By Chioma Onuegbu
Uyo—ELEVEN members of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly have been privileged to be speakers at various times since the first assembly was inaugurated in 1992.
Deputy House Leader of the current assembly and Chairman House Committee on Information, Mr. Ime Okon, made this known, yesterday, while briefing newsmen on the activities to mark the silver jubilee of the state legislature.
He also revealed that so far more than 170 sons and daughters of Akwa Ibom have had the opportunity to serve in the state legislature as members.
Okon said the 11 speakers included late Hon. Jimmy Jimmy Ntuen, Nse Ben Ekanem, late Hon Henry Affang (first assembly), Bassey Essien and Chief Linus Umoh (second assembly), Chief Nelson Effiong (third assembly), Ignatius Edet and Anietie Etuk (fourth assembly) Samuel Ikon (fifth assembly), Aniekan Uko and Onofiok Luke (sixth and current assembly).
He said: “Within the democratic dispensation of 25 years, these gentlemen successfully led an assembly of statesmen, who proved their legislative mettle. They left the milestones that defined the 30 years history of the development of Akwa Ibom State.
“It is in view of these achievements that we have chosen to organise a week long event on the contributions of this legislature to the development of our state with the theme: A Milestone of Legislative Excellence.
You will agree with me that the Akwa Ibom State legislature has played a pivotal role in the meteoric rise of the state since 1992.
“As the clearing house of government, this house since inception, has for instance, seen to the successful hatching of every single development agenda of successive governments.
“With six assemblies led by the 11 speakers, so far, the house has since 1992 presented many bills several of which comprise the laws of Akwa Ibom State. It has also passed thousands of motions which have helped to strengthen governance in our state.
“One interesting feature worthy of note is that each successive assembly always appreciated the need to collaborate and synergise with the executive in the interest of the people and for the accelerated development of the state while jealously guarding the independence and constitutional oversight role of the legislature”
Okon further disclosed that the first legislature, a 48-member parliament, was inaugurated on January 20, 1992, by the first Executive Governor Late Obong Akpan Isemin.
Some of the activities lined up to mark the silver jubilee beginning from today are joint sitting of Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers state houses of assembly, public lecture on the role of the legislature in the development of Akwa Ibom State in the past 25years and visit to orphanages in the state by legislators among others.