By Jonathan Ugbal
The remains of late federal lawmaker, Rose Omo were laid to rest on Friday in her hometown Okuku, Yala Local Government Area of northern Cross River State amidst an outpouring of emotions.
She was until her death on March 23, 2020, a second term Senator representing that district in the National Assembly.
And, at her funeral mass, a concelebrant, Rev. Fr. Matthew Otuji called for deep reflections in the type of life people lead especially those who are boisterous.
According to him, the late lawmaker unlike many of her counterparts who made their achievements known to all, She, “believed in the principle of silent action, alleviating the plight of the suffering. Influenced the employment and the appointment of many in structural development especially in institutions of learning even though the insatiable nature of man will make many of us to accuse, criticize and condemn her.”
Since her death, the district has been without representation with the race to replace her leading to a bitter rivalry between former associates which has led to deaths.
And, the clergyman told those present that the deceased would love to see those struggling to replace her to, “remember to imbibe the culture of non violence.”
Then came the heartfelt tributes and goodwill messages.
The chief mourner and Cross River Governor, Benedict Ayade in his tribute said she was a “true woman of God who throughout her career showed that you have to put God first.”
Mr. Ayade lamented that politics was quickly replacing ethics and the African culture. “It is not proper to start scrambling for a seat of somebody who is waiting to be committed to Earth,” he said, echoing the position of the clergyman.
He sued for a constitutional review to ensure that interment is carried out before a by-election is done to replace the deceased public official.
For the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, the deceased was described as “Rose of the Senate,” not just because of her name but her sterling qualities which also led to her contributing immensely to quality legislations.
“One of the remarkable thing she did was sponsoring the Company and Allied Matters Act which was signed into law by Mr. President a few months back,” Lawan, represented by the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
The lawmaker who averred that she had a “nationalistic disposition,” disclosed that “her quality of debate in plenary” shaped the outcome of legislation from the 8th and 9th Senate.
For Colonel Ernest Kizito Attah (rtd), a former military Governor of Cross River State, Senator Oko was a thoroughbred administrator with a “kind and loving heart.”
“She was an excellent woman, a great woman, a woman of substance,” Attah said, adding that: “She had the character of singular elevation.”
“We have come here to honor someone who is deserving of been honored,” said Senator Liyel Imoke, former Governor of Cross River State.
He described her as “one of the greatest that Cross River State has ever produced,” and, “an epitome of humility,” said her demise remains a “great blow to all of us.”
Her remains were interred at her late husband’s community, Ijiegu of Yache in Yala.
The funeral was also a roll call of the current political elites in the State and the country.
Amongst them was former military administrator of Kwara State, Colonel Peter Ogar (rtd), Justice Obojor Ogar, Air Vice Marshall Clement Ogbeche who represented the Chief of Air Staff; the Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command who represented the Chief of Naval Staff and Air Vice Marshall Eko Osim (rtd).
Past and present lawmakers included Senators John Owan-Enoh, Peter Nwaboashi, Kola Balogun, Michael Nnachi, Ajibola Basiru, Akon Eyakenyi, Gershom Bassey and Sandy Onoh. The Representatives included Honorable Jarigbe Agom, Legor Idagbo and Eta Mbora.
Also, candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the senatorial by-election, Joe Agi, Mary Ekpere Eta.
Below are images from the funeral by Daniel Williams.
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