On March 12, 2023, Sen. Franca Afegbua was confirmed dead at 81, by Kassim Afegbua, one of her younger nephews, a journalist who served as a Commissioner for information in Adams Oshiomhole administration in Edo State.
Afegbua, 81, was a native of Okpella, a town in Etsako-east LGA of old Bendel state (now split into Edo and Delta states). She went from running a luxury salon in Lagos to winning an international hairdressing competition in London, and then to become the first elected female Senator in Nigeria.
Chief Afegbua made history when she contested and won the Bendel-North Senatorial District seat in the 1983 elections in a political atmosphere dominated by men, not very different from what obtains today. Running for office on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria against the incumbent at the time, a seasoned politician from the opposition Unity Party of Nigeria in control of old Bendel State (present-day Edo and Delta States), Afegbua showed that women support women in politics.
It should be noted that since the general elections of September 1983 when Senator Franca Afegbua was elected the first female Senator in Nigeria, the electoral fortune of women has not seen a dramatic improvement. The number of elected women in Nigeria’s politics remains abysmally low.
In the 2023 general elections, only 10% of all candidates were women. From 1999 till date, only 157 women have been elected into the 469-member National Assembly (38 senators and 119 members of the House of Representatives), compared to 2,657 men (616 senators, 2,041 reps) during the same period. Only 3 women won of the 92 that contested for senatorial seats while out of the 286 who contested for seats in the House of Representatives, only 15 have been declared winners.
This Article Was Culled From Placng.org