ABUJA – Nigeria’s first female Senator, Franca Afegbua, is dead.
She died on Sunday morning in her home in Benin, the Edo State capital. She was 80 years old.
Sundiata Post reports that the late Afegbua was elected to represent the defunct Bendel North Senatorial Zone in the defunct Bendel State on the platform of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1983 during Nigeria’s Second Republic.
She reportedly woke on Sunday morning, took her bath, and asked for her breakfast.
She was said to have thereafter retired to her bedroom. It was when the breakfast was ready and someone went to invite her to the dining table that it was discovered she had quietly passed on.
She was not ill.
A prominent member of the Afegbua family and former Information Commissioner in Edo State, Prince Kassim Afegbua told THE CONCLAVE that she died Sunday morning in her home in Benin City.
He said that her second son, who was around when she passed, had deposited remains in the morgue of one of the hospitals in Benin.
Prince Afegbua described his late auntie as a stormy petrel of the Nigerian political firmament even as he said that members of the Afegbua family were hot-headed whether man or woman.
“She was firm, principled, and unbending. She knew how to network within the male-dominated politics. She never believed that her gender would inhibit her achievement of goals, especially at that time in 1983 when Bendel North that she represented was much bigger than what it is now.”
He prayed that the Almighty God would grant her soul eternal reposem
The late Franca Afegbua hailed from Okpella in Etsako East Local Government Area, Edo State.
Senator Afegbua was the only female elected into the Nigerian Senate in 1983 and became the first woman to be elected Senator in Nigeria.
She was a staunch member of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
Senator Afegbua had her tertiary education in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Before venturing into politics, she worked as a highly successful hairdresser in Lagos.
She was influenced into politics following her high-rated relationship with Joseph Tarka, who introduced her to his party, NPN.
On her mission to becoming the first female senator in the country, she calculated that wooing more women to vote could give her a victory and it worked for her as she was able to defeat John Umolu of the ruling party, Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
This victory made her name popular within her Etsako community. (TheConclave)