UKIWE, Commodore Okoh Ebitu (rtd)

Date of Birth: Saturday (Eke) 26"' October 1940 State of Origin: Abia Local Government Area: Ohaolia Village/Town: Abiriba Contact Address: Plot 181 B Koto Abayomi Street Victoria Island Contact Telephone: 234-1-2618345, 234-1-2613027 His Excellency Commodore Ebitu Okoh Ukiwe, Fss. PSC + US-NWC. DLITT(UNN).. DSc (Umudike) (Rtd) vvasborn on 26'" October. 1940 to Chief Ebitu Ukiwe and Chief (Mrs.) Aruodo Ukiwe ofAbiriba. His father, Chief Ebitu Ukiwe. was a Traditional Ruler in Abiriba and Head ofthe Old Bende Division Local Government Appeal Court. The mother vvas the Traditional Ruler-Head ofthe women of Agboji Abiriba in line with the culture and traditional rulership ofthe Abiriba people. Schools Attended Commodore Ukiwe started his education in Church of Scotland Mission School, and then to Enuda College all in Abiriba. where he obtained the West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1958. He also attended Seventh Day Adventist High School. Ihie. to study for the Higher School Certificate in Physics and Mathematics, beforejoining the Royal Nigerian Navy in 1960 as an OfficerCadet just before the Nigerian Independence. After the preliminary military training in the Nigeria Military College, Kaduna between 1960 1961, he vvas admitted into the Britannia Royal Naval College Darthmouth, England the elite British Training College for Naval College Naval Career. He vvas in the college from 1961 1964and graduated and got commissioned as Naval Officer into the rank ofActing Sub-Lieutenant. His Naval career blossomed rapidly with various Naval Courses in Aviation, Mine Sweeping Navigation, Gunnery, Torpedo and Anti-Submarine warfare etc. Qualifications Hegained his Sea WATCH-KEEPINGcertificate and OCEAN NAVIGATION Certificate in 1965. He served in many of Her Majesty's British Royal NavalShipsand Submarine including HMSCaron, HMS Roebuck,HMSShavingtonetc. before he returned to Nigeria in November 1965to command variousNigerianNavalWarShips, such as NNSCalabar,NNS Benin,NNS Kaduna,NNS Lokoja,NNS Dorina,NNS Otobo etc., and also shore-based establishments including NNSANANSAin Calabarin 1966 1968,andNNSBEECROFT nowre-namedNNSOLOKUNtheApapaNaval Basein Lagos between 1975 1976. He was in 1974 the Commander Naval Drafting, a Naval Department that handles the posting and records of naval ratings. Work Experience CommodoreEbitu Ukiwe fought on the Biafran side during the Nigerian civil war that lasted between 1967 to 1970 and commanded the BiafranGun Boats PC 101, PC 202, PC 203. He was at one time the Naval Operations Officer directing Naval Operations in the sea approaches to Port-Harcourt and in the Port-Harcourt Delta Creeks. At the end ofthe civil war, he vvas re-absorbed into the Nigerian Navy after re-absorption, he first served as a Training Officer in NNSQuorra, and then as Executive Officer ofthe Apapa Naval BaseNNS BEECROFT, after which he took Command of NNS Lokoja a Landing ShipTankin 1973.In 1975, CommodoreUkiwe as a Lieutenant Commandersuccessfullyattendeda NavalTactical CourseinHMS Dryard in Portmouth, England. He rose to become the FlagOfficer Commanding Western Naval Command (FOC) from 1984 1985. FlagOfficers in theNavyare equivalentto General OfficerCommanding(GOC's) in the Armyand Air OfficerCommanding(AOC's) in the Air Force. Earlier in 1976during Military rule in Nigeria, he was a memberofthe Supreme MilitaryCouncil under Obasanjo YarAdua Regime. That vvas the highest ruling body in the Country. He, while still a memberofthe Supreme MilitaryCouncil and also in command of NNS OTOBO in 1976,led the taskforce Assault Operationsby sea intoCotonouin the Republic of Beninto checkmatethe mercenarysea invasionofthe Republic of Beninto rescue President Kerekou's regime. In August 1977, he was appointedthe Military Governorof Niger State of Nigeria, and in 1978 he movedto Lagos to become the MilitaryAdministrator/Governor of Lagos State of Nigeriaas well as Commanding Officerofthe Apapa Naval BaseNNS BEECROFT. Hisgovernorship tenureculminatedin his peacefulhandingover government to a democratically elected civiliangovernmentin 1979,and at thattime to Governor LateefJakandeof LagosState.Commodore Ukiwe, thenNavyCaptain, resumed his purelyNavalCareerand became the Captain ofthe Nigerian NavyFlotilla in 1976to July 1980 commanding Flotilla is commanding a groupof Naval Ships operating in company. Hethen left Nigeria for United States ofAmerica to attend the prestigious United States Naval College The United States Naval University Newport, Rhode Island, in 1980 for Naval Command Course, in which the main curriculum is on STRATEGY,Naval Science and Logistics and Operations, and graduated with Masters in DefenceStudies in 1981 from the college. This was the highest course any naval officer or indeed any military officer can undergobefore assuming or being given command of any arm of his nation's Armed Forces. Hereturned to Nigeria in 1981 to becomethe first Directorofthe Nigerian Navy Faculty, Commandand Staff College,Jaji, Kadunawhich took in its firstbatchof Naval OfficerStudents. He held that appointment for 3years before returning to Lagos to assume Commandas the Flag Officer, Western Naval Command ofthe Nigerian Navy in 1984. He was in addition a member ofthe Supreme Military Council under the Buhari-ldiagbon Regime. In 1985 he rose to become the firstNigerian Chiefof General Staffof the Nigeria Armed Forces and thus the NumberTwoManin Nigeria's Federal Military Government (i.eTheNational's VicePresident)underthe Babangida Regime. In this position,he held the fort whenthe Headof Statewasout ofthe countryor indisposed. In this capacity