Mrs Pauline Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs, has described the death of Nigeria’s first female senator, Franca Hadiza-Afegbua, as an irreparable and irreplaceable loss to the Nigerian women political space.
Tallen, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said the late Afegbua was a great woman of worth, the Lioness and trail blazer of Nigerian women ascension to the Red Chambers.
She also described her as a courageous, outspoken activist, who stood her grounds in the then Red Chamber to demand equal access to amenities in the structures of the National Assembly; which did not cater for the needs of women.
“Her death at this time is an irreparable and irreplaceable loss to the Nigerian women political space.
“Still grapling with this great blow to the memoirs of Nigerian women participation in politics, at a time, when we are canvassing for more representation of women and seeking mentors of the next generation of female politicians, I am deeply saddened.
“As the world mourns this iconic Amazon, model and great Ambassador of Nigerian women participation in governance, we will be comforted by the legacies she left behind in her foray into politics; which became a model for other women around the world,” she said.
The minister, therefore, commisserated with the Government and good people of Edo, the Afegbua Royal Family of Okpella Kingdom and of course, Nigerian women over the demise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sen. Afegbua represented the aspirations and triumphs of Nigerian women recognition in national development.
She emerged as a Senator in 1983 through a keenly contested election to represent the defunct Bendel State North Senatorial District.
Her emergence paved way for more women to attain the highest pinnacle in their political career, while dymystifying the stereotypes around women’s equal participation in politics in Nigeria.
Afegbua was a Cultural Ambassador, who exported the beauty of Nigerian culture to Europe through hair styles and the Atilogwu energetic dance; spotlighting the rich cultural diversity of Nigeria to the world.
The statement revealed that a Memorial Register will be opened for well wishers to pay their tributes in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs after the election on Saturday.