A member of the House of Representatives, Onofiok Luke, has formally declared his intention to contest the 2023 Akwa Ibom governorship election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Mr Luke made the declaration in Uyo on Wednesday which was his 44th birthday and 14th marriage anniversary, witnessed by a large crowd of PDP members, his supporters and admirers.
In a speech that drew applause from the crowd, Mr Luke, who is the chairman, House of Reps Committee on Judiciary and a former speaker of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, said past leaders, including the current Governor Udom Emmanuel, had laid the infrastructural foundation in the state, and that it was now time to build the people.
“Dear Akwa Ibom people, we have built roads and the infrastructure built has opened up our dear state and brought opportunities,” he said from the podium. “It is now time to build our people.”
The remark is in tandem with Mr Luke’s campaign focus and “social contract” which is “building together and growing together”.
“If we are going to build together then we must grow together. That was an important lesson that our mother taught us. She never left any of my siblings behind. And what does it mean? It means no nobody will be left behind!”
The lawmaker, accompanied by his wife, Uduak, said he is “fully prepared” to lead Akwa Ibom as its governor, and that he would hit the ground running if elected by the people.
He said if elected governor his policy direction would rest on nine pillars: food sufficiency and agricultural development, education, healthcare, technology development, entrepreneurial and industrial development, tourism, sports and entertainment, youth, women and social inclusion, security, environment and infrastructure, good governance and administration.
‘Akwa Ibom blessed with good leaders’
Meanwhile, Mr Luke said Akwa Ibom State has been blessed with good leaders.
“We have been blessed with good leaders who have contributed in great measure towards the development of the State, with transformative projects and progressive policies in areas such as Agriculture, Education, and Infrastructure etc.
“One example of such transformative policies is the area of education, free and compulsory education programme, which was initiated by the administration of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio and sustained by the administration of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel with the aim of improving access to the education for young people.
“Our state’s Aviation development is another example in this regard. The Victor Attah International was initiated by Governor Victor Attah. The airport was built by Governor Godswill Akpabio whose administration landed the first plane and commenced commercial activities. Governor Udom has since continued with this vision, leading to the bedding of an airline – Ibom Air and the implementation of various improvements at the airport and today effort is being made towards the completion of the MRO.”
Mr Luke said if elected governor his focus would be on “human resources”.
“My objective is to rally the abundant human resources towards building a vibrant and diverse economy in Akwa Ibom State, while leveraging our infrastructural development and active youthful population to create jobs and provide visionary and selfless leadership to consolidate on the gains of past and present administrations,” he said.