By Emmanuel SILAS
If you believe in slogan and its power in making or marring the human being, his endeavours, his institution as well as his day to day achievements, then the “Amazing Grace” Campaign of Rt. Hon. Barr Onofiok Akpan Luke is one of the most potent of when it comes to sloganeering.
In a run-off to his re-election campaign in 2015, Onofiok Luke adopted the “Amazing Grace” Campaign slogan to the acceptability of his teaming followers.
Going down memory lane at the PDP State Secretariat when he touched down to purchase his nomination form, one would know that he indeed was and is a product of Amazing Grace.
Clad in a brown outfit, he was besieged by an unprecedented crowd of supporters all over the State with his Nsit Ubium constituents breaking and setting record as the highest turnover of indigenes showing support to their own in such arena.
To everyone’s amazement, these were not paid to do this but were moved to make their way to the venue out of sheer love, patriotism and compassion for a man who in the course of history has done a lot of amazing deeds for humanity.
Methinks the amazing deeds done by Onofiok Luke are teleguided and motivated by the “Amazing Grace” which has been sufficiently bestowed on him by Mother Nature. Anyway, the grace factor, no matter how enormous, can easily be abused depending on who receives it.
Onofiok Luke in his good nature has done well knowing that any grace received must be reciprocated to ensure multiplication. Thousands are out there who received the grace and buried it within air loins. For such people, their habitation usually lies desolate in the long run while their soul suffers leanness.
This goes to buttress the point stressed in an Ibibio worship song which goes thus, “Owo amabo Mfon Obong, Enye okufre Andino”. This means that when one receives God’s grace, he or she should not forget the Giver. How do you show gratitude to God for His grace if not by giving back to humanity?
To this end, it is worthy to assert that Onofiok Luke has lived up to expectations by giving back to the society in diverse ways too numerous to mention. This discourse, however will not evaluate the Speaker based on his legislative exploits for wants of space. I therefore reserve such for another day and do an overview on the Speaker’s numerous humanitarian undertakings which have endeared him to the people beyond borders.
One key area of his amazing deed is in the area of financial generosity. He, on daily basis, blesses the lives of people wherever he goes; a deed that has earned him the nickname, “Ono owo nkpo”(The generous one). This he does without considering race, place of origin or family. He attends functions and gives support to the hosts almost every weekend.
Since 2011, Onofiok Luke has been in the business of upgrading rural life for rural dwellers especially in Nsit Ubium rural communities such as Ikot Eyo, Ikot Enwana, Afia Nsit, Ikot Etobo and Ikot Akpan have benefitted from his benevolence in the provision of water, market construction, Community Hall and a lot of other amenities.
His facilitation has also sped up the completion of Enen Nsit Road while rural roads have been opened up at Ikot Ntung-Nung Obong-Ikot Eyo, Atan- Ikot Imo-Ikot Ekpat-Ntit Oton.
In the area of human capital development, we can all attest to his good works within the Onofiok Luke Legislative Internship Programme (TOLLIP) which kicked-off in 2014 with the aim of teaching the youths the basics of Legislative engagement, community development, entrepreneurship, Peace building and conflict resolution.
On the Constituency Transport Scheme, he launched the pioneer scheme with eleven vehicles given to selected constituents who preferred to venture into the transport business. Today, the programme has been a success story.
The Clergy, Traditional institution and even the students’ body have all been beneficiaries of his numerous empowerment gestures.
Also worthy of mention is the Seed Fund for Business Start-up (SFBs). This scheme which centered on rural women saw the release of monitory grants to rural women with the aim of enriching their capital base as they engage in their day to day petty trade. This has gone a long way to enhance the living standard of these women who have attested to increase in stock and wider profit margin in their sales.
The tempo of empowerment and felicitation of goodies to the people took a new positive dimension since the beginning of his second term. In the last constituency briefing, sixteen new vehicles were given out by the Speaker to boost the rural transportation scheme including saloon cars.
In business support, youths and women were handed cash donation to enhance their business ranging from fifty thousand to a hundred thousand Naira depending on their rural business nature.
Much attention has been paid by Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke to the promotion of Skill Acquisition by the youths. He followed this up with the provision of sewing machines, Vulcanizing machine, welding machines, hair dressing equipments and power generating sets.
In the area of education, the Nsit Ubium State Constituency representation being an ardent lover of learning has instituted a bursary scheme for 100 students, scholarships for indigent students, a hundred thousand naira grant for Law Students each, specialized textbooks and computer sets.
Indeed he has affected lives cutting across party and other divides. As such, any lover of good deeds should appreciate Onofiok Akpan Luke and his Amazing Deeds.
This is just a tip of the ice berge as there are lots of other generous gestures of Barr. Onofiok Luke that have gone undocumented.