General Anthony Stephen Ikaba Ukpo, Rtd.(1947–2021), Engr. Emmanuel Ukpo and Mrs Lelia Ukpo Udeozo, A Tribute by Chief Jude Ogbeche Ngaji

I’m not too sure how to do this. How to pen down a tribute for three illustrious and great beings from the same parents whom God has called to the great beyond; all at the same time. How can I try to describe General Anthony Ukpo, Engr. Emmanuel Ukpo and Mrs Lellia Ukpo Udeozo who were so meek, humble, and humane in plain old words? And, how can I possibly sum up their lifes and times in one tribute? It’s almost impossible.

I have received so many tragic messages since the 6th of September, 2021. I have heard from many people from many places saying “there are truly no words” – well, there are. There are words. There are words of happiness and reminisce about their lifes and times. There are words to describe thier individuality , personality and what they stood for while alive. There are words of sorrow, pains and anguish to communicate their tragic demise. But maybe most of all there are words of strength, of hope, of power and of resilience. Words that can bring us all together, to cross these choppy waters and come out the other side, better for it.

For me, the deceased were a fiery spark full of courage, excellence and distinction. They were industrious, resilient and encouraging. They always looked to grow; to better themselves in their chosen career with professionalism and Spirituality, so selfless and determined to leave a mark for humanity sake.

Good people die everyday leaving indelible scars and painful memories for the living. The deceased has passed away unexplainably leaving a legacy of positive experiences for anyone who took the time to know them– which wasn’t a hard thing to do. Most people who may not likely know about the late Ukpo’s can learn from the legacies they have left behind.

The Ukpo family is one of the most notable in the state with a great number of human resources developers with a strong passion for serving the public, supporting the downtrodden, advocating for the less privileged, contributing to societal growth and development etc etc.

Their passion and hard work led the deceased to different fields of endeavors to contribute their wealth of knowledge with finesse and excellence. There were was so full of life and always willing to do the hard work for humanity sake. They made friends globally and intentionally built the kind of relationships in all spheres of life to bring people together and bond.

It is so disheartening and unfortunate to hear that the three passed on but who are we to question God. Who are we to question how and why this world we live in is so wicked and negative?

Yann Martel, in his work “Life of Pi” made this wonderful remark, “Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance and gloom is just a passing shadow of a cloud.”

The above assertion rightly encapsulates the entire experience of man and exposes the vulnerability of his existence as a mighty valor that is utterly helpless at every encounter with the ultimate end; death.

My thoughts and prayers are with the entire immediate and extended Ukpo family, children, grandchildren siblings, friends and loved ones. I pray God to grant them the strength to bear this harsh irreparable loss.

May the gentle souls of General Anthony Ikaba Ukpo, Rtd., Engr. Emmanuel Ukpo and Mrs Lelia Ukpo Udeozo rest peacefully… Amen!

Chief Jude Ogbeche Ngaji
Greg Ikaba Ngaji Foundation.

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