There’s Harmony Between Gov Emmanuel And A’Ibom Assembly – Hon. Nse Essien

. . . We are blessed with a charismatic Speaker -Rt. Hon (Otuekong) Nse Essien



A sports enthusiast and reputable sports promoter is a two-term member of the Akwa State House of Assembly representing Onna State Constituency, the deputy chief whip and chairman, House Committee on Sports. He speaks on his resolve to ensure freedom for prisoners yearly, to give them a second chance to better their lives, his investment in sports and the achievements of Governor Udom Emmanuel among other salient issues in this exclusive interview with Crystal Express. Excerpts:

Once again for the fifth record time you have come to the aid of the prisoners by releasing some of them from prison. What motivates you in doing this humanitarian service?

I do this because of my love for humanity and for God, my Creator. Some of us are very fortunate that we are not just alive but also enjoying our freedom. There are many without such opportunity may be through acts of omission or commission they found themselves behind bars or corners of prison yards.

So while enjoying freedom, we must also remember those in incarceration. Some of these people may not have actually committed any offence. This is a fact that we all know. It could be that some were at the wrong place at the wrong time and got jailed. Again when you look at the jail terms with option of fine, you discover that some of them, because of their less privileged background, were unable to meet up with payment and remain in jail for up to 3 years for fines as little as N100,000. So the love for humanity and love of God are my greatest motivation to carry out humanitarian services.

There are several areas through which you could touch humanity positively, why the course of freeing prisoners?

Of course, I serve humanity in several other areas. As a lawmaker, we do take care of our constituents through various forms of empowerment such as skill acquisition, scholarships and several other areas. So the freeing of prisoners and organizing sporting activities for them is another way of putting smiles on the faces of those who are in difficulties and giving them a sense of belonging.

Again, it is interesting to note that in the past five years, I have not had anyone from my constituency among those who have enjoyed these humanitarian services. Freedom cannot be equated to anything especially when some of them may not have actually committed the offence for which they were jailed. If we have people with my kind of heart because there are many richer than me, we will decongest the prisons. So far in five years, I have secured freedom for 67 prisoners and maybe in the next 3 or 4 years may secure freedom for up to 100 prisoners. I will be satisfied. This will go a long way in helping government to decongest the prisons as our prison facilities are already overstretched.

You just returned from Portugal on sports related matters. As an investor in sports, what impact have you made on the lives of the youths?

I am a sports person, a footballer and also own a team in the nationwide league. It keeps me on my toes and also provides opportunity for people, mostly youths, to be positively engaged. I was in Portugal recently but will not yet divulge my full mission there. But it was for the sporting benefit of the state, especially young men who want to export their talents for greener pasture. I have provided a platform for many young people to use and launch themselves to the international sporting arena. The driving force is empowerment, giving young people the platform to excel.

As a two-term member of the State House of Assembly, what is the relationship between the current Assembly and the Executive?

We have a symbiotic relationship with the executive. Some people think that once you are in the House of Assembly it is your job to fight the executive to get what you want. Our job primarily is to help the executive deliver on their campaign promises to the people by making enabling laws that the executive will leverage on. The leadership style of the governor is also fantastic.

There is the impression that since you represent the governor’s State Constituency, you also enjoy special privileges. Isn’t it?

Yes, I do enjoy special privileges of having his ears always and that of personal contacts. I also believe that the 26 members of the State Assembly enjoy those privileges too.

How would you describe the personality of the incumbent speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey?

He is a very humble and charismatic young man who is ready to serve the people and deliver on the promises made by government to the people. He has age on his side and I must say he is privileged to preside over an Assembly with people much more his senior in age. I must also add that he has a good heart.

Some of our neighbouring states have established oil mineral producing commissions to cater for the welfare of immediate oil communities. But Akwa Ibom has not. Do you subscribe to having it?

It will be a welcome development which will give an edge to the oil producing communities here in the development of their immediate environment. I want to believe that the incumbent Assembly will do something in that regard before the expiration of its lifespan. We also must ensure that it is in tandem with the thinking of the executive so that the bill will be signed into law and executed for the benefit of the people. It will be nice to have such a commission here for the benefit of our people.

The governor has attracted several industries to the state. However, they are mostly sited around his council area and does it give you any concern considering that we have 31 local government areas in the state?

I am not worried that the industries are mostly located in our axis because what matters most is what the investors want. They are more interested in nearness to source of raw materials and the peaceful disposition of youths of the area. Unfortunately in most of our council areas, youths turn to stumbling blocks once developmental projects are brought to their domain with spurious and unrealistic demands. Some go as far as putting palm fronds in the area to scare away people. But in my local government area, land is free for any development and many are willing to donate land for developmental projects and it is unheard of in my area that youths have gone to block contractors or investors from coming to do their jobs. It is to our advantage which others may not have. No investor wants to come for anybody to hold him hostage. We have massive lands in my community lying fallow and we are willing to give them out to any development or investors guaranteed with peace and security.

You floated a football club in the nationwide league, a task that demands big funds to keep afloat. How are you securing the funds?

That is purely business. In life, one may choose to invest in any business. Some put their resources in hospitality business, others in other aspects. But mine is investing in sports. There is this belief that a sport is a money spinning business. You may not understand it now but later. I may sell a player for one million pounds and it will bring much value to both the player and his sponsor. You will only understand this well when it fully blooms. That is my investment. It is not a charity or empowerment organization but a good platform for people to excel and yet it is business. The highest I expect a player in my team to stay is two years and move on to greener pastures. I am a licensed FIFA agent and have a track record in what I am doing in sports which is pure investment.

You were deeply involved at a time in the affairs of Akwa United. Are you still with them?

I am still involved in Akwa United affairs and also with Dakkada International and Ibom Queens. I am also the chairman of Athletics Associations of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State Council. So I have a lot to offer the young people. This year we will have two tournaments starting in the first quarter. I am here to bring development sports-wise to Akwa Ibom State. I am deeply involved in all major sports development in the state.

Are you impressed with the performance of Akwa United so far?

Akwa United are gradually picking up. They are a brand in the Nigerian football. We regretted the setback at the onset of the league which made the coach to quit and presently they are picking up. More so the strides of Dakkada are also putting them on their toes. It is purely a big challenge to them.

In your first term at the State Assembly you gave out substantial empowerment to your people. Any hope for them in your second term?

Yes. We are still going to do more. We will help people get jobs too. In my team alone people are being paid good salaries monthly. We are in the business of getting better deals for our youths in order to live a more meaningful life.

The governor is now on his Completion Agenda. What areas would you advise he focuses more attention on?

I will suggest he focuses more on industrialization; he should encourage the sitting and building of more industries to enhance job creation, youth empowerment and revenue generations. We need more industries and very good road networks across the entire state.

He should also ensure that we completely overcome the issue of power distribution which has hampered the effective circulation of the generated power from Ibom Power Plant and the several substations he has built across the state.

Nse Essien

All investors want are good roads, power, peace and security to bring in their money and build industries and I know the governor will do more before his exit in 2023.


Rt. Hon. (Otuekong) Nse Essien is the member representing ONNA state constituency in Akwa Ibom state house of Assembly.

The Honorable member is known for his effective representation of his people in the state house of Assembly as well as his lofty contributions toward sustainable development and more particularly in strengthening human capacity index in Akwa Ibom state by focusing on youth empowerment.

Otuekong Nse Essien is one of the most eloquent members in the hallow chamber, very vocal and sound, a true advocate of his people who is always sponsoring people oriented bills poised to affecting the lives of Akwa Ibom people positively. This and many more have however, made the honorable member to stand out distinctively from his Contemporaries.

In the past 4 years plus as the people’s representative, The honorable member has done beyond expectations in meeting the dreams and aspirations of his people while addressing their concerns promptly.

He has many quintessential and meritorious awards to his name, including, The Assembly man of the year award, Exceptional Leadership award, and Akwa watch legislator of the year 2016, to mention but a few.

Subsequently, since his assumption of office as honorable member in 2015, Otuekong Nse Essien has empowered over three thousand Akwa Ibom youths and women to attain self Sufficiency and reliance.

As a versatile leader, the amiable Honorable member has given hope to many people in the state, including less privileged and inmates in different prisons across the state by single-handedly paying for the realease of several inmates who were discharged but could not afford to pay for their fines, while many received financial supports courtesy of Otuekong Nse Essien. These he does during his annual visit to prisons.

As the Technical Director of all state owned football teams in the state, the sport loving legislator’s contributions and support to the development of the sport sector in the state remains strategically unprecedented and cannot be overemphasized.

Otuekong Nse Essien has awarded scholarships to more than 200 youths across Akwa Ibom State and had sponsored a reasonable number of youths in the acquisition of various skills.

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