Lawan, other senators mourn colleague
By Deji Elumoye
The Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, yesterday called on the federal government to name the headquarters of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) after the late ranking Senator Rose Oko, who died in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2020.
This is just as the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; principal officers and other senators mourn their late colleague, who was from Cross River North.
Abaribe, who spoke at the valedictory session held by the Senate for Oko, canvassed for the naming of the headquarters of the Nigeria Disapora Commission after her, “because of her contributions to nation building as chairman of the Senate Committee on Diaspora and Non-Governmental Organisations in the eighth Senate.”
He lamented that the late Oko was the fourth senator to have died since the inauguration of the ninth Senate in June 2019.
The senator said Oko’s demise was an opportunity for the legislators to reflect on their mortality.
Abaribe described her as a gentle speaker that made great point in her presentations, adding that she was a mother that would be missed by all.
Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, had earlier in a motion 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 for the valedictory service.
Yahaya said the Senate could not hold the session earlier because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the annual vacation of the National Assembly.
He described the late chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment as a highly accomplished educationist, given her pedigree in the education sector.
“Senator Rose Oko as very knowledgeable lawmaker, and she was a dependable ally to me in our committee responsibility,” the senator added.
In her tribute, Senator Oluremi Tinubu said Oko lived a very significant and robust life, describing her as the pride of women, and a brave woman who came, saw and conquered.
On his part, the Senate President, Lawan, while expressing his condolence to Oko’s immediate family, described her death as a great loss to the country.
According to him, the late senator was productive, and had impacted positively in her state and Nigeria in general, “hence the need for her life to be celebrated.”
Lawan said Oko was very committed to her responsibility in the Senate, hence everyone who interacted with her in different capacities, gave a good testimony of her.
Lawal said her commitment to her senatorial district would continue to be a reference to all, adding that the Senate would continue to liaise with the family for the funeral slated for November 2020.
The Senate, thereafter, offered prayers for the late lawmaker, and observed a minute silence while the Senate president will lead the Senate delegation to her burial.
Apart from the senators and the close family members of the deceased, other dignitaries who graced the occasion held inside the Senate chambers, included the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen; a former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim; former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, and paid their last respect to Oko.