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Nigeria’s First Female Graduate of Science, Deborah Jibowu, Dies Aged 95

Lady Deborah Jibowu, reputable as Nigeria’s first female science graduate has died at the age of 95.

News of her death was made public by the Governor of Ekiti State, of which she is a native, Dr. Kayode Fayemi through a press statement. Lady Jibowu who graduated from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1947 (with a Bachelor of Science) was not just known as the first female Nigerian science graduate, but also one of the few women that made remarkable strides towards achieving their dreams and promoting the rights of women in an era when women were given less regard in the society.

Part of her numerous achievements include being a recipient of Member of the British Empire (MBE) honour in the year 1962. Late Jibowu would go on to become an Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) in 1965. From 1959-1971, the first Nigerian female scientist was a member of the Local Government Service Commission in the Western Region. She was also Commissioner at the National Population Commission (NPC) from 1981-1983. Her dedication towards educational development would see her fill the positions of Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, at the University of Calabar (1993-1997). Jibowu’s efforts towards molding the lives of many young women across Nigeria while she served as National Commissioner, Girls’ Guide (1960-1980) and later Chief Commissioner (1991-1997), was not left unmentioned in Saturday’s press release by the government of Ekiti State.

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For us in Ekiti, this is a huge loss. Mama Jibowu was an exemple. 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.

Fayemi (Ekiti State Governor)

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The late nonagenarian was also described by Dr. Fayemi as a front-line educationist, seasoned administrator, and a community leader that was impactful and dedicated her lifetime to serving God and humanity. In addition, Jibowu’s contribution in the coordination of several professional and civil society groups such as the Red Cross Society, National Youth Council, National Council of Women Secretaries, Education for All NGO Network among others, were hailed as part of her efforts towards national development by Governor Fayemi.

A condolence register has been opened by the Ekiti State government for the deceased at the Jibowu Hall of the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.


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Ugo Chinedu

I am a Lion, I love to hit heights that seem impossible so I can motivate others and prove doubters wrong. For me, impossible is nothing. I'm open to learning and I love to read, travel and meet new faces.

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