By Frank Ulom
The Senator Representing Cross River State Northern Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Sen. (Dr.) Rose Okoji Oko, has died at age 63.
THE PARADISE NEWS learnt that Sen. Oko, the only female Senator currently in the Red Chambers from Cross River died last night at a United Kingdom (UK) medical facility due to illness.
An Aide to the Late Rose Oko confirmed the sad news this morning while expressing shock over the death of his pay-mistress.
Meanwhile, Patrick Ikorgor Okoroji, a close relative to the late Senator who also confirmed the news, said: “Heartbroken to hear of the passing of my dear cousin, Senator (Dr) Rose Okoji Oko after a long-fought battle with physical affliction.
“You gave your best to your world now that it has pleased the Almighty God to call you home may your soul find eternal rest in Heaven. Adieu, Distinguished Senator Dr Rose Okoji Oko.”
Born on September 27, 1956, Rose Oko was a one-time Member representing Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Nigeria’s 7th class of the National Assembly.
Oko was elected as the first female representative from her constituency in June 2011 and sat as Deputy Chairman House Committee on Education.
She was later elected as the first female Senator in 2015 and reelected in 2019 to represent the people of Cross River State North Senatorial District.
Until her death, the Late Sen. Oko was the serving Chairman, Senate Committee on Trade and Investment.
In 1989 at the age of 33, she was appointed as Commissioner of Education, Cross River State; a position she held till 1991. In that same period, she served as for Chairperson Better Life Programme, Cross River Chapter from 1990–1991.
In 1993 she was appointed Director General, National Defence & Security Council, Cabinet Secretariat under the military presidency. She held this position simultaneously with the National Commissioner, National Electoral Commission (NEC) now known as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Between 1993 and 1994 she was appointed Director General, Provisional Ruling Council again under the then Military Presidency. In 1995 she was appointed (NCFR) now known as National Commission For Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons. In 2002 she retired.
She was survived by children, grandchildren and many relatives.