Walking through the lenght and breadth of the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State, it will be difficult to imagine the drastic growth and development that has taking over some of the communities that was once forgotten by past senators of the above constituency.
This massive growth and development can only be achieved due to the peoples choice of candidate of electing a result-oriented Senator Rose Oko into the seat of power at the National Assembly in 2015.
Within the three years of her tenure, senator Rose Oko, who was among few of the female elected Senators at the House of Senate, has systematically promoted the vision and goal of transforming the Northern Senatorial District through raising of various bills at the floor of the Assembly that have been of positive impart within the district.
Many has wondered if Senator Rose Oko has the capacity of shouldering the huge responsibilities bestowed upon her considering the fact that being a female, she could fidget and lose some level of concentration at the long run. However, she has shown that what a man can do, a woman can do more better.
As a seasoned scholar and educationist, Senator Oko is passionately disposed to engendering qualitative education in Cross River State Northern Senatorial District. her firm belief in human capacity development through the instrumentality of quality and accessible education, has led her, like a messiah, to bring significant turn-around in the Cross River North educational landscape, which until her appearance on the scene, was a forlorn and unattractive enterprise, sharply marked by deplorable state of infrastructure and a visible absence of teaching and learning materials.
This unpalatable condition of Primary and Secondary schools in Northern Senatorial District saw everything education dancing precariously to the precipice. The mental torture evoked by mere sight of classrooms, which looked more like vestiges of long era of neglect, was enough to break the stoutest of mind. Teachers and students abandoned classrooms, and parents frowned at the idea of enrolling their children and wards into public schools in their localities.
To start with, she dealt a decisively accurate and heavy-weight punch at the pitiable and sorry state of education that confronted the Senatorial District. This blow was masterfully materialized and delivered in the Senator’s 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 zonal intervention projects in education worth over One Hundred and Eighty-Five Million Naira (N185,000,000.00).
Under these projects, the lawmaker embarked upon educational infrastructure intervention in Thirty-Four (34) primary and secondary schools across the five local government areas of Bekwara, Obanliku, Obudu, Ogoja and Yala that make up the Northern Senatorial District.
In one fell swoop, Community Science School, Olachor; Community Secondary School, Aliforkpa; Community Secondary School, Ore, Ijiegu; Comprehensive Secondary School, Okwel Urban II; Community Secondary School, Nwang; Science Secondary School, Wanihem; Secondary Grammar School, Wanokom; Government Secondary School Ijiegu; UBEC Model Junior Secondary School, Abachor Okuru; Bagga Secondary School, Otaga; Community Science School Aladim; Government Science School, Ishibori; Community Secondary School, Utugwang; Igbeku Comprehensive Secondary School, Igbeku; Technical School, Ijiraga; Technical School, Ipong; Government Science School, Ipong; Government Secondary School, Ukpa; Technical School, Bendi II, were all touched by the wave of Senator Rose Oko’s transformational and purpose driven representation.
Without resting on her oars, and in seeing that education in Senatorial District is top-notch, the delectable Senator Oko consistently followed up with provision of science equipment to Thirteen (13) Secondary Schools. The move was a conscious effort geared towards reviving the teaching and learning of science subjects these in schools, which was hitherto, greeted were lukewarm attitude by both teachers and students, owing to lack of teaching apparels. Among the schools that benefitted from this gesture are Mary knoll College, Yala, Ogoja; Government Science School, Ukpa; Government Science School, Ipong; Technical School, Bendi, to mention but a few.
In the area of health, the Senator deserves commendation. The thinking of the federal lawmaker is that, it is only when people are healthy and sound, will they be able to work and contribute meaningfully to their socio-economic well-being and that of the society at large. Hence, she has been consistent in pursuing vigorous health intervention campaigns for her people.
In 2016 alone, Senator Rose Oko undertook several medical outreach programmes across the nooks and corners of Cross River Northern Senatorial District, so much to the admiration of Traditional Rulers and chief, who showered her with encomiums. She generously bankrolled the medical bills for Eighty (80) constituents who were suffering from life-threatening illnesses. This magnanimous gesture, no doubt, gave beneficiaries a second chance at life. Within the same year, she distributed Eight Hundred (800) units of Sight Corrective eye glasses to people with varying degrees of visual impairments. To this category of beneficiaries, Senator Oko, represents the light at the end of their dark tunnel.
To cap her effort in improving health status of the people, she provided hospital equipment worth Forty Million Naira (N40, 000,000) to different health care facilities in zone; this is, in addition to the provision of regular counseling on various deadly diseases such as, HIV/AIDS, Lassa fever, Breast Cancer and many more.
Under her social empowerment programmes, which most often reflect core element of human agency, the humane Legislator has taught a good number of the people how to fish, instead of depending on her for fish. So far, the Senator was instrumental for the inclusion of Fourty-five (45) constituents in the federal government’s N-Power programme. She single-handedly sponsored Fourty (40) constituents for recruitment into the Nigeria Peace Corps. Through her contacts, she facilitated and perfected the employment of Five (5) constituents into the Nigerian Navy in 2016.
As the 2019 General Elections beckon upon us, the need for continuity and Progressive transformation should be maintain through the re-election of Senator Rose Oko into the legislative seat of power for a second term by the people of the Northern Senatorial District.
Written by: Matthew Okache
Editor/Publisher of Voplink Media