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Governorship Aspirant Unfolds Dev Blueprint

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House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman, Onofiok Luke, has formally declared his intention to vie for the position of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2023.
Luke, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, unveiled his aspiration on March 16 in Uyo on the occasion of his 44th birthday.
The former speaker of the state’s House of Assembly and ex-University of Uyo Students’ Union President rested his campaign policy direction on nine pillars.
They are food sufficiency and agricultural development, education, healthcare, technology development, entrepreneurial and Industrial development, tourism, sports and entertainment, youth, women and social inclusion, security, environment and infrastructure and good governance and administration.
Luke’s declaration sets him on a collision course with Governor Udom Emmanuel, who has endorsed Umo Eno as his preferred successor.
Emmanuel and other Akwa Ibom State officials were absent at the Ibom Hall venue as Luke unveiled his manifesto before thousands of his supporters.
The lawmaker declared his intention to rely on the support of God, his fellow Akwa Ibomites, residents, friends and well-wishers to not only pick the party’s ticket, but also to win the election, adding that this followed the positive feedback he received after sustained consultations with political stakeholders, women and youth groups, community leaders within and outside the state.
“I invited you to this sacred ground to formally and officially inform you that I will be participating in the 2023 general election vying for the position of the Governor of our beloved State, and I hope to win with your support through the Amazing Grace of God,” Luke said.
He described himself as “a local boy” with the understanding of the people’s challenges, adding that the clarion call of his campaign is “Building Together and Growing Together,” meaning that “nobody will be left behind”.
He added: “I represent the bridge between the past, the present and future, I represent the young and the old, the analogue and the digital generation, the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots. This gives me a unique perspective on issues that cut across the various strata of our society.
The lawyer pledged to reposition Akwa Ibom as an economic powerhouse.
Luke said: “I intend to use my wealth of experience as a public sector administrator, a lawyer, and an advocate of good governance to serve this state by bringing government closer to the people for socio-economic development, and to reposition Akwa Ibom State for greater prosperity under the theme of Building Together, Growing Together.
“My objective is to rally the abundant human resources towards building a vibrant and diverse economy in Akwa Ibom State, while leveraging our infrastructural development and active youthful population to create jobs and provide visionary and selfless leadership to consolidate on the gains of past and present administrations.”
He further pledged to also continue building upon the achievements of previous and present administrations, “add our own initiatives, all aimed at positioning us for a broad-based prosperity.”
Luke is from the same Local Government Area with Eno as well as Senator Effiong Bob and Mr Udom Inoyo, who had earlier indicated an interest in the office. While Bob publicly withdrew from the race and was crowned the political leader of Uyo Senatorial District, Mr Inoyo, the immediate past Executive Vice President of ExxonMobil, quietly pulled back.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Ministry Ready To Partner TCAM

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The Bayelsa State Ministry of Health is prepared to collaborate with the Traditional, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) to ensure effective healthcare delivery to people of the State.
Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry, Dr Oluwatoyin Azebi disclosed this when the TCAM practitioners paid her a courtesy visit at the State Ministry of Health.
Azebi noted that traditional and alternative medicine is also essential in service delivery of quality healthcare.
Earlier, the State Coordinator of TCAM, Dr Ruth Okhiema, disclosed that the purpose of the visit was to strengthen the relationship between the health Ministry and TCAM.
While appealing for an enabling working environment, Dr Okhiema highlighted various challenges faced by the unit, and called for prompt inauguration of the TCAM Technical Working Group.
This, she said, would translate into the formal recognition of the TCAM unit in the State.
On his part, the Unit Head and Desk Officer, TCAM, Bayelsa State, Dr Tarila Prefa, and Chairman, Modern Traditional Medicine Practitioners in the State, Dr Joe Edem, applauded the Ministry for meeting their request.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Delta To Give Grants To 40 Mission Schools

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Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Sunday, said the state government would provide financial support to 40 schools it returned to religious missions in 2011.
Okowa said this during a thanksgiving service marking the end of the 16th Synod of the Asaba Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) at Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Bishop’s Court, Asaba.
The Governor said the grant had became necessary to assist the schools in running effectively, particularly in the prevailing harsh economic situation in the country.
Okowa, accompanied by his wife, Edith, up and top government functionaries, read the first lesson taken from Ezra 3: 6 -13.
He congratulated the new Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Kingsley Obuh, on his consecration and enthronement.
“It is not easy for such schools to be managed given the current economic condition of the nation,” he said.
He commended the church for drawing his attention to the plight of the schools, especially his promise to ensure that grants were given to missions.
The Governor directed the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to take action on the released grants to the affected schools.
“It is in the best interest of the Government of Delta State that they are supported to stand because they provide a space for study for some of our children.
“So, we will try to take action, at least, the first tranche of it to see what we can do to support our missions,” he said.
Okowa commended the church for its contributions to the health sector in the State, saying that their effort helped to provide health care services particularly to the less-privileged.
“As a government, we have continued to pay special attention to education and health.
“Delta has become a role model for contributory health insurance with over one million people enrolled in the scheme,” Okowa added.
Earlier in a sermon titled “Spiritual Foundations, Inevitable for Sustainable Work with God,” Rt. Rev. Chigozirim Onyegbule, Bishop, Missionary Diocese, Ikwuano, Abia, urged Christians to build strong foundation in their work for God.
He said for Christians to work effectively for God, their spiritual foundation must be very solid, adding, “if your foundation is not strong, you cannot withstand the problems of life.
“Everything on the face of the earth has a foundation and a weak foundation produces a miserable life.
“God is looking for those that He will partner, but if your foundation is weak, God cannot work with you.”

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NSCDC Warns Illegal Security Firm Operators

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has warned operators of private security firms in Akwa Ibom State to register them or face the consequences of their actions.
The State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Abidemi Majekodunmi, gave the warning in Uyo on Monday in an interview with The Tide’s source.
He told source that the corps has registered 67 Private Guard Companies (PGCs) in the State.
Majekodunmi said it was mandatory for all private guard companies to register with the corps, adding that anything short of that was unacceptable.
“The role of PGC’s is to provide security, protection, information and quality intelligence since they operate in locations of government and private units in every sphere of occupational engagements.
“Through training and oversight supervision activities by NSCDC, they are imbued with cutting edge competence skills and capacity enhancement.
“The concept is in tandem with emerging global trends in the area of public-private partnership to provide security and contain insecurity in the country,” Majekodunmi said.
The State Commandant said NSCDC would not tolerate any unregistered private guard company in the State, especially due to security challenges confronting the country.
He urged individuals and organisations wishing to hire private security guard to cross check with the NSCDC to ensure that they patronise registered ones.
Majekodunmi warned against dealing on adulterated petroleum products, vandalism of transformers and electrical installations in the state.

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