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2019: AKHA Speaker, Onofiok Luke Flags off Campaign

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Ukpong Ukpong | Uyo

Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Speaker and PDP flagbearer for Etinan Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, on Sunday officially flag off his campaign in a church service held at Qua Iboe Church, Etinan Town with a pledge to run a people-centric representation.

Luke, accompanied by a spectrum of political heavy weights spanning the Federal Constituency, state and the country, including the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, who represented the governor, and members of the state executive council, the Chairman Conference of State House of Assembly Speakers and Cross River State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. John Labo and his Abia State Counterpart, Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kanu, the director general of the campaign organization, Rt. Hon. Anietie Etuk and members of the enlarged group.

The two term legislator took time to highlight his manifesto, pointing out that his aspiration is not borne out of the need to further a personal political agenda, but to manifest a God given agenda which entails security and economic development of Etinan Federal Constituency, galvanizing socioeconomic development of Akwa Ibom state and Nigeria as well as strengthen of legislative institution at all levels.

“In the performance of one of the functions of a legislator, which is representation, I’ll bring the dividends of democracy from the centre back to our men, women, youth, less privileged, physically challenged, religious and traditional institutions.

“I’ll defend the interest of the state, partnering with the continuing governor, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, from 2019 to 2023, to ensure that peace, security and prosperity enjoyed today because of his peaceful disposition is sustained”.

He also promised to advocate strongly the restructuring of Nigeria and devolution of power from the centre to the federating units where the bulk of responsibilities for the people are situated, noting that where there is sharing of constitutional responsibility between federal and state governments such as in the power sector, great results are achieved as seen in Ibom Power Plant, purchased and installation of brand new power sub stations, which he said has provided the people enhanced power supply.

“Imagine delisting such items from the exclusive legislative list and adding them to concurrent list and creating residual list for the federating units, you’ll see speedy development of the country and the states”.

Speaking further, he pledged to work towards actualizing state police to improve security and policing of the people, ensuring that unemployment is tackled squarely and the delisting of major investments from the exclusive list to enable states invest in them, saying if the state assembly had legislative competence over key sectors of economy, the state executive could have invested in construction of railway to improve transportation in the state.

On his level of preparedness to work for improvement of the lives of Nigerians, the Speaker drew attention to critical issues bothering the country’s telecommunications and media industries, informing the gathering that through research he was already armed with two bills that will impact positively on these key economic sectors, returning power to the people.

“No subscriber should have unwarranted text messages or calls. No telecommunications company should be able to advertise on your phone without your consent. I’m going to advocate the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, so that you are protected.

“With the convergence of media all over the globe, we need a single regulator for broadcasting and telecommunications therefore I will advocate the review of Nigeria Broadcasting Commission Act and Nigeria Communication Commission Act to produce a single regulator that will deliver dividends of democracy to subscribers”.

Luke reassured the people that he is going to the Green Chamber with a history of performance and credibility, adding “I have not used the Office of Member Nsit Ubium State Constituency to build a private empire, the empire I have built over the past seven and half years are the people across the nooks and crannies of Nsit Ubium State Constituency.

“I will continue the same record in Etinan Federal Constituency because I like being known for consistency.”

In his message, Governor Udom Emmanuel who was represented by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Nwoko, commended the Speaker for beginning his campaign with God.

The Governor urged him to ensure a hitch-free campaign that will be issue-based, adding that no matter what others may do, God will always be there to guide the Speaker.

Also speaking, Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District at the red chamber, Obong Bassey Albert, expressed happiness on Barr. Onofiok whom he described as a man of integrity.

The Senator harped on the need to support Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second term, adding that when Uyo and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts took their turn of Governorship slot, there was no interruption, as such, Governor Emmanuel must be supported to return to the Hilltop mansion.

In his goodwill message, the state PDP Chairman whose birthday coincided with the occasion, thanked Barr. Luke for acknowledging God first before setting out for campaign. He noted that, PDP will win at all levels in the forth coming general elections.

Meanwhile, the highpoint of the event was the dedication of Barr. Onofiok Luke’s campaign materials and prayer by clerics for the campaign team.

