Nigerians Mourn Senator Afegbua, Say She’s Political Trailblazer
More tributes have poured in for the first elected female Senator in Nigeria, Franca Afegbua, who died on Sunday at the age of 80, with Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, describing her death as the exit of a political trailblazer.
In a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, Prince Agba said: “I am profoundly shocked to learn of the death of my dear sister, Senator Franca Afegbua on Sunday, 12th March, 2023 at the age of 80 years.
“I express my deepest condolences to members of her immediate family, the entire Okpella community, and all women in Nigeria who have lost a political trailblazer with her death.”
Agba stated that: “Senator Franca Afegbua’s public service was varied and so distinguished as to make her fame secure and her exit at this time of our national life a grievous public loss.
“It brings true sadness to my heart to learn of the passing of such a close sister who got elected to the Nigerian Senate in 1983, becoming the first elected female senator in Nigeria.
“She was an inspiring leader and brought hope and courage to Nigerian and African women.”
According to him: “She used her voice as a senator to speak on behalf of then Bendel North Senatorial District, Nigerians and women in particular.
“This was a mark of real courage and leadership, which I hope will continue to inspire other female politicians and leaders in Nigeria.
“The people of Afenmai will never forget her patriotism and her contributions to national development, and her heroism will continue to guide and inspire women all over Nigeria in their struggle for gender equality and opportunities.
“No one and nothing can fill the void created by the death of our dear sister. May fond memories of her bring comfort to her immediate family and the government and people of Edo State during this period of extreme grief.
“May her soul rest in peace.”