New Telegraph

Franca Afegbua: Great Nationalist, Amazon takes her final bow

Senator Franca Afegbua gave a glimpse of hope to women when she became the first elected female Senator in Nigeria in 1983. Her courage, confidence and strength in taking a stand in the male dominated politics is one of the reasons, female Senators like Stella Odua, Florence Ita Giwa, Uche Ekwunife and a host of other women dared to take the bold step to contribute their quota to the Nigerian governmental process. Afegbua became a role model, a point of reference for women to believe that no post is too high to attain.

It is said that the former Senator, who served in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly from October to December 1983, mentored many women who were interested in politics after she left office. The nation was thrown into mourning on Sunday, March 12, 2023, when the sad news of her demise broke. Since then, tributes have been flowing in to condole with the family she left behind. One of those who have sent in tributes to the late Senator is the Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji. Okoroji expressed deep sadness at the passing of Nigeria’s first female Senator, Afegbua, describing it as a big loss to the nation. He stated: “For many years, Senator Franca Afegbua was my great friend and solid supporter. With the likes of Senator Florence Ita Giwa, they formed a pillar of strength for me, urging me to continue to work for the growth of the Nigerian creative community and protecting me from the arrows of the usual habitual troublemakers.” He described Afegbua as a majestic beauty, who was there at every event he held.

“I remember her working with Senator Ita-Giwa and others to plan an unforgettable event in my honour, several years back in Lagos. “Senator Franca Afegbua was not just outwardly very good looking, she was a beautiful person with a beautiful heart inside, simple, nontribalistic and a great nationalist. Nigeria has lost a great daughter and I have lost a great friend whom I will miss badly”. Afegbua was a native of Okpella, a town in Etsako-east LGA of old Bendel State (now split into Edo and Delta states). She served in the upper chamber of the National Assembly from October to December 1983, before the then military coup brought the Second Republic to an end on December 31, 1983. No doubt, her impact was great and history will not forget a woman, who opened a little window for other women to go through the corridors of politics in Nigeria.

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