By Simeon OSAJIE
Former two-term Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Mike Oghiadomhe was among the first set of prominent Edo North citizens to mourn the passing away of Senator Franca Afegbua of the Afegbua Dynasty.
Sen. Afegbua died in the early hours of Sunday 12th March, 2023 at the age of 79. In her pinnacles as a politician, she was a paragon of beauty and brain and was able to climb these two rare traits to raise to the top of her political game.
In the press statement which was personally signed by the Chief of Staff to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Oghiadomhe extolled the virtues of the late Senator Franca Afegbua, saying also that her death has robbed the country of her invaluable contributions and insights to the ongoing national discourse on deepening our nascent democracy as well as attainment of nationhood.
Dr. (Chief) Oghiadomhe recalled the heroic roles in berthing democracy during the short-lived Second Republic, along with the other political icons of that era.
He urged the Federal and the Edo State governments to find ways to immortalize her memory.
He further noted that the name of the late Senator Afegbua would not be forgotten in a hurry in Edo North politics, in particular, Edo State in general and Nigeria at large.
Late Senator Franca Afegbua
A Bulgarian trained beautician, Senator Franca Afegbua came into the national reckoning in 1977 when she won an international hairstyling competition. She fought doggedly for the promotion of excellence and liberation of the Nigerian woman through her fashion skills. She indeed took pride in promoting the lot of the culture of the blacks especially the women folk.
Leveraging on her self-built popularity, she contested a hard fought election in 1983, and won the senate seat of Bendel North Senatorial District (comprising of present day Edo North and Central Senatorial districts), emerging as the first female to be elected to the Nigerian senate.
This feat instantly shot her to prominence and she became a national delight and folklore to the other women who looked up to her for inspiration.
This is an attestation to the fact that she was a rugged politician who despite her femininity fought and won several political battles like a trojan.