Present at the flag off were the former governor, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, the State PDP Publicity Secretary, Barr. Ini Emeobong and spouse, Chi; members of the State House of Assembly led by the House Leader, Rt. Hon. Udo Keirian Akpan as well as members of Legislators Wives Association, LEWA, led by the Speaker’s wife, Dr. Uduak Onofiok Luke.

Also in attendance were clerics, notably Bishop Emma Isong, Apostle John Ekoriko and Pastor Umoh Eno and others who graced the occasion.

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POLITICS

Udom Emmanuel Intimidated by the Rising Political Profile of Emmanuel Ekon

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“A golden fish has no hiding place”
The account of the biblical Joseph in the book of Genesis is an account that tells us that no matter human machinations against a man who has been destined for greatness, he will surely be made a great man.

Yesterday, the 7th day of April 2018, was another day in the history of a state where a sitting governor demonstrated fear over a rising political profile of a man whose performance has surpassed imaginations of antics of superlative performance, including the governor Udom himself.

It is now on record that since the existence of Abak federal constituency, there has never been a representative with such a huge positive impact on the constituents as the present representation of Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon. Ranging from human capacity development, infrastructure renaissance and intellectual development. His competency, dexterity, tenacity and prowess as a member of the House of Representatives has received accolades from across the country and the world.

In April 2018, the Akwa Ibom State council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, after careful consideration of Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon as a legislator, nominated him for a merit award and was presented to him during this year’s world press freedom day. As a legislator whose concerns are that of using the platform he occupies today for service and development of his constituency, state and the nation at large, continues to do what he knows how to do better.

The Akwa Ibom state council of Nigeria Union of Journalists again has to nominate him again for an award. This time, he was nominated because of his superlative performances. That of April was a merit award and now an award on performance. His nomination for this award was done without his knowledge not until a letter of notification was sent to him by the council.

When this development got to a non performing governor Udom Emmanuel, he rose against it. Immediately, leadership of the NUJ were summoned by the government and told in clear terms to withdraw the award or they would cut ties with the Council including the sponsorship of the program. The governor became very upset about the decision of the NUJ to honor the Lawmaker with such prestigious award when according to him, he was ganging up with Senator Godswill Akpabio to frustrate his second term ambition. See fear and intimidation!

It is a very disgraceful story of a governor dabbling into the affairs of an independent Union in the name of playing politics. I advise that the governor should be more concerned with how he would win votes and not the intimidation of the Journalists. One of the Union members said “We are not happy that the government is interfering in our activities. If they have issues, they should find a way and settle without using our platform to grind their axes.

The question is, does his order to withdraw the award that which will make Udom not to fail the 2019 gubernatorial election? No! His defeat is eminently staring at his face. His order to withdraw the award cannot also stop the people of Abak Federal Constituency from overwhelmingly giving their unalloyed supports to a man who has rewritten the history of the federal constituency in terms of effective and efficient representation.

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POLITICS

Essien Udim PDP Elders Extol High Rate of Poverty in Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Administration

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There is no doubt that Akwa Ibom people have experienced a sad departure from the traditional three square meal that characterised the administration of H.E Sen. Akpabio to the celebrated poverty occasioned by Gov. Udom’s Administration.

Recently, the PDP Elders particularly from Essien Udim extraction in a communique issued on the 29th day of November and intended to drum support for Gov. Udom, lauded the Governor on the rate of poverty in the state as ably promoted by his administration. The acclaimed elders had this to say;

“We are committed and here by ‘solidarize’ with the good governance of His Excellency Mr. Udom Emmanuel Governor of Akwa Ibom State, whose leadership in the state ‘and’ promoted security of lives an poverty….”

First it must be pointed out that the editor(s) and or authors of the said communique owe Essien Udim people an apology for daring to publish such work plagued with grammatical errors. Essien people are better than this.

Be that as it may, it is quite regrettable that the said elders who fed fat from the administration of Senator Akpabio are today extolling poverty and urging the Governor to continue to impoverish the state. Nothing can be more demeaning of these said elders than this self-seeking and lowly scripted message of solidarity. It shows that they are lacking in conscience and love for the future of Essien Udim and Akwa Ibom State at large.

This is one message that Gov Emmanuel should take with a pinch of salt. These men or elders should not be taken seriously. They are no less political jobbers who are self satisfying.

