Pedro Ayebanimiworio Adukpo-Egi-Ikata (1935-2021)

Alabo Pedro Ayebanimiworio Adukpo-Egi IKATA was a fine military officer and a respected community Chief the Niger delta has ever produced. He fought for the unity of Nigeria during the Nigerian civil war.

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Poet, Elder Statesman, Army Officer, Chief

Alabo Pedro Ayebanimiworio Adukpo-Egi IKATA was a fine military officer and a respected community Chief the Niger delta has ever produced. He fought for the unity of Nigeria during the Nigerian civil war.

Who was Pedro Ayebanimiworio Adukpo-Egi IKATA

Chief Pastor (Major) Pedro Ayebanimiworio Adukpo-Egi IKATA, hails from Ogblomabiri-Nembe in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa state. He was a product of Kalabari National College (KNC) Buguma and enlisted in the Nigerian military as an infantry officer. His deeds in the military were towering. He fought gallantly for the unity of Nigeria, as he was a frontline soldier in the Nigerian-Biafran war. He retired as a Major. In the Niger delta, precisely Nembe Kingdom, he was a respected/formidable community Chief.
He led the Nembe Chiefs’ council quadruple with undeniable success and achievements. Chief Pastor (Major) Pedro Ayebanimiworio Adukpo-Egi IKATA, a prolific poet and servant of God, kept footprints on the sands of time. He died at the age of 86 in Port Harcourt.

Birth and Parents

Born into the Egi and Gbasigha’s families of Nembe on the 10th November, 1935.

His Father, Adukpo Egi Efere popularly known as Chief Will Kemmer Oruwari was an aristocrat, and a very influential man during his days. He was of the Okainfie family in King Ikata, Chiefs Oruwari/ Kemmer group of War Canoe Houses, and the Ogbari & Basuo Group of Houses of Nembe Kingdom.

His mother was Ngoebiye Gbasigha, the last wife of Adukpo. She was of the King Ockiya, Chiefs Omo/ Berena Group of Houses also in Nembe Kingdom. She also hails from Emadike, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Education

From 1944 to 1951, He attended the St. Luke’s School in Nembe, founded in 1869 being one of the oldest schools in Nigeria. After his primary education from 1951 to 1957,he attended the Kalabari National College, Buguma., one of the oldest secondary schools in the Niger Delta.

During his younger years, from his boyhood days up to being a grown man, he always participated in every activity associated with his age grade. He participated in activities such as Omungo-aru dogu, Swimming contests, Seki-apu dance clubs, and so on.

Also, He was keen in knowing his roots and the history of his people, thereby establishing close relationships with elders and chiefs who were always willing and ready to educate and guide him on issues relating to the history and ways of his people.

He also went ahead to establish a strong relationship with his people from the Ogbia axis who are spread around other Ogbia communities like Akipelai and Opume.

Most importantly, He seized every opportunity to mingle and learn from people around him.

Military Days

He left the secondary and joined the Nigerian Army in 1957. Thereafter, He had series of military training and educational courses both within and outside the country. After rising to rank of Sergeant, he was granted Regular Combatant Commission after completing a Cadet Training at the Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna., and was commissioned as an officer on the rank of Sub/Lieutenant.

He was a Senior Cadet on his course. Prior to his commission, he was an Education Instructor at the NAEC in the Nigerian Army. Subsequently, He rose to the rank of Major in 1974.

Nigeria/Brafia War

During the Nigeria Civil War, he was a Platoon Commander, Adjutant, Company Commander, and Battle Group Commander (Commanding Officer of Infantry and other Units) and was wounded in action (WIA) by enemy bullets on his right arm and one passing through his lower abdomen. He had a small complete Holy Bible in his field jacket which was also torn by the bullets. He strongly believes that the Bible saved his life.

After the Civil War, he continued to command infantry battalions and Acting Brigade Commander in many parts of the country, some of which are listed as follows;

  • 2 Div Rear Task Force, Ikeja, Lagos.
  • 186 Infantry Battalion, N.A. Benin and Ibadan
  • 202 Infantry Battalion, N.A. Ore
  • 133 Infantry Battalion, N.A. Owo
  • 131 Inf. Battalion, N.A. Oshogbo
  • Brigade Major, 7 Inf. Battalion, N.A. Sokoto
  • 65 Infantry Battalion, N.A. Sokoto
  • Acting Brigade Commander, 7 Inf. Brigade, N.A. Sokoto
  • 74 Infantry Battalion, N.A. Gusau
  • 184 Infantry Battalion, N.A. Okitipupa
  • DAA & QMQ, 2 Infantry Brigade, N.A. Port Harcourt

Morale must be mentioned in the Military career of Major Pedro Adukpo-Egi. Field Marshal Viscount Montygomery of Alamein said:

“Morale is the most important factor on which war potential is built up”.

Marshal Viscount Montygomery of Alamein

His field commander, Brigadier-General Samuel Femi Daramola in a citation of Major Pedro Adukpo-Egi at Sokoto in 1976 described him as an epitome of morale in battle.

It so happened that, as he was shot on the frontline and was carried away, the

However, because of the serious injuries he sustained in action, he was boarded and had a Medical Discharge, and retired in May 1980 as a Major and so ended his military career, the only profession he knows.

However, because of the serious injuries he sustained in action, he was boarded and had a Medical Discharge, and retired in May 1980 as a Major and so ended his military career, the only profession he knows.

However, because of the serious injuries he sustained in action, he was boarded and had a Medical Discharge, and retired in May 1980 as a Major and so ended his military career, the only profession he knows.

Extra Regimental Engagements

  1. Chairman, South Africa Relief Fund Raising in Gusau LGA which raised the highest amount among LGAs in the country in 1977.
  2. Organised the largest Operation Feed the Nation Farm. In