Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, Deputy Governor Mr Moses Ekpo, Leadership of the State House of Assembly and other dignitaries had on Sunday 18th March 2018, witnessed the thanksgiving service commemorating 40th Birthday and 10th Marriage Anniversary of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Onofiok Luke, held at Full Life Christian Centre, 2 Full Life Avenue, Uyo.
At the thanksgiving service, Rt Hon Barr Onofiok Luke thanked God for his 10 years marriage anniversary and also for his 40th Birthday. He thanked God for revealing Himself to him in a greater measure. In Mr. Speaker’s words, “I am a testimony of God’s Amazing Grace” Among dignitaries presence were His Excellent Mr Udom Emmanuel, Deputy Moses Ekpo , Sen Godswill Akpabio, Sen Bassey Albert, staff and members of the Akwa Ibom state house of assembly, appointed and elected political office holders.
Governor Emmanuel who joined other dignitaries that graced the Speaker’s 40th birthday Thanksgiving event held at the Full Life Christian Centre, Uyo, observed that the first forty years of one’s life is usually a period of trial and tribulation, adding that it was cheerful that the Speaker has within his first forty years of living, achieved so much for himself and the society. He charged the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, to continue to live an exemplary life so as to encourage the youths of Akwa Ibom State to emulate him as he clocks 40 years of age.
The former Governor of Akwa Ibom state , Senator Godswill Akpabio while speaking at the Thanksgiving service declared that “Onofiok Luke is my son and I’m proud of him, how many political beneficiaries can boldly standout to publicly acknowledge, appreciate and recognise their benefactors after leaving office, but Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke have today, among those I developed from boys to men made me proud by recognising me, after leaving office”
On his part, the Speaker, Onofiok Luke who was joined by his mother, wife and children at the thanksgiving ceremony took time to narrate how God took him through various trying moments in life, and expressed thanks to God for his success in life.
The officiating minister, Reverend Ntia Ntia preached on the topic ‘Divine Wisdom’ and tasked the congregation at the ceremony to always seek God’s divine wisdom in all their aspirations in life if they must succeed.
Rt. Hon. (Barr) Onofiok Luke, the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, was born on March 16, 1978. He is a foremost youth leader, and a social equality advocate. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Uyo and is a graduate from the Nigerian Law School. He also underwent studies at Harvard Business School, Executive Education programme. After his call to bar in 2010, he served a brief stint as a legal practitioner at the Shepherd & Fortress Law firm, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
He was in 2003 a legislative assistant after which he served as Personal Assistant to the Governor of Akwa Ibom state on Protocol Matters between 2007 and 2011. He was later elected the pioneer Speaker of the Nigeria Youth Parliament, a national leadership and mentoring platform coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Youths and the National Assembly. In his capacity as Speaker of the youth parliament, he led a team of Nigerian youths to initiate the call for the adoption and execution of the National Youth Employment Action Plan (NAYEAP).
Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke has represented Nigeria at several youth development fora locally and at international level. He represented Nigeria at the World Youth Conference in Mexico, 2010. In 2014, he was one of the African youths selected across the continent to come up with a draft resolution towards ending violence on the continent by the year 2020. He also served in the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 Special Interest on Youth Development.
He was in 2011 elected to the Akwa Ibom state legislature to represent Nsit Ubium State Constituency. As a two-term member of the House of Assembly, he has served variously as Chairman of the assembly’s committee on Appropriation and Finance, committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights, and Public Petitions, committee on Education, among others.
As Chairman, Finance and Appropriations Committee of the assembly, he led deliberations on state budget proposals, oversaw the activities of the state’s ministry of finance, probed the fiscal conduct of government, and led the review of the conduct of the State Budget Office for three years. He also spearheaded the introduction of participatory budgeting in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in 2012, an effort to ensure a more transparent and people-centred budgeting process in the state. As Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee of the House, Rt. Hon. Luke worked with farmers in Akwa Ibom to initiate laws to give legal backing to sustainable initiatives on farm produce preservation and storage. In the education committee, he interfaced with stakeholders in the education system to work out modalities towards the improvements of the Akwa Ibom state free and compulsory education policy.
Onofiok Luke is the first sitting Speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly to sponsor a bill. Between 2011 and 2017, five of his privately sponsored bills have been passed into law. Some of them are the HIV/AIDS control agency law, physically challenged persons protection law, social housing and agency law, primary healthcare development agency law, among others.
Since 2011 Honourable Luke has been consolidating on his leadership interests which are chiefly in education and economic empowerment of women and youths for sustainable development. Two potent youths and women empowerment schemes are run as part of his constituency development projects. They are the Constituency Transport Scheme (CTS) and the Seed Capital for Business Start-up (SCBS). The schemes have in the last four years economically empowered hundreds of households across Nsit Ubium state constituency. He is also the founder of The Onofiok Luke Legislative Internship Programme (TOLLIP), Nigeria’s only stipendiary internship programme designed to train youths on legislative basics, entrepreneurship, community development and volunteerism, as well as conflict resolution. This programme has since been adopted and enlarged by the state legislature in 2016 and is not called the Akwa Ibom Legislative Internship Programme (AKILIP).
A member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), a 2010 Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI), and an ambassador of the Obasanjo Youth Development Initiative, Onofiok Luke has been a guest lecturer, keynote speaker, a lead paper presenter and a panel discussant at various reputable forums and institutions including the RITMAN University, Ikot Ekpene, Covenant University, Otta, the Olusegun Obasanjo Youth Development Centre, Otta, among others.
He is passionate about Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), youth development for sustainable growth as well as rights advocacy.
He is married to Uduak Luke, PhD, and the union is blessed with Etiusungisang, Enoabasi, Uduakobong and Uwakmfonabasi.