Nigeria’s first female science graduate, Lady Deborah Jibowu, has died at 95 years
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, made this known in a statement on Saturday by his media aid, Olayinka Oyebode.
Fayemi said, 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).
Governor Fayemi who commiserated with her immediate family and the Fasanmade family of Ido-Ile Ekiti on the passing of their matriarch, 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 was a frontline educationist, seasoned administrator and impactful community leader who lived a life of service to God and humanity.
According to Fayemi, the deceased as National Commissioner, Girls’ Guide (1960-1980) and later Chief Commissioner ((1991-1997), invested her time and resources in moulding the lives of many young females across the country.
This,he said, 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.
“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.