Urges young women to venture into politics
Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District, Dr Rose Oko, at the weekend, appraised her service rendered in the upper legislative chamber in terms of democratic dividends through zonal intervention projects since 2015 to 2017.
This is just as she revealed that a modest sum of N20 million was expended as Christmas welfare packages to her constituents across the five local government areas of her senatorial district.
Sen Oko, who made the assertion while appraising service rendered to her senatorial district and the country at large during a media interaction in Abuja, also ahead of 2019 urged young women in the country to venture into politics without fear and intimidation.
According to her, through the 2015/2016 zonal intervention fund she has been able to develop the education sector in her senatorial district with the provision of science equipment, school desks across 34 schools, built six numbers of classroom blocks, and supply computers and accessories to some schools.
According to her some road projects were also attracted to the senatorial district, which include the Igoli/Abakpa/ Ndok Junction Road, Ogoja, Ochubi/ Ipuole/ Olachor road, Okpoma has been completed, while the Mary knoll/Abakiliki Ring Road project is under construction.
While in 2017 the Alege/Anikwong road in Obudu was part of the budget that was awarded by Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and also the same 2017 budget captured construction of some school blocks, because of her passion and concern for education.
She said, “When you talk about party, when you talk about gender equity and justice, you can only get that when you have the numbers. Even trying to pass legislation, you saw what happened on the amendments on all issues concerning gender in the constitution, they were all shot down, we were simply not there, and the number is simply not there.
“Even though the numbers were close for all of them; so if you had more women, it would have passed because quite a number of men came along with us that was why the numbers were close but the number of women there were so few, that if you had a fewer more women, added to the men that were ready to come with us, they would have passed and if they had passed that would have meant more women being in all the places that were agitated for.
“My message to the young upcoming women is not to be afraid. For those that have the passion to serve not just because you are a woman but because you want to serve your society and you have something to offer, is not to be afraid because too many times we are afraid of what we hear and not even what we see; we hear that it is difficult, that you need too much money and so that in the first instance scares you, you hear that it is rough and violent so that scares you and so you don’t even try and venture.”
She also said money should not be a factor that will scare women away from active politics, but should do what they can with what they have and that will attract support from the people despite there are other challenges.
“But always it is better to have some seed money yourself but if you can go out there and get people to support you with money, do it give it a try”, she said
Meanwhile, the federal lawmaker disclosed that she doled out Christmas gifts worth N20 million to her constituents as part of her appreciation and love for them in order to have a sense of belonging as well, which was also an opportunity to put her people together.
These include the Cross River State Exco of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, three paramount rulers who were that of Obudu, His Royal Majesty, Joseph Igba, and also elder statesmen, Chief Linus Okom, Chief Ugbu, and the paramount ruler of Ogoja, as well as the paramount ruler of Yala.
Also various stakeholders in the five local government areas, the five chapters and 54 wards were reached out to, which she gave welfare packages to350 young men and women across the senatorial district at the ward level.
“So all put together we spent modestly about N20million to carry out that programme of reaching out to our constituency during the Christmas period. And it is not so much the money as the intention to meet with them because in all of these I didn’t send messages, I insisted that we must meet and interface with these people face to face in going forward to build up the party and to show appreciation also for the work they have done and have been doing and they will continue to do going forward”, she stated.
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