Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
NIGERIA’S first female senator, Franca Afegbua, has passed. She passed on Sunday March 12, 2023.
The passing was disclosed in a statement by the Afegbua family.
“The Afegbua family of Edo State has confirmed the demise of the first woman senator in Nigeria, Senator Franca Afegbua, whose sad event occurred this morning, Sunday, March 12, 2023.
“She combined beauty and brain during her service to Nigeria.
“Funeral details will be announced by the family soon,” the family said in the statement.
According to Wikipedia, “Franca Afegbua was a Nigerian beautician and politician who represented Bendel North in the Nigerian Senate in 1983.
“Elected as a National Party of Nigeria (NPN) senator, she was the first elected woman senator in Nigeria.
“Afegbua was born in Okpella, Edo State. She had her tertiary education in Sofia, Bulgaria.
“Prior to the beginning of the second republic, she worked as a hairdresser in Lagos, focusing on high-income clients.
“Afegbua also had a close relationship with Joseph Tarka who introduced her to his party, NPN.
“In 1983, when she announced her intention to make a challenge for a senatorial seat in Bendel, few gave her a chance.
“Her party was in opposition and the incumbent governor and senator were respected men in the community.
“But Afegbua, who had won an international hairstyling competition in 1977, calculated that wooing more women to vote could give her a victory.
“Her victory in the competition had made her name popular within her Etsako community, she targeted women voters and as her campaign gained steam, it was too late to curb.
“She earned a slim victory in the August election, defeating John Umolu.”