Ebitu Ukiwe

  (Redirected from Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe)

Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe (born 26 October 1940) is a retired Commodore in the Nigerian Navy who served as the de facto Vice President of Nigeria under military head of state General Ibrahim Babangida from 1985 to 1986.

Ebitu Ukiwe
7th Chief of General Staff
In office
August 1985 – October 1986
PresidentIbrahim Babangida as Military President
Preceded byTunde Idiagbon as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters
Succeeded byAugustus Aikhomu
Governor of Lagos State
In office
July 1978 – October 1979
Preceded byNdubuisi Kanu
Succeeded byLateef Jakande
Governor of Niger State
In office
December 1977 – July 1978
Preceded byMurtala Nyako
Succeeded byJoseph Oni
Personal details
Born (1940-10-26) 26 October 1940 (age 81)
Abiriba, Abia State, Nigeria
Military service
Branch/serviceBadge of the Nigerian Navy.svg Nigerian Navy
Years of service1960-1986
Battles/warsBiafran War


Ukiwe was born on 26 October 1940, son of Chief Ebitu Ukiwe of Abiriba in Abia State. His father was a traditional ruler in Abiriba and Head of the Old Bende Division Local Government Appeal Court.[1]

Naval careerEdit

Ukiwe joined the Nigerian Navy in 1960 as a cadet (officer), and was commissioned in 1964 with the rank of sub-lieutenant. He defected to the Biafran Armed Forces in 1966.

Biafran WarEdit

During the Nigerian Civil War from 1967 to 1970 he fought on the Biafran side. After the war, in January 1972 he was readmitted to the Navy, one of the few Igbo officers to regain their position.[2]

Military careerEdit

Ukiwe was a member of the Supreme Military Council between 1975 and 1977.[3] General Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him military governor of Niger state in 1977. He was re-deployed to Lagos state as governor in July 1978, holding this post until October 1979.[4] He was also in the SMC under General Muhammadu Buhari from 1983 to 1985, while serving as Flag Officer, Western Naval command. He was appointed director, Naval Faculty, Jaji (1981–1984) and Flag Officer, Western Naval Command (1984–1985).[3]

Chief of General StaffEdit

In 1985, following the 1985 Nigerian military coup d'état military head of state General Ibrahim Babangida appointed Ukiwe as Chief of General Staff, and his second-in-command.[2] In 1986, Commodore Ebitu Okoh Ukiwe, was removed as Chief of General Staff after opposing Babangida's decision to join the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Later careerEdit

After retirement he joined the pro-democracy group, supporting Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, the president-elect in the June 1993 elections, who was imprisoned after General Sani Abacha took power in a coup in November 1993.[5]

He became chairman of companies such as Bitu Properties, Kobimat, Bitu Promar and Rudocons. He was adviser and consultant to Statoil (Nigeria), an offshore oil production company, for nine years.[2]

In 2001, Newswatch magazine speculated that he could run for president in 2003, characterizing him as principled personality. In 2006 Ukiwe unsuccessfully ran to become People's Democratic Party candidate for the presidency of Nigeria.[6]


  1. ^ Sefy Megafu (7 November 2002). "The Sailor Moves On". ThisDay. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  2. ^ a b c CHIDI OBINECHE (December 15, 2004). "Abiriba pulls out Ukiwe". Daily Sun. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  3. ^ a b "Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe Chief of General Staff, August 1985 – October 1986". Profiles Nigeria. Archived from the original on 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  4. ^ "Nigeria States". WorldStatesmen. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  5. ^ Ademola Adeyemo (12 June 2009). "June 12 - Where are the Heroes?". Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  6. ^ "Ebitu Ukiwe Visits Tinubu, Pledges To Reform The Polity". Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Nov 29, 2006. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved 2010-03-25.