he held the fort while General Babangidawas out ofthe country for three months on medical treatment in Paris, France. In 1986,he disagreedin principlewith the Babangida Administration on issuesand policies relating to the ethical, religious, political and economic life ofthe nation, and willingly opted out ofthe Government on his own volition, and retired with full military honours in January 1987 into private life. Each of these publicoffices and appointments he held had their related and collateral activities and responsibilities, which involved Political, Military, Diplomatic, Social and Economic dimensions, to recount in a brief bio-data of this nature. For example, Commodore Ukiwehas been Patron ofthe Boy's Scout Movement in both Niger and LagosStates while he was the Governorof these states. He was also National Patron of the Boy's Scout Movementas the country's Chief of General Staff. He led several Governmentdelegations outside Nigeria to conferences in military andgovernment-related issues. He was leaderofthe Nigeria delegation to the thenOrganization of African Unity(O.A.U.) nowAfrican Union (AU) in AddisAbaba, Ethiopia in 1986. Before that in 1985, he was the leader ofthe Nigerian delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, in Nasau, Bahamas, West Indies. This was the Commonwealth Conference in whichthe establishment of "Eminent Persons Group" to visit SouthAfrica to assess the prevailing effects of apartheid, the then racial policy ofthe Government ofthe Republic of South Africa, and also to meet with Dr.Nelson Mandela who was serving a life jail in South African prison. Commodore Ukiwe, as the leader of Nigerian Government Delegation, nominated General Olusegun Obasanjo to that body after clearing with the then Head of State President Ibrahim Babangida. He also addressed the UnitedNations General Assembly espousing Nigeria's policies in the World PoliticalArena in 1985. Countries Visited He has visited many countries in different regions ofthe world Britain, Ireland, France, Indonesia, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Russia, Malta, Australia, United States of America(U.S.A.), Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong etc, and almost all countries in Africa. Healsoholds the Keys to five U.S.A. cities including Providence, Boston, San Francisco. Healso has the key to the city of Rio-de-Janeiro in Brazil. Private Business Nowin private business and Chairman of various reputable companies viz Bitu Properties Limited, Kobimat Limited, Bitu Promar Limited, Rudocons Ltd etc. He was a Director in Societe Bancaire (Nigeria) Ltd. Now Unity Bank. Equally, he was Adviser and Consultant to Statoil (Nigeria) Limited State oil Norway/British Petroleum Alliance operating in Nigeria's deep off-shore sea blocks for nine (9) years. He was also a Director of the Post Publishing Company publishers ol"Post Express Daily Newspaper for five (5) years. Commodore Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe (Rtd) GCON Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger a rare honour bestowed on him by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the administration oflhe then Headof State General Abdulsalami Abubakar. is a holder of Honorary Doctorate Degree Doctorof Letters (D.Litt) from University of Nigeria. Nsukka. in recognition of his achievements and contributions to the Nation. In the year 2002. the world renowned Environmental Body World Environmental Movement for Africa (WEMFA) in collaboration with the highly renowned United States of America's based World Institute forLeadership and Development (WTLDEV) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (11F.D). awarded him Commodore Ukiwe the "2001 DISTINGUISHED LEADERSHIP AWARD'. He was also conferred with the Doctor of Science in Public Administration (DSc.) by Michael Okpara Federal University ofAgriculture. Umuahia. Abia Stale. He is bestowed with several high Chieftaincy Titles in Nigeria among them: Ochiagha Ochimba of Abiriba. and Ajagunla of Ikorodu Lagos (meaning a Field Marshal that never fails nor loses). Clubs He is a member of Ikoyi Club 1938 Lagos, and its affiliates. He, as Military Governor of Lagos State vvas ihe Patron of Island Club, Ikoyi Club, Ikeja Country Club.Apapa Club. Yoruba Tennis Club and presently a Life Member of Lagos Yatch Club. Publications Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe has written a few important papers mainly of a classified nature in defence and strategic studies. Commodore Ebitue Ukiwe (Rtd). GCON, as a businessman, was the moving spirit behind the founding of the Council for Unity and Understanding (C.U.U.). a non-partisan, non-religious national association that brought the East, the West and the Middle Belt together for the purpose of promoting mutual understanding and strengthening unity among the Nigerian people. The Council championed the enthronement of stability and justice through the equitable creation ofmore states particularly in theEastern part ofthecountry. The campaign resulted inthecreation ofAbia. Enugu, New Anambra and Delta States, and later Ebonyi State, New Rivers and Bayelsa States. Later, the C.U.U. gave birth to NADECO. which together with other prodemocracy groups, intensified thecampaign that ended military rule and installed the current democracy. Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe vvas a member of the 2005 National Political Reform Conference. Marital Status Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe is married to Chief (Mrs.) Amina Ukiwe and they have five children, two daughters and three sons.
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