Obaseki immortalizes late Sen. Franca Afegbua, names longest road in Okpella after Nigeria’s first-elected Senator

By DADA AYOKHAI

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has immortalized the late Senator Franca Afegbua, Nigeria’s first elected Senator, naming the Ogiriga-Afokpella-Okugbe Road after the Senator who represented Bendel North Senatorial District of Old Bendel State.

The Ogiriga-Afokpella-Okugbe Road, which is 14km long, is the longest road in Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State. 

Obaseki, at the service of songs held in honour of late Sen. Afegbua in Benin City, celebrated the life and legacies of the late Senator, describing her as an Amazon and a worthy ambassador of the State.

The governor was accompanied by his wife, Betsy; Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq.; Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Blessing Agbebaku; former Governors of Edo State, John Odigie Oyegun and Osariemeh Osunbor; former Senators, Roland Owie and Clifford Odia, as well as religious and political leaders, amongst others.

Obaseki said, “We are celebrating today, an amazon and iconic Edo woman. She lived a life of sacrifice, as her life was all about giving to people. She lived ahead of her time, fought for inclusion five decades ago, and argued for women’s right and participation in politics.

“We are glad as Edo people because we have always blazed the trail and produced iconic leaders in Nigeria. We thank her for the inspiration she has been and the light she has brought and shown. We must immortalize her for what she has achieved for the State and Country.”

The governor continued: “She loved Okpella and part of immortalizing her must start from Okpella. So, I have decided that the Ogiriga-Afokpella-Okugbe Road constructed by the Edo State Government will now be named after Sen. Franca Afegbua. It’s the longest road in Okpella, it’s 14km. We will look for other ways to continue to immortalize this great, iconic Edo woman.”

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume described the late Sen. Franca Afegbua as a pacesetter, vocal senator and a politician that changed the face of politics in Nigeria.

Akume, represented by Chris Taka, said, “She was born into this generation to set the pace and open the political space when she emerged at the center stage of Nigeria politics as the first female black senator. She took center-stage in the Senate and became a vocal voice.

“She is a mother not only to the State but the nation as well. She will not be forgotten for the great role she played and has been an inspiration to other women. Nigeria will raise a monument to honour her just as the State has immortalized her.”

In a sermon titled, “The transient nature of man,” the Bishop of Benin Anglican Communion, Bishop Peter Imasuen, represented by Venerable Osaro Igbinosa, said, “Death is a call that all must answer as such we need to put God first in all we do, and live our life with eternity in view.”

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