Ebitu Ukiwe

Ebitu Ukiwe Biography / Profile

Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe was born into a royal family of Abiriba, Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria, on October 26th, 1940. He is a retired Commodore of the Nigerian Navy, and served as the de facto Vice President of Nigeria during the Ibrahim Babangida military government between 1985 and 1986.

Ebitu Ukiwe Age

Ebitu Ukiwe is 83 years old.

Ebitu Ukiwe Early Life

With educational qualifications from Presbyterian School, Abriba, Duke Town School, Calabar and Emida College, he is the son of the then traditional ruler of Abriba, and Head of the Old Bendel Division Local Government Appeal Court, the late Chief Ebitu Ukiwe. 

Ukiwe got enlisted in the Nigerian Navy in 1960 and was commissioned in 1964 after his training at Royal Naval College, England. He was also at Britannia Royal Navy College where he aquired certificates in Ocean Navigation Watch Keeping.

Ebitu Ukiwe Career

Ukiwe joined the Nigerian Navy in 1960 as a cadet officer, and was commissioned in 1964 with the rank of lieutenant. During the Nigerian civil war from 1966 to 1970 he fought on the side of Biafra. After the war, in January 1972 he was readmitted to the Marina, one of the few Igbo officers to regain his position. 

Ukiwe’s career was, however, punctuated three years after by the Nigerian Civil War, which saw him retreating to the defunct Eastern Region to fight for Biafra. Despite playing an active role on the frontlines in the war, Ukiwe would later describe that phase thus: “We had to fight each other, especially in a war that people have now realised was unnecessary.”

Ukiwe, who was a member of the Supreme Military Council, SMC between 1975 and 1977, in the Obasanjo regime, soldiered on with exemplary displays of professionalism. For instance, he held command positions as a Captain, when those postings were meant for Rear Admirals. His reputation as an officer with distinguishing professional skills, saw him being appointed the military governor of Niger and Lagos states in 1977 and 1978 respectively.

Ukiwe, who later headed the Western Naval Command, was appointed the pioneer Director of Naval Faculty, Jaji. Like the proverbial golden fish with no hiding place, his sterling qualities earned him the position of Chief of General Staff (Vice-President under the military) in the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida (retd). However, he only lasted for a year and two months as the number two man in that administration given his unceremonious exit from government. The same display of bravery that is known as his trademark was responsible for what was regarded as his premature retirement as a Commodore in January 1987.

He would later describe the incident thus, “It is nothing personal with Babangida. We had our disagreements, and these were expected since he was not working with a buffoon. It would be impossible for people to agree on everything." He was succeeded by Admiral Augustus Aikhomu.

In retirement, he continued his contributions to nation-building as he played critical roles during the struggle for the actualisation of June 12 election. In fact, he was reported to have been the one that convinced the late Chief MKO Abiola to return and fight for his mandate in 1993. The National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, which was the vehicle used by democratic forces to campaign for an end to military rule, metamorphosed from the Council for Unity and Understanding, CUU, which he founded alongside other like minds. He aspired to the presidency in 2007 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

He also excelled in business as the chairman of companies such as Bitu Properties, Kobimat, Bitu Promar and Rudocons. He was adviser and consultant to an offshore company, Statoil for nearly a decade.

Ebitu Ukiwe Personal Life

Ukiwe is married to Amina Ukiwe. They couple is blessed with children among whom is Sandra Ebitu-Ukiwe.

Ebitu Ukiwe Awards

Apart from his nationalistic interventions, Ukiwe holds the traditional title of Ochiagha. On July 19th, 2014, he was conferred with the "Ofo Ndi Igbo" title in Nri, Anambra. Only 3 other Igbo men previously received the title; Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Michael Okpara and Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu. 

Ebitu Ukiwe Net Worth

His net worth is not available.

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