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Florence Ita-Giwa: Mama Bakassi At 73

Florence Ita Giwa was born on this day in 1946 in Cross River to former staff of “The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper” and “The West African Pilot,” Beatrice Bassey-Ita.

To many, Ita Giwa is known as “Mama Bakassi.” To some, she is the wife of the veteran journalist, Dele Giwa. Still, to some, she is a notable politician.

After her secondary education, Ita-Giwa travelled to Kilburn Polytechnic, U.K where she graduated in Nursing. She landed a job as a representative for the Beecham pharmaceutical company. In a search for personality development, she moved to Standall Pharmaceutical where she was made a representative of Lagos State.


Under the administration of General Babangida Badamasi, she was appointed the Delta State chairman of the National Republican Convention (NCR).

In 1992, she was elected a member of the House of Representatives and was appointed a member of the House of Representatives committee on the devolution of power, a membership she held until June 12 election.

Again in 1994, she was re-elected into the constituent assembly, a decision that will lead to her to prepare a new constitution for Nigeria.

That same year, she earned the name “Mama Bakassi” after her involvement in the Bakassi tussle. By 1999, Ita-Giwa had established herself as a defender of the people such that she was elected Senator representing the Cross River South constituency and member, Committees on Rules and Procedures, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Women, Niger Delta and Drug & Narcotics.

In 2003, she became a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was appointed as President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters.

Asides politics, the philanthropist runs the Bakassi Children Foundation which caters to the needs including education of Bakassi creeks children from the ages of one. Only recently, the OON (Officer of the Order of the Niger) was awarded The Sun Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Florence Ita-Giwa
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