Former Minister of Information and Culture, Brigadier-General Stephen Anthony Ukpo (Rtd) is dead.
Newsonspot blog reports that Leonard Anyogu, Secretary of the Ogoja State Creation Committee, told journalists Ukpo died early Monday morning in a hospital as a result of lingering ailment.
Ukpo also served as the military Administrator of Rivers State during General Ibrahim Babangida’s regime.
Gen Ukpo is reported to have died on Monday morning in his Asi Ukpo hospital, in one of the high profile medical facilities in Calabar located along Mary Slessor Avenue close to the University of Calabar
A source at the hospital who prefers anonymity told our reporter that the retired army general has been feeling sick for some time and was receiving medication in the hospital ”he was rushed to the hospital on Sunday and early Monday morning he passed on”.
He said the body is in the morgue of the hospital awaiting further directives from family members.
General Ukpo was born in Okpama northern Cross River State in July 1947. He was one of the army generals who worked with General Babangida to topple General Buhari – Idiagbon junta in 1985. Between 1986 to 1992, he served as Minister of Information and Culture and Rivers State governor.
He celebrated his seventieth birthday three years ago. In the past five years, the Ukpo family which is one of the most notable in the northern part of the state has been hit with a number of deaths beginning with that of Senator Paul Ukpo, to the that of the 1999 governorship candidate of then All Nigeria People’s, Party, ANPP., Mr Mark Ukpo.
Presently, two of his siblings, Emmanuel Ukpo and Lilian Ukpo who died last month are in the same mortuary.
He was a respected leader in the state whose opinion is sought on many issues concerning the state.
Meanwhile, Cross River State governor, Sir Ben Ayade yesterday expressed sadness over the death of the late Brigadier-General Anthony Ukpo (rtd).
A statement signed by his special adviser on media and publicity, Christian Ita, noted that the governor described the General’s transition as a tragic and monumental loss to Cross River in particular and Nigeria in general.
Ayade commiserated with the Ukpo family and the military, saying, “an illustrious son, a fine and gallant officer has left us.