools in Uyo Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State.
He said, “In 2002, Chief Godswill Akpabio discovered me. He told me, I see in you a greater future for Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria. I want you to work closely with me. He made me his personal assistant.
The Speaker who spoke glowingly about his elevation to the position of the number three man in the state said, “My standing before you today is because of the amazing grace of God. He made me a Godly champion. I never expected to be the number three man in Akwa Ibom State today. Even during the last general elections, the government of the day had their preferred candidate but to God’s Glory, I won overwhelmingly.
“You must be humble because pride destroys humanity but humility can take you to any height. There’s nothing on earth to be proud of. Whatsoever you are today, another man had attained that height before you. To the Glory of God, I’m a beneficiary of humility.”
Barr Luke further said, “When I was 13, my father who was a lawyer died, my mum had to cater for the five of us. I initially wanted to become a journalist but on the day my father was buried, his wig and gown were handed to me and my mother encouraged me to continue from where my father stopped. That was the beginning of my journey as a lawyer. I will soon become a journalist because of my passion for the profession. I need to write about the things that are wrong.
“I’m in public service today not because of the glory attached to it, but to afford me the opportunity to serve humanity in a greater capacity.
“Most often, people ask me why I keep helping people. I believe that the best investment you can ever make is investing in people. In the future, you will reap the from that investment.
“I’m saying these things not because I want to boast but because I want you to connect with the young boy whom God has raised to sit with Kings. With God, all things are possible.”
Admonishing the students, Barr Onofiok Luke posited that sound Christian values makes up the foundation of every successful society and encouraged them to put God first in their academic pursuits.
Those who also delivered lectures at the symposium included the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Housing and Special Duties, Mr. Akan Okon and Mr. Nsikan Johnny, MD/CEO, Nsik Motors Limited who was represented by Mr. Adekunle Cephas Adewale, Head, Admin/Personnel of the Transport company while the Senior Pastor, Holy Ghost Ambassadors and Grand Patron – The Making of Godly Champion – 2017, Apostle Nyeneime Andy, gave a brief exhortation.
Interestingly, the Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Social Reorientation, Mr Ekpeno Gold who was the Chief Organizer of the event ceased the moment to celebrate the Speaker who turned 39 on Thursday by cutting a cake with him followed by an intercessory prayer.
The event which was held at Community Comprehensive Secondary School, Aka Offot, Uyo, also featured recitation of the Dakkada Creed in English and Ibibio languages, talents display, debate by schools as well as an entrepreneurial exposure and was attended by over 1,000 students across different secondary schools in the Senatorial District.