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Prof. Ibe Writes Ebitu Ukiwe @ 80, Says “He is one of the most decorated military officers in Nigeria “

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In a statement made available to AFNEWS and signed by Prof Gregory Ibe, PhD, OFR (Enyi Abia), he revealed some special qualities of Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe Rtd.

 

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EBITU UKIWE-CELEBRATING A FINE OFFICER AND COURAGEOUS GENTLEMAN AT 80

In my many years of service to both Country and Community, I have had the rare privilege of hosting and interacting with many highly revered individuals. These include national and international leaders, former and serving Presidents, Governors, Legislators and other upper echelon members of the political class. It is in the course of discharging my traditional duty as Erim Ndigbo (The umbilical cord of Unity), that I had the honor of hosting one of such very distinguished global citizen, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, during one of the many editions of World Igbo Summit that took place in my hometown Amaokwe Achara Uturu, specifically in our school, Gregory University Uturu.

Without equivocation, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe uniquely belongs to a special class exclusively reserved for very few distinguished Nigerians. Easily one of the most decorated military officers in Nigeria he rose to the pinnacle of the Nigerian Navy at a relatively young age. Within a service period of 26 years spanning from 1960 to 1986, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe held many prominent positions, including Governor of Niger State, Governor of Lagos State and Chief of General Staff, the military equivalent of the office of Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

I was still a young man struggling with early career commencement in 1985 when Commodore Ukiwe became Nigerias Chief of General Staff at a young age of 45 years. Being the 7th Chief of General Staff, he was merely toeing a path others had walked on. What however distinguished him from others is that he would shortly resign from the position on principle. Thus in 1986, the world woke up to the shocking news that Nigerias then Vice President Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe had courageously resigned from office on discovering that the country had secretly joined the Organization of Islamic Countries without his knowledge. He would later inspire aspiring leaders like us by championing the course for return to democratic rule in Nigeria through the formation and leadership of such organizations as Council for Unity and Understanding (CUU) and National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).

 

On the home front, the Commodore has not relented in living out his traditional title of Ochiagha by being in the forefront of every developmental battle we have fought as a people.

Therefore, as our exceptionally courageous and consistently committed mentor enters the octogenarian phase of life, I join his countless admirers and other mentees across the globe in celebrating this rare gift to humanity, while praying that his patriotic labors will continue to yield visible and impactful dividends.

 

Prof Gregory Ibe, PhD, OFR (Enyi Abia),
Chancellor/Proprietor,
Gregory University Uturu

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