Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barrister Onofiok Luke, has re echoed the need for people of the state to cultivate the habit of celebrating their own leaders, both past and present, rather than attacking and abusing them.
He made the appeal on Saturday at Ikot Ekpene during his investiture by an apex socio-cultural organization in Annang land, Ati Annang Foundation, as an Associate member of the organisation.
Describing his induction as a home coming in an area where he grew up, Barrister Luke wondered why some people would rather choose to celebrate former governors in other states, but would turn around and attack their own former governors.
Speaker Luke reasoned that such attitude reminds him of the postulation made several years ago by Prof Ayandele, who referred to the people of the state as an atomistic society perpetually at war with itself.
Advocating for attitudinal change, the brand new associate member of Ati Annang, maintained that it would be proper in the overall interest of the state for Akwa Ibom people to learn to celebrate past leaders of the state including, former Governor’s Victor Attah, Idongesit Nkanga and Senator Godswill Akpabio.
“Let us learn to celebrate our past and present leaders. You condemn Senator Akpabio, a former governor and then you go to worship a former governor in another state. Why can’t we celebrate our former governors. Are they better than our own. Are they better than former Obong Victor Attah? are they better than Senator Godswill Akpabio?,No”.
He thanked members of the House of Assembly from Annang land including the representatives of Essien Udim, Ikot Ekpene /Obot Akara, Abak, Etim Ekpo /IKa and Oruk Anam state constituencies for not betraying him, and appreciated the electorate from annang nation for the calibre of lawmakers they sent to the House of Assembly.
“I have unflinching support from all members of annang land in the House of Assembly. None of them has ever gone behind me to conspire to bring down Mr. Speaker from office. I want to tell you thank you for the calibre of persons you send to the House of Assembly, who understands that when a man works and his sincere with the government, that man needs to be supported to succeed in his own office. That is what the legislators from annang land have been able to show. I want to thank you”.
“We need to build Unity and love for this state. This is the greatest time we need Unity. Let me use this opportunity to appreciate what Ati Annang has done ”.
In his address, the International President of Ati Annang, Sir. Udo Kierian Akpan, said those selected for honour by the organization earned it on merit. He said Ati Annang which is aimed at building bridge of Unity, was conscious of the fact that as an ethnic group, the Annang nation needs each other to build a better and virile Akwa Ibom State that would be the pride of all. Those honoured today are ably qualified to be part and parcel of Annang Foundation”.
“Our vision and mission is to ensure every ethnic group unites to build a more United Akwa Ibom”.
Congratulating Barr. Luke and others on the honour done them, a former Commissioner and Political Chieftain in Etim Ekpo, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, in a good will message said the current House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke has made more laws than past leaderships of the state legislature.
Others who delivered good messages include, Hon. Nse Ntuen, Rt. Hon. Friday Iwok, Barr. Ini Ememobong, and Engr. Etido Inyang.
The induction was performed on the Speaker by the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the foundation, Sir. Emem Akpabio.
Other inductees who received the associate membership recognition by Ati Annang include, the Deputy Speaker, Princess Felicia Bassey, Chief Whip of the House of Assembly, Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong, and State PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, among others.
The occasion was graced by royal fathers in Annang land, including Itai Afe Annang, Okuku Pius Effiong Aside, the political class, members of other socio-cultural groups across the State, among others.