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POLITICS

Akwa Ibom PDP: APC planning to attack State House of Assembly Complex

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Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party through its Publicity Secretary, Com. Ini Ememobong says it has uncovered plans to attack the Akwa Ibom state house of assembly complex by APC mercenaries.

Full Press Statement

We are in receipt of credible intelligence highlighting plans by the opposition APC to use thugs to invade the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly and prevent the House from carrying out its legitimate business of law making. The thugs we have been reliably informed, are camped in Ikot Ekpene and will be conveyed in buses to uyo,. On arrival at uyo, they will be dropped at different locations (Abak road by secretariat junction, Itam junction, uyo village road by ikpa road) from where they are expected to board tricycles in pairs and head towards the assembly. Another set of thugs are expected to accompany the ousted lawmaker, Mr. Idongesit Ituen to attempt to force his way into the assembly. The motive of this invasion is to prevent the Speaker from declaring vacant the seat of the sacked legislator. This invasion has as its adjunct function, the creation of tension as a feeder to the desired invitation of ‘Federal might’ to close the assembly. However, the fact of the matter is that by the judgement of the Federal High Court, Uyo delivered in a suit filed by the self-embattled lawmaker( former Honourable Ituen), the court held inter alia that by his defection, he had lost his seat and ipso facto restrained the Speaker or any of the official of the Assembly from recognizing or granting access to the said former legislator. The Speaker had upon receipt of the judgement issued a statement indicating his obedience of the court order. That having been done, the seat of the ousted assemblyman had become vacant by the operation of law. So the intended invasion is unwarranted and in fact useless, as it’s aims are already defeated. The only available route for the Former Honourable member and his co-travellers is to obtain an order of a higher court vacating the judgement of the Federal High Court, Uyo which for all purposes is extant.

We have alerted security agencies to prevent any attack on the symbol of democracy. The State assembly must be protected and allowed to function properly without any distraction.

Signed:

Comrade Ini Ememobong
State Publicity Secretary
People’s Democratic Party
19112018

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2019: Akwa Ibom student group endorses Buhari, Ekere

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Cletus Ukpong

The National Association of Akwa Ibom State Students (NAAKISS) has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 election.

The group made known its endorsement of Mr Buhari during an event on Saturday in Uyo to mark the International Students’ Day.

The group, which praised Mr Buhari for his administration’s anti-corruption fight and the “reformation agenda”, also endorsed Nsima Ekere, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom.

The president of NAAKISS at the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osura, Chapter, Daramfon Odiong, moved a motion for the endorsement of Mr Buhari as “our candidate”, while the president of the University of Uyo (Uniuyo) chapter of the association, Ime Hanson, moved a motion for the endorsement of Mr Ekere.

NAAKISS has been having a running battle with the state government over the non-payment of bursary to students of Akwa Ibom origin studying in tertiary institutions across the country.

The student body in November last year organised a peaceful protest in Uyo against the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, for allegedly “refusing to show interest in their welfare.”

During the last Saturday event, Mr Odiong said Mr Emmanuel’s administration has made “little or no impact” on education, despite the “huge” money the state government receives monthly from the federation account.

He said apart from the bursary, the students from the state were no longer getting scholarships and grants from the state government.

“We the entire students of Akwa Ibom State origin choose to use this medium to ask these questions: How much is bursary? How much is Christmas carol (which is organised annually by the state government)?
“How much is the cost of political rallies?

“We have been ignored but our voices must be heard,” said Mr Odiong, as the large crowd of students who gathered at the private event centre in the city for the ceremony cheered on – clapping and shouting.

President Buhari’s aide, Ita Enang, and Mr Ekere’s running mate, Amadu Atai, were among the dignitaries present at the event.

After the event, the president of NAAKISS, Uniuyo chapter, Mr Hanson, told PREMIUM TIMES the last time students in the state received bursary, grants, and scholarships from the state government was in 2014 when Godswill Akpabio was governor.

“Since Governor Udom Emmanuel came into office, law students and medical students have not received the grants they used to get from the state government,” he said.
The student leader said they have confidence in Mr Ekere’s ability to take care of students’ welfare if he is elected governor in the forthcoming election.

(C) Premium times

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