The first Nigeria female science graduate, Lady Deborah Jibowu has been reported dead at the age of 95.
Lady Jibowu was reputed for being the first Nigerian female science graduate, having graduated from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom in 1947 and was a recipient of Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1962 and Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) in 1965.
The late Jibowu was a member, 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).
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has however commiserated with members of the immediate family of the deceased and the Fasanmade family of Ido-Ile Ekiti on the passing of their matriarch.
Governor Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Yinka Oyebode, described the late 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.
He described the late Jibowu as a frontline educationist, seasoned administrator and impactful community leader who lived a life of service to God and humanity.
Dr Fayemi, who hailed the contributions of the late Deborah Jibowu to national development, 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 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 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, but 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, Government House, Ado-Ekiti.