Senator Rose Oko And The Northern Cross River State Debacle BY MIKE NKU ABUO

In Breaking News, Columnists, Education, Opinion, Politics

By CrossRiverWatch Admin

There is no human without one form of impediment or the other whether now, the future or in the past but for those who have risen above these impediments to offer their service to the society rather than wish them bad, run them down or castigate them, we should rather encourage and provide alternatives to better them or the service offered or take collective actions to replace same if our desired “good” result(s) is or are not achieved.

For, if we were to find ourselves in their shoes, would we wish to be ridiculed and accept the evil projections we now wish them?

The real bane of Nigerian democracy which includes but not limited to tribalism, corruption, egoism, sycophancy, hypocrisy, blackmail, propaganda, greed and selfishness etc is the politics of a dead conscience.

We do to others what we will not like to be done to us and when same is done to us we cry “injustice”! The worst is that you will find beneficiaries of a system scheming and organizing for the downfall of a person or system that they are beneficiaries of.

It is not a hidden fact that Senator Rose Oko was on sick bed during the period culminating into her senatorial campaigns to represent the Northern Senatorial District and it may be true that she may have not been too visible but the questions are: How is she now? her track record etc and is she truly representing us and if she is, what is the evidence? How can her representation be correlated to those of her contemporaries?

Stay tuned for my revelations as witnessed during the recent stakeholders meeting in the North of Cross River State.

Senator Rose is not the only human leader to have been sick or with some form of impediment.These classical examples will shade more light.

Theodore Roosevelt the 26th and youngest president of the United States was asthmatic and fragile but went on to set international records in different spheres and Sir Winston Churchill two time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the only prime minister of Britain to win the Nobel Prize in Literature was a rascal during his formative stage and had speech impediments. He became one of the best leaders the world has ever had.

How about president of the largest country in Africa and one of the biggest economy in the world, President Buhari of Nigeria. Is he not currently recuperating on his sick bed in the United Kingdom?

Yet the country is moving and you can hardly hear people of the Northern part of the country call for his impeachment irrespective of his performance rather we are hearing of groups calling for his reelection but if Buhari was to be from the North of Cross River his “brothers” will be those leading the pact to replace him! Sad as it is, this is the debacle of the Northern part of Cross River State politics.

Nigeria operates a democracy which is the presidential system of government. It has one federal unit coordinating 36 quasi federating units(state governments), 774 sub units (Local governments) which makes up the federating units and a capital territory as the seat of the federal government which is Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

In this system of government there are three tiers thus the Executive,Legislative and Judiciary. The three tiers cuts across the three structures of the presidential system which are the federal, state and local governments.

The executive has the primary responsibility of governance in that it coordinates resources/activities, executes and implements policies, initiatives, programs and laws for the entire system etc. It comprises of one president, his vice and their appointees running the federal government.

The legislature on the order hand has the primary responsibility of making laws, checkmating the excesses of the executives and in the Nigerian advanced legislative system carry out constituency projects etc.

While the judiciary interprets the law and provides the balance between the tiers of government. This is the only unit that is not constituted by popular votes but rather responsibilities are designated based on growth in this tier over a period.

For the purpose of this discourse our focus is to clarify the various roles of the arms of government vis-à-vis the role of Senator Rose Oko for her constituents.

It is interesting too to note that aside the fact that to belong to the legislative chambers is by popular votes but the longer you have served in the chambers provides you with ample opportunities of getting key leadership position within the chambers.

This is of course is one of the reason I initially endorsed Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba and Prince Otu for another term in the Senate.

I want to state clearly and sincerely my observation thus:

1. The Senator Rose Oko that we met at the said Senatorial Stakeholders meeting recently held at Yala Local Government Area was not frail or sick as she stood for over an hour addressing her constituents.

2. From her presentation and verification made within these two years of her representation she leads other two senators in Cross River as regards the number of bills sponsored. She has sponsored 7 bills.

3.Senator Okoji rehabilitated and commissioned school buildings across Bekwara, Obudu, Obanliku, Yala and Ogoja and made donations of educational materials and science equipments.

4. She facilitated the enlistment of her constituent into the Nigerian Peace Corps, Nigerian Airforce and the Nigerian Police.

5. The distinguished Senator has carried out free medical outreach across the five local government of our senatorial districts of our state and in October, 2016 distributed medical equipments to 5 hospitals in Cross River North.

6. In each of the federal and state institutions in the state she has funded building projects as a matter of fact while in the House of Representatives were she served as House Committee Chair on Education she attracted over 3 Billion Naira intervention funds for tertiary institutions in the state.

7. She has facilitated several NDDC road Projects in the 5 Local Government Areas making up the North.

8. At the said stakeholders meeting she has promised to launch a scholarship scheme and deepen her outreach etc.

I think the greatest challenge of Senator Rose is the fact that she occupied a position which was held by a trail blazer at the Senate – Senator Ben Ayade.

MIchael Abuo

Senator Ayade during his time in the Senate sponsored one of the highest number of bills in the history of the nation and understood the politics of “stomach infrastructure” for he gave out several largesse like car gifts, food banks and cash donations and scholarships etc.

The other challenges are lack of visibility online and offline, lack of proper handlers of her office and outreach, poor/inadequate interface with her constituents.

If these areas are handled then we will be seeing the making of one of the best senators in the history of our state and nation.

Nelson Mandela once said; “It is the task of a new generation to lead and take responsibility…”

As part of the new and future generation of our state I want to be counted as those that make sacrifice to build rather than destroy, those that innovate rather than castigate, those that want to be mentored than to be an empty mentor, those that will shun and mobilize against blackmailers, hypocrites and sycophants, one who respectfully calls out the truth and passionately discharge service to our people and leader, one who will stand by his words and the code of brotherhood.

We must speak against voices seeking to tear each other apart these factor has led to the underdevelopment of our region.

Senator Rose Oko deserves commendation for her sacrifices rendered in the past and present and needs support too for the future.

I was amazed and challenged to have discovered that Senator Rose became a Commissioner at 33; served as Director General of a Military Council (Defence etc), was a lecturer and has a Ph.D in Linguistics, a national commissioner of INEC, founded a political party NDP and ran unsuccessfully to be Governor of Cross River State before joining the PDP were she emerged winner of the House of Representatives election and went on to win her Senate race as one of just six women in the nation at the national assembly.

All of these and more has she achieved these 60 years of her life. You be the judge is she really a sleeping Senator? Does she have what to takes to represent us? Does she deserve encouragement and commendation?

Michael Nku Abuo is an aide to Governor Ben Ayade on Student Affairs and Youth Mobilization

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