Breaking: Goodwill Message by the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Barr) Onofiok Luke, as Nigeria marks another democratic Transition

Goodwill Message by the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Barr) Onofiok Luke, as Nigeria marks another democratic Transition and Inauguration for Second Term of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, today, Wednesday, May 29, 2019

It has pleased the Almighty God that we witness this historic occasion marking yet another serene democratic transition in our country and in our state.

For 20 years, our people have persistently expressed profound faith in popular governance despite the many negatives confronting us. Today we enjoy the privileges which come with democracy but not without some hard price for them.
What is however important in the journey is not the challenges which we face as we experiment representative governance, but the leadership lessons learnt, and how much these lessons will impact democracy in our country the next 20 years and beyond.

I use this opportunity to congratulate their Excellencies, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on their emergence as those with the baton of governance in this epochal year in our country. I also congratulate very specially, our dear Governor and the Captain of ‘Team Akwa Ibom’, His Excellency, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, whose re-election has been a material reiteration of God’s place in the affairs of men. I have no doubt that His Excellency will continue to deliver on his campaign promises, and will honour every undertaking which rallied Akwa Ibom people round him in the last elections. I am positive that he will, above all, continue to protect the democratic ideals such as political inclusion which is one of the cherished hallmarks of the politics of Akwa Ibom state under his leadership.

I believe that the effulgence of Godly leadership will be fully manifest as we aim for a greater Akwa Ibom State in the new dispensation.

As we envisage a higher level of robust leadership, I urge our people to transit from the momentary concerns of politics to concrete issues of governance, as this will be more beneficial to our collective estate going forward. Akwa Ibom interest in the Nigerian comity of state must be made to tower above the interests of any individual or groups. Now that we have escaped the snare of the fowler, we must embrace the very things which make us one people and pursue a common progressive objective. I am delighted that against the convulsive winds of dark politics, the disquiets and the threats, we have today witnessed one of the most peaceful political transitions ever in our land. I am happy that all of us, from every family, village, and constituency, have seized the moment to announce ourselves to the entire world that we are perhaps a more assertive people than we were ever known to be. We have made a statement which defines us as a people who are ready to stand up for the best and nothing less. And having done that, it is now time to consolidate this resolute spirit by supporting government to deliver on its own end of the bargain.

We in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly have led by example. We have in the last 4 years established a strong legislative institution which commitment is to the advancement of the progressive agenda of government. We have stuck fervently with our ambition of giving legislative support and fertilising the ideas of other arms of government so long as those are in the ultimate best interest of Akwa Ibom people. I believe that this seed will grow, flourish and nourish the completion agenda of the current administration and administrations after it.

While we celebrate this 20-year milestone, let us not forget that ours is but a perfect system. Our country and the leadership need to wake up to the fresh challenge of leadership in a democratic society. We need to collaborate across party lines; we need to be more patriots than politicians. The killings and extreme insecurity across Nigeria for instance must be addressed quickly. Poverty and lack must be fought with little consideration for what is politically correct in the course of that fight. Democracy is no democracy if the citizens cannot access the dividends which democracy accrues. I have recommended a bi-partisan approach to addressing these myriads of challenges facing our nation at this time.

It is my hope that we will find the courage to lead with a more patriotic spirit and commitment to the overall wellbeing of our nation. I am certain that as our state steps into a fresh era of leadership, unencumbered by political distraction of the past, we will be doing so with the aim of actualising the Akwa Ibom project which is to build for ourselves an educated, healthy, prosperous and united state under one leadership and under one God.

I wish His Excellency our Governor, another sterling 4 years of productive leadership, and Akwa Ibom people another era of responsive democracy.