By Seyi Babalola
Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the wife of the President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has expressed sadness over the death of the first elected female Senator, Franca Afegbua, saying her contributions to Nigeria and the womenfolk will never be forgotten.
She described Senator Afegbua who died on Sunday at 80 in her Benin-City home in Edo State as a trailblazer and quintessential lawmaker who led the way in showing that women can participate in politics and make meaningful impacts.
In a statement she personally signed, Senator Tinubu said: “I received with shock the news of the demise of Chief Franca Afegbua, Nigeria’s first elected female Senator.
“Senator Afegbua made history in October 1983 when she was elected to the Senate to represent the people of Bendel North on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), defeating John Umolu of the Unity Party of Nigeria, the then ruling party in the defunct Bendel State.
“From being a widely celebrated beautician to breaking the glass ceiling and showing Nigerian women that they can participate in politics and make a meaningful impact, Senator Afegbua was a trailblazer who paved the way for others including me.
“Although her tenure in the Senate was cut short by the return to military rule in December 1983, she spent the rest of her life being an active citizen, advocating adequate representation of women in politics and governance.
“Senator Afegbua’s contributions to Nigeria and the womenfolk will never be forgotten. She embodied every quality women need to thrive in Nigeria’s political space, and her wisdom and guidance will be sorely missed.
“I commiserate with her family, the people of Okpella in Etsako East Local Government Area where she hailed from, and the governments and people of Edo and Delta states. I join others to pray for the repose of her soul and for God to comfort all the loved ones she left behind.”