By Anietie Udobit,Abuja
In the religious circle, it is believed that ‘testimony has the capacity to reproduce itself’, in other word, if something (good) has happened, it can happen again.
But that is not entirely a religious postulation, for it is observed in nature that reciprocity is possible. Again, in our social circle, it is often said, ‘you cannot give what you don’t have’.
Anytime politics is mentioned, and aspirants are discussed, one key issue is ‘what is his/her credential?’ in other word, what is his/her testimony? Going beyond that, for student of politics, the next issue maybe, what is his/her manifesto? In other word, what do you want us to see/believe?
The truth remains that people often see/believe based on what they have known, heard or seen.
Born into a very humble home on 27 April, 1967 at Eyoekpifie village in the present Urueoffong/Oruko Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Okon Tom Osung began his academic sojourn at Central School, Oruko. After the successful completion of his primary education, he applied for and gained admission into Union Secondary School, Nsie where he successfully obtained his Senior Secondary School Certificate.
His love for good governance and quest for more knowledge took him to the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Uyo where he bagged an Ordinary National Diploma (OND), then, Higher National Diploma from the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua. He later obtained a Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Business Administration from the Imo State University, Owerri and Master’s Degree in Public administration from the same university. He recently obtained an LLB Law degree from the prestigious National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
Hon. Okon Tom Osung is a successful business man who has made a mark in the Agriculture, Petroleum and Construction Sectors of the Nigerian Economy.
He is currently the Chairman, MEM-KON International Ltd- a licensed independent Petroleum marketing Company; Chairman, GELEENCO COY NIG. LTD- a construction /Agric. Development Firm .
Okon Osung is a born politician. At a relatively young age, he has occupied several positions which make him one of the most experienced grassroots Politicians in Nigeria today. He began his political journey as the Pioneer Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Urueoffong/Oruko Chapter 1993 – 1996, Councilor Representing Urueoffong/Oruko Ward 7/Supervisor for Education, Urueoffong/Oruko Local Government Council 1996 – 1997, Chapter Chairman of the default All peoples’ Party (APP) in 1998.
It was during his tenure as Chapter Chairman, the All Peoples Party (APP) won both the Chairmanship and House of Assembly elections in Urueoffong/Oruko Local Government Area.
In appreciation of his hard work and electoral value, he was offered the Chairmanship running mate of his Party and was subsequently elected Vice Chairman, Urueoffong/Oruko Local Government Council in 1999. As Vice Chairman of Council, he instituted a scholarship scheme which benefited students across the five Local Government Areas of Oro Nation. Between 2007 and 2011, he served as Special Adviser to the Chairman, Petroleum Monitoring and Allocation Committee of the Akwa Ibom State Government and State Exco Member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Akwa Ibom State. He later served as Secretary, Urueoffong/Oruko Local Government Council before resigning to contest as Executive Chairman of the same Council in 2012. He won his Party nomination and was subsequently elected Executive Chairman, Urueoffong/Oruko Local Government Council unopposed. A position he used to render selfless service to the Local Government Area with incontrovertible evidence of resounding performance.
Hon. Okon Tom Osung is a highly experienced and tested politician with very strong grassroots appeal. This explains why he has occupied virtually all positions at the Local Government level.
He is at the forefront of efforts to re-define and re-position Local Government administration in Nigeria. He believes that the Local Government system was introduced for sole purpose of bringing governance closer to the people. For him, considering the huge financial challenge faced by most Local Government Areas in’ the country vis-a-vis the enormity of their responsibilities, the people at the helm of affairs of this important level of government must be willing to make sacrifices so as to serve the people well.
As Executive Chairman of Urueoffong/Oruko Local Government Council, he brought the wealth of experience garnered over the years to bear in his stewardship of the Council and this resulted in unprecedented achievements in the areas of Infrastructural development, Human Empowerment and Revenue Generation.
His administration achieved massive infrastructural development: Within his first 100 days in office, he renovated the Old Secretariat to make it conducive for work. He also constructed a roundabout with drains and beautified the Oruko Junction within the same period, among several other infrastructural development projects.
Human Empowerment was cardinal during his administration: Payment of bursary to students of Urueoffong/Oruko origin studying in tertiary institutions of learning, Training of indigenes of the area on adult and non-formal education while they draw monthly stipends from the Council, Printing and distribution of thousands free copies of exercise books to schools as a way of complementing the Free Education Policy of the State Government, and several other developmental programmes.
On Revenue generation, Okon shift the IGR of his LGA from paltry Thirty Thousand Naira (N30, 000) monthly in 2012 to Nine Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand Naira (N996, 000) monthly. He constructed two ultra-modern halls to serve as event centres and generate revenue for the Council; these halls were commissioned by the State Governor, on 2nd October, 2013, and also Partnered Seamouth Dredging Co. to dredge the Eyobiasang Breach.
Impressed with Hon. Okon Tom Osung’s unprecedented performance within such a short period in office, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State declared him the best performing Council Chairman in the State on 2nd October, 2013.
Hon. Okon Tom Osung is a member of: Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria; and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
He has so far received several awards and honours among which are: Chieftaincy title of Offong Unwana Eyokpifie; Ubei Adai Oruko, Ubei Adai Afaha Ubodung, Ukana Udung Okossi.
He has at different times been honoured by National Association of Akwa Ibom State Students (NAAKISS) and the National Association of Urueoffong/Oruko Students (NAUOS).
Hon. Osung’s outstanding performance has attracted attention of people locally and internationally. As part of this recognition, the Federal House of Representatives, Abuja honoured him as: Best Local Government Chairman in Akwa Ibom State – 2013, Best Local Government Chairman, South South Geopolitical Zone – 2013, Second best Local Government Chairman in Nigeria – 2013, Best Local Government Chairman in Nigeria – 2014.
Hon. Okon Tom Osung is a stalwart of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, a Justice for Peace (JP), and he is happily married with children.
What can be said again? Okon Osung has a good testimony. He deserves to be listened to.
As he is vying for the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly membership position to represent his good people, it can only be said, A good turn deserves another, He did it before!