Cross River people are mourning a one – time Military Administrator of Rivers State, retired General Anthony Ukpo.
General Ukpo, who was also a former Minister of Information in Nigeria, died in the early hours of Monday following a prolonged illness.
In a statement signed by Christian Ita, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Cross River Governor, Professor Ben Ayade described the General’s demise as a tragic and monumental loss to the people and Nigeria in general.
Governor Ayade, who commiserated with General Ukpo’s family and the Nigerian Army, eulogized the 74 year old deceased as “an illustrious son, a fine and gallant officer”.
He stated, “as a state, we are pained by the loss of this thorough bred officer, an illustrious son of Cross River.
“General Ukpo’s death has robbed our dear state of his wise counsel. He was forthright and a partner in building a Cross River of our dream,”Ayade lamented.
The governor recalled with nostalgia the diligent and dutiful manner the late Ukpo applied to all the national assignments entrusted to him to the applause of his superiors.
“As a military officer, General Ukpo had a distinguished career, as a Military Administrator he excelled beyond expectations and as a Minister he showed passion and professionalism. He left these offices without blemish. He was a rare gem.
“We are indeed hurt by his demise, we are pained that General Ukpo had to leave us at this time but as a people of faith, we cannot question God. We can only pray for the peaceful repose of his soul.
“On behalf of the people and government of Cross River state, I condole with General Ukpo’s family, his immediate community, Okpoma in Yala local government area and the Nigerian Army,“ stated Ayade.
He prayed God to “grant the family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”