Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The first woman to be elected Senator in Nigeria, Franca Afegbua, has died at the age of 79. Her family confirms that the sad event occurred in the early hours of Sunday, March 12, 2023.

Born in Okpella, in present-day Edo State, Franca Afegbua, a foreign trained beautician was . elected in 1983 under the defunct National Party of Nigeria. She represented the then Bendel North Senatorial District of old Bendel State in the Senate of the Second Republic.

Afegbua had her tertiary education in Sofia, Bulgaria, and won an international hairstyling competition in 1977 before joining active politics in 1983. She reportedly targeted wooing more women in Etsako land to vote for her which was a strategy that gave her a slim victory in the election against the established politician, John Umolu.

Prior to her political career in the Second Republic, Franca Afegbua worked as a hairdresser in Lagos State focusing on high-income clients. Many say her close relationship with renowned Middle Belt politician, Joseph Tarka of Benue State who introduced her to his party, the NPN before his death in March 1980 led to her joining politics.

Her family says funeral arrangements will be announced soon.

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