… As Senators eulogize the decease
By Ignatius Okorocha
Senate on Tuesday shut down plenary and held a valedictory session in honour of late Senator Rose Oko ( Cross Rivers North) who died in London on March 23,2020.
The valedictory session followed a motion moved by Senate Majority Leader Abdullahi Yahaya (APC Kebbi -North), having moved for the suspension of Order 17 of the Senate rules to allow the family,dignitaries and other close relations of the deceased into the red chamber.
Senators dressed in white and back attires took turn to pay glowing tributes to the late senator.
First to pay tribute was Yahaya, having moved the motion for the Senate to move into the valedictory session.
The majority leader said the session was an opportunity for the senators to pay tribute to their late colleague Sen. Oko .
He explained that the Senate could not hold the session earlier because of the COVID -19 Pandemic and the annual vacation of the National Assembly.
Yahaya said late Oko was a highly accomplished educationist, given her steering pedigree in the educational sector.
“Rose Oko was very knowledgeable,she was a dependable ally to me in our committee responsibility.”
Yahaya said the late senator would be remembered for her brilliance, praying that God would grant her rest.
Minority leader,Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe,(PDP Abia) decried that late Oko was the 4th senator to have died since the inauguration of the 9th Senate.
He said her demise was an opportunity for them to reflect on their mortality.
He described her as gentle speaker that makes great point in her presentations.
Abaribe described her as a mother that would be missed by all,noting that her life was a life of celebration.
Deputy minority leader,Sen. Philip Aduda ( Abuja ) “she met us in the House of Representatives in 2007 and I left the House in 2011 for the Senate. She joined me in the Senate in 2015 but I want to say that she was an amiable lady, very straight forward. She was somebody who is a team player.
“Looking at her experiences and looking at all that all that was said about her today, I want to say that she was somebody who was down to earth in humility and hard-work. She didn’t allow her protracted health condition to deter her from discharging her duties throughout her stay in the Senate.She was alway very punctual and regular at the chamber for plenaries.We have loss a rare gem in the Senate,” he noted.
Deputy majority Whip, Sen.Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger) described her as simple and easy going, and a woman of peace.
Abdullahi advocated the naming of the headquarters of the Disaporia Commission after her, given her steering contributions as Chairman of Senate Committee on Diasporia and Non Governmental Organisations (NGO)in the 8th Senate.
For Sen.Oluremi Tinubu (APC Lagos),Rose Oko lived a very significant and roubust life.
Tinubu said Oko was the pride of the Senate, a brave woman who came, saw and conquered.
She described her as a great loss to humanity.
Other senators, who paid tributes and condoled with the family of the late senator included:
Gershom Bassey, Bala Na’ Allah, Rochas Okorocha, Sam Egwu, Thompson Seikibo, Berty Apiafi, Abba Moro, Chris Ekpenyong, Stella Oduah, Theodore Orji, Kola Balogun, Uche Ekwunife, Chukwuka Utazi, among others.
In his tribute, President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan expressed his condolence to the immediate family.
He said the death of Sen.Oko was a loss to all,noting that the late senator was productive and impacted positively in her state and national level,hence her life should be celebrated.
He urged the living to be mindful of supporting her dreams especially in the educational sector for development of the country.
Lawan said late Oko was very committed to her responsibility in the Senate hence everyone who interated with her in different capacities gave a good testimony about her.
“I believe that her life signifies national unity. We need to the United in this country. We have no reason to be fighting each other on the basis of ethnic and religious background.
“Nigeria is a country that we have come to stay and what we need to do is to continuously look into the best possible way of ensuring that we provide avenues for improvement of governance,” he noted.
Lawan also said that her commitment to her senatorial district would continue to be a reference to all.
He urged the political elites to always come together despite party differences and do those things that would benefit the country in general.
He said the senate would continue to liase with the family for the funeral slated for November.
The Senate, thereafter, offered prayers for the for the late senator and observed a minute .
Meanwhile the dignitaries that were present at the valedictory session included former President of Senate and Secretary to Government of the Federation, Sen.Liyel Imoke, former Governor of (Cross-River State),Former governor of Anambra state and PDP Vice Presidential candidate of Mr Peter Obi,Minister of Women Affairs, Pullen Tellen and Minister of State (Power)Goddy Agba, among others.