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Rose Okoji Oko

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Rose Okoji Oko (born 27 September 1956) is a Nigerian politician and senator. She was a Member of the Federal House of Representatives from the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP),representing Yala/Ogoja Federal Constituency in Nigeria's 7th class of the National Assembly. She was elected into office as the first female representative from her constituency in June 2011 and sat as Deputy Chairman House Committee on Education. She is the current Senator representing the people of Cross River North Senatorial District. She was elected into office as the first female representative from her Senatorial District in June 2015,which is remarkable.

Life and education

Born on 27 September 1956 to Agbo Ojeka from Opkoma; Yala LGA, Cross River State and father Thomas Ojeka also from Opkoma. She grew up the first of two from her mother and seventh of fifteen from her father. She collected her first School Leaving Certificate in 1977 from WTC Primary School Enugu after which in 1975 attended Federal school of Arts & Science Ogoja in Cross River State to acquire her Higher School Certificate (Nigeria). In 1981 she graduated with a 2nd Class Upper in B.A.(Hons) Linguistics from the University of Calabar, Cross River state. A Graduate Course in Linguistics shortly followed at The University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. A career Educationalist, Okoji Oko returned to University of Calabar and graduated with M.A. Linguistics in 1984

Early career

Okoji Oko started her career in the Nigerian Youth Service Corps as a tutor in Edgerly Memorial Girls Secondary School, Calabar in 1981. Between 1982 and 1983 she taught at St. Patricks College, Calabar and in the same year moved to become a lecturer at the Cross River School of Basic Studies Akampka. She held this position till 1984 when she moved to the University of Calabar to become an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Language and Linguistics until 1986 when she was promoted to become Lecturer in the same department. In 1989 at the age of 33 she was recognized for her years of service and started her career as a public servant when 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.

Political career

In 1999 Rose registered and formed part of the team to introduce the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to Cross River State as an inactive member of the party. Between 2002 and 2004 after she retired from public service, she registered and introduced the National Democratic Party (NDP) to Cross River State and served as the Deputy Chairman South, Board of Trustees, NDP. In 2003 when Nigeria held her first democratic election since the handover of power from military to civilian rule, Okoji Oko contested as a senate candidate, Cross River State North Senatorial District under the NDP banner, a contest she lost to the PDP candidate at the time. She continued to serve as chairman of the board of trustees for the NDP party up until 2007, when she ran in the country's second official democratic election as a gubernatorial candidate for Cross River State, a contest she lost to the PDP candidate.

In that same year, she reenlisted as a member with the PDP and in the 2011 democratic elections ran for Member National Assembly, Federal House of Representatives. Yala/Ogoja Federal Constituency. A position she holds currently. She was elected as a senator and she represents the north of the state where she was born. There were over 100 senators elected in the 8th National Assembly in 2015, but only six of these were women. The others were Stella Oduah and Uche Ekwunife who both represent Anambra. Fatimat Raji Rasaki, Oluremi Tinubu and Binta Garba.

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