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The Life And Times Of Brig Gen Anthony Ukpo

The Former Military Governor of Rivers State, Brig. Gen. Anthony Ukpo, according to a family source died at 74 in his Asi Ukpo Calabar Hospital in the early hour of Monday after a brief illness.

Brig. Gen. Anthony Ukpo (Rtd) was born on July 16, 1947. An indigene of Cross River State, he served meritoriously in the Nigerian Army before retiring in 1993. During his active service life, he attended Military courses in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Israel and Lebanon. He served in various command and staff positions both in the Nigerian Armed Forces and the United Nations Forces Operations in Lebanon.

He also served Nigeria in various political positions. These began when he was appointed Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in August 1985.  In 1986, he was appointed the Military Governor of Nigeria’s oil rich state, Rivers State (Present day Rivers and Bayelsa State). In 1989, he moved to Nigeria’s Presidency when he was appointed Principal Staff Officer (Civilian equivalent of Chief of Staff) to President Ibrahim Babangida. He retired from the Nigerian Army in 1993.

He had another opportunity to serve Nigeria when he was appointed member of the Programme Implementation and Monitoring Committee (PIMCO) of the General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s Government in 1998.

He is an industrialist with varied interest in Manufacturing, Property Development, Oil and Gas, Hotel Development, Farming and most recently Medical diagnosis.

  • General Ukpo attended St. Augustine’s Seminary, Abakiliki (GCE, London: 1961-1965)
  • School of Infantry USA (Diploma in Advanced Infantry: 1976-1977)
  • La Selle Extension University USA (Diploma in Business Management: 1976-1977)
  • Army Command and Staff College, Jaji (Passed Staff College: 1977-1978)
  • Command and General Staff College USA (Masters in Military Arts and Science: 1979-1980)
  • US Marine Corp Instructional Technology School USA (Diploma in Instructional Technology: 1980)
  • US Army War College (1990-1991)

General Ukpo at various times was:

  • Clerical Assistant (1967);
  • Battalion Commander (1968 – 1969);
  • DA & Quarter Master general (1969 – 1970);
  • Brigade Major (1970 – 1971);
  • Battalion Commander (1972 – 1973);
  • Instructor, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) 1975 – 1976);
  • Adjutant General, NDA (1975 1976);
  • Chief Military Press Information Officer, Headquarters, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) 1978 -1979);
  • Directing Staff, Command and Staff College, Jaji (1980 – 1982);
  • Deputy Director, Doctrine and Combat development (1982 – 1985);
  • Deputy Director, Defence Intelligence Agency (DAI, 1985);
  • Minister of Information (1985 – 1986);
  • Military Governor of Rivers State (1986 – 1988);
  • Principal Staff Officer to the President (1988 – 1990);
  • Director, Military Training (1991 – 1993).
  • Member, Programme Implementation & Monitoring Committee (PIMCO) 1998-1999)
  • Delegate to the 2014 National Conference (2014)

After military service, General Ukpo deployed his experience and resources into business ventures among which are:

  • Ikaba Hotels Ltd ( owners of 520 Hotels Akuma Lodge and 520 Hotels ASDAM Lodge & Spa)
  • Ogeyi Place Hotels Limited (owners of Le Meridien Ogeyi Place Hotel – Port Harcourt)
  • TSI Property & Investment Holdings Limited
  • Delchem Nigeria Limited
  • Totex Oil Nigeria Limited
  • Tofamid Group of Companies
  • South – South Communications Ltd
  • Teefarms Gambia Limited
  • ASI Ukpo Diagnostics and Medicals Limited

He is also the majority shareholder as well as Chairman/CEO of the following ventures:

  • Hotels/Allied Services
  • Investment & Property Devt.
  • Laundry/Dry cleaning
  • Oil and Gas
  • Agro Allied
  • Newspaper Publishers
  • Farming –Poultry and Feed-mill
  • Medical Tests and Diagnosis

General Ukpo sits on the Boards of the following companies:

  • Suffy Travels & Tours Limited
  • Megastar Construction & Technical Co. Ltd
  • QBC Builders Merchant Ltd
  • QR Manufacturing & Trading Co. Ltd. (Former Quality Radiators)

A widely travelled personality, General Ukpo has written the following books based on his experiences and research:

  • The Changing Faces of the Nigerian Army (1978)
  • Super Power Rivalry in the Horn of Africa (1980)
  • The Logistics implications of UN Peace Keeping Operations (1980)

He has visited a number of countries during his tour of duty in the military and in business pursuits, incliding:       

  1. Bahamas
  2. Benin Republic
  3. Cameroun
  4. Canada
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Cyprus
  7. Dubai
  8. Egypt
  9. Ethiopia
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Ghana
  13. Guinea Bissau
  14. Guinea Conakry
  15. Holland
  16. Hungary
  17. Israel
  18. Italy
  19. Ivory Coast
  20. Lebanon
  21. Morocco
  22. Panama
  23. Puerto Rico
  24. Senegal
  25. Seychelles
  26. Sierra Leone
  27. South Africa
  28. Switzerland
  29. Syria
  30. The Gambia
  31. United Arab Emirates
  32. United Kingdom
  33. United States of America
  34. Venezuela

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