Nigeria’s First Female Science Graduate, Lady Jibowu Dies At 95
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Nigeria’s first female science graduate, Lady Deborah Jibowu, is dead. She was aged 95 years.
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, confirmed this in a statement on Saturday by his Chief Press Secretary, Olayinka Oyebode.
According to him, Lady Jibowu was reputed for being the first Nigerian female science graduate, having graduated from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom in 1947.
She was also a recipient of Member of the British Empire (MBE) honour in 1962 and Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) in 1965.
Late Jibowu was also a member of the Local Government Service Commission, Western Region (1959-1971), Commissioner at the National Population Commission (NPC) (1981-1983), and Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, University of Calabar (1993-1997).
In the statement, Governor Fayemi commiserated with members of her immediate family and the Fasanmade family of Ido-Ile Ekiti on the passing of their matriarch. He described Lady Jibowu as an illustrious daughter of the Land of Honour and a patriot who served her fatherland diligently and made Ekiti proud through numerous achievements.
The governor said the late nonagenarian as a frontline educationist, seasoned administrator and impactful community leader lived a life of service to God and humanity.
He noted that as National Commissioner, Girls’ Guide (1960-1980) and later Chief Commissioner ((1991-1997), the deceased invested her time and resources in moulding the lives of many young females across the country.
This, according to Fayemi, is in addition to coordinating many professional and civil society groups, including the Red Cross Society, National Council of Women Secretaries, National Youth Council and Education for All NGO Network, among others. He said, “Despite her royal and privileged background, mama Jibowu invested her time, energy and resources on many laudable initiatives that impacted positively on the people, especially the girl child.
“For us in Ekiti, this is a huge loss. Mama Jibowu was an exemplar. She made a great impact in almost every aspect of life after setting the record as the first Nigerian female University graduate in the sciences in 1947. She remained a source of pride and inspiration to generations after her.”
“Though we shall miss her wise counsel and positive disposition, we are comforted by the fact this great nationalist lived a good life and left behind a legacy of honour. “She remains our pride in Ekiti. Our prayer is that God will grant her eternal rest and comfort the family,” the governor added.
Meanwhile, the state government has opened a condolence register for the deceased at the Jibowu Hall of the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.