Nigeria’s first female senator is dead
Nigeria has lost its first female senator, Franca Afegbua, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 79.
The Afegbua family issued a statement announcing her death, stating that she combined beauty and brains during her time in service to Nigeria.
She was a native of Okpella, a town in Etsako-east LGA of old Bendel state.
Afegbua was elected as the senator representing Bendel-north in October 1983 under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in Nigeria’s second republic.
However, her political journey was cut short when the military coup of December 1983 toppled the civilian government, less than three months after she assumed office.
In a 2022 interview with PLAC, Afegbua talked about how she was able to clinch her senatorial seat at a time when the Nigerian political space was largely dominated by men.
She attributed her success to the fact that women are known to keep their promises.
Afegbua’s legacy as Nigeria’s first female senator paved the way for more women to enter politics.
She was the only woman in the senate during her time, but now there are more than one.
The number of women in Nigerian politics has been gradually increasing over the years, and it is expected to continue rising in the future.
Agitations for affirmative action to enable more women to get into the legislature to address the low representation of women have been ongoing.
Afegbua was happy to have started something that others have built on, and she advised women who want to enter politics to remain determined and not lose focus.
She encouraged them to be serious about their ambition to help their people and to go ahead and run for office, assuring them that they can be successful.
Funeral details for Afegbua will be announced by the family soon.