The late Afegbua became Nigeria’s first elected member of the Senate under the NPN 1983.

According to a statement issued by the Afegbua family, the deceased breathed her last in the morning of Sunday, March 12, 2023, with no cause of death stated.

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 statement read.

Born in Okpella, a town in Etsako-east Local Government Area of the old Bendel state (now split into Edo and Delta states), in 1943, the late senator was elected into the Red Chamber in October 1983 under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

However, the Second Republic senator had her stint at the National Assembly cut short just three months in by the military coup of December 1983 which toppled the civilian government led by Nigeria’s first democratically elected president, Shehu Shagari.

Franca, having previously worked as a hairdresser in Lagos and won an international hairstyling competition in 1977, made a foray into politics teaming up with the then opposition party, NPN.

Although few gave her a chance, she was able to achieve a landmark victory against her male competitor, John Umolu, in a very close contest in August of 1983.

She was 79 years old at the time of her death.

RIP to the trailblazer!!!


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