Maybe because of her humility many people don’t really take time to know her just like me and to make it worst I never use to like her but looking beyond personal sentiments, her antecedents and how well she thrive politically stood her out. she is and still remains a blessing to the people of Cross River North and to the women folks in general. Going further just like the lioness that looks after and provide for her curbs and the lion king, Sen. Dr Rose Okoji Oko is the Lioness of Cross River North. Born 27 September 1956, started her early education at Christ the king Primary School Okpoma from where she proceeded to Holy Child Secondary School Ogoja and graduated in 1976. Her passion for education saw her into University of Calaber where she graduated with distinction and obtained a Bachelor degree (B.A) in Linguistic by 1981, She went further to acquire a masters degree in linguistics (M.A) from the same University in 1984 and subsequently a Doctorate Degree (PhD) from University of Port Harcourt.
She has always been in public service, first as a lecturer in the department of Language and Linguistics in the University of Calabar and then as a public servant when she was appointed as the Commissioner of Education in Cross River State from 1989 to 1992. She transitioned into politics in 1999 when she was part of the team to introduce the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to Cross River State. After she retired from public service between 2002 and 2004, she registered and introduced the National Democratic Party (NDP) to Cross River State and served as the Deputy Chair South, Board of Trustees, NDP. She contested as a senate candidate in the 2003 election but lost to a PDP candidate. In 2007, she ran as a gubernatorial candidate for Cross River State but she lost to the PDP candidate. In the same year, she reenlisted as a member of PDP and in the 2011 democratic elections contested to represent her constituency in the Federal House of Representatives and won. The outstanding female legislator was a Member of the Federal House of Representatives from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), serving the people of Yala/Ogoja Federal Constituency in Nigeria’s 7th class of the National Assembly. She was elected into office as the first female representative from her constituency in June 2011 and sat as Deputy Chairman House Committee on Education. She is the current Senator representing the people of Cross River North Senatorial District.
She was elected into office as the first female representative from her Senatorial District in June 2015.
Today, with the abysmal performance of some political appointees of government in Cross River state and the unjust persecution of Sen Dr. Rose Oko, many people are beginning to count her most valuable services as a Senator representing the good people of Northern Cross River State. Many have realized that Dr. Rose is a more creative and enterprising Senator who pushed the boundaries to make life better for the people despite the continuous battle with an estranged godfather and political supremacy in Northern Cross River State who felt she was not giving the respect he deserved by desperados who wants power at all cost at the expense of the people.
From the time she served in the green chamber to the present day as Senator, she created a standard that the people of Northern Cross River had not seen since the time of formal Senator Greg Ngaji in terms of human resources development, social interventions Program, empowerment and Training, inter generational dialogue and integration, quality legislation.
Senator Oko has continued to spark excitement wherever she goes, despite effort by mischief makers to malign her reputation because the aspire to contest for same position. People have been reacting strongly both for and against her, but with her decision to raise her political sights; the odds are good that more people are for her than against her now.
We therefore challenge the people of Zone – III to rally round Dr. Rose Oko and make optimum use of their shrewd and hardworking daughter. In an era in which others have discovered the importance of sending vibrant and inspiring representatives to the red chamber, we cannot go back to the retrogressive path of sending people who will go and be bench warmers and minor senators to represent us or people who don’t have anything to offer.
Adie is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja.
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