Written by on November 14, 2017

On this day in 1945, a one-time Nigerian first lady, Stella Abebe, commonly known as Stella Obasanjo, was born in Essan West, Edo State, South-South Nigeria.

Stella Abebe began her education at Our Lady of the Apostles Primary School.

She enrolled at St. Theresa’s College, where she obtained her West African School Certificate in 1964 with grade one.

Two years later she obtained the higher school certificate.

She was admitted to the Obafemi Awolwo University, Ile-Ife, for a bachelor’s degree in English, attending from 1967 to 1969.

In 1969 she transferred to the United Kingdom to complete her studies, this time around, in insurance, in London and Edinburgh, Scotland, from 1970 to 1974.

She completed her education with a certificate as confidential secretary from the Pitman College London in 1976.

She returned to Nigeria in 1976 and soon after married General Obasanjo, who had become Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, following the assassination of General Murtala Mohammed.

When she became Nigeria’s First Lady in 1999, following the election of her husband, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as president, Mrs Obasanjo established Child Care Trust, immediately thereafter for the care of underprivileged and disabled children.

She died while undergoing elective liposuction in an exclusive clinic in Spain.

She was the First Lady of Nigeria from 1999 until her death on the 23rd of October 2005 aged 59.

She was not the First Lady when President Obasanjo ruled Nigeria as a dictator in 1976.

As first Lady of Nigeria, she joined the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation and on 6 February 2003, she declared the day the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation.

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