Rt. Hon.(Barr) Onofiok Akpan Luke:The Hope for a New Akwa Ibom State.

Rt. Hon.(Barr) Onofiok Akpan Luke:The Hope for a New Akwa Ibom State.

John Quincy Adams — ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’ These words from a former American President captures the sterling personality of Rt. Hon. Onofiok Akpan Luke.
Onofiok is one of Nigeria’s most distinguished youth and dogged leader with deep understanding of the Akwa Ibom politics and its workings, a citadel of practical ideas, a courageous leader, a man whom we believe exemplifies the very epitome of what leadership stands for – vision, service and selflessness; a symbol of progressivism, a can do spirit that has lighted the light of hope, industry and commitment, well noticed, celebrated and recognized beyond the borders of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria.
Born on March 16, 1978, had a humble upbringing by Christian parents who both worked in Nigeria’s Civil Service; graduated in 2005 from the University of Uyo, Nigeria with an LL.B in 2009 and underwent further studies at the Nigerian Law School, where he obtained the qualification to become a Barrister at Law in Nigeria in 2010.
Onofiok’s Role in Youth Parliament
After a 3-year engagement with Governor Godswill Akpabio as Personal Assistant, Onofiok was nominated to the Nigerian Youth Parliament where he was later elected as the pioneer Speaker of the 109-member 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.
Onofiok as the 11th Speaker of the Parliament in AKS House of Assembly

In 2011, Onofiok won sufficient votes at the primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (Nigeria) to run in that year’s general election for a seat to represent Nsit Ubium state constituency in the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly. He was overwhelmingly re-elected for a second term on April 11, 2015. On December 21, 2015, the 26-member Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly elected him as the 11th Speaker of the parliament.
Onofiok’s Sponsored Bills in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly
As a lawmaker, Luke has sponsored six private member bills in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, two of which have been passed into law: The Law to provide for the establishment of the Akwa Ibom State HIV/AIDS control agency, functions of the agency, and for connected matters, and The Law to amend the Magistrate Court Laws 2000 and for matters connected therewith.
Onofiok’s human right activism is evident in some of the bills and motions he moves on the floor of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. Currently undergoing legislative processes on the floor of the state legislature is a bill sponsored by Onofiok in which he seeks a law to protect the physically challenged persons in his state from all forms of discrimination and to provide for equal opportunities for every person. He is also pushing the state executive to establish a state Department for Disability Affairs in order to safeguard the rights and privileges of people living with disability. The bills for laws to provide for the safety of employees in construction companies and industries in Akwa Ibom State, and to protect the physically challenged against discrimination in Akwa Ibom State are at various legislative stages.

In 2013, Onofiok began moves to get his state government to become better committed to environmental protection. He submitted to the Assembly a bill to create an Environmental protection law for the regulation of Sand mining activities and dredging operations in the state of Akwa Ibom. He has also from time to time moved motions on the floor of the House, motions which are critical to the smooth running of Akwa Ibom state. Some of these motions are the motion for a resolution to mandate the Executive arm of government to publish the state’s official gazette, prevent the spread of Lassa fever in Akwa Ibom State, prevent indiscriminate excavations and sand mining, and the prevention of cattle grazing in farmlands and movement of cattle on thoroughfares.

While serving on the legislative committee on appropriation and finance, Luke was instrumental to the introduction of Participatory budgeting where public hearings were held on state appropriation bills from the executive to ensure due process. His committee would not endorse a bill for the fiscal year until Civil Societies, representatives of women and youth groups, religious associations, and members of the media made inputs which will form parts of the law approving appropriations made.

Luke in 2013 was reported to have saved his state well over $6 million when he stood down a request for 1billion Nigerian Naira by the state executive which claimed the money was going to be used to establish the Ibom Airlines. Local media reported that by stopping the inclusion of the money in the state’s 2014 appropriation law, Luke had stopped what would have been a major racketeering by state officials. He was changed from the Finance and Appropriation Committee by the House leadership to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee a few months later.

Luke’s Achievements in His Local Constituency
Luke’s achievements in his local constituency are mostly evident in his efforts towards youth capacity-building and in his human empowerment initiatives. The two flagship schemes through which youths and women have mostly obtained economic empowerment are the Constituency Transport Scheme and the Business Start-up Grants which has improved the lot of locals and constituents who run SMEs.

Luke is arguably the first and only known public official in Nigeria to run an internship programme on legislative practices for young Nigerians. He founded The Onofiok Luke Legislative Internship Programme (TOLLIP) in 2013. The programme is designed to train and mentor young Nigerians on the rudiments of law-making in line with international best practices. Interns are also coached to become economically self-reliant, social volunteers, peace advocates and conflict managers. He places the interns on monthly stipends.

International Assignments
Luke has severally been on international assignments for his country. He represented the country’s youths in the 2010 World Youth Conference in Leon, Mexico. He was also Nigeria’s representative at the African Union youth pre-forum to the 2014 high level dialogue on democracy, human rights, and governance in Africa. At the conference which held in Nairobi Kenya and had top-ranking African diplomats in attendance, Luke spoke on Youth, Power, and Politics for Sustainable Peace in Africa. He was one of selected Nigerian youth leaders who attended the annual leadership mentoring programme in Singapore in 2011, where he drew leadership lessons from former Singaporean leader, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and Mr. Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Education programme and an Honorary Texan, an Associate Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI), an international non-profit platform for credible, accomplished and uniquely patriotic Nigerians. He is also a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Onofiok as Member of the Federal House of Assembly
In 2019, Luke contested for the Federal House of Assembly and won with a landslide victory. Currently, he is a member of the Federal House of Representatives and Chairman House of Reps. Committe on Federal Judiciary, Nigeria.

Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke is indeed a role model to the youths, a gentleman with a humane heart and a courageous leader with innate attributes of sound character and sincere commitment to excellent service. NIGERIAN IMAGE confers on Him, Award of Excellence as A Distinguished Nigerian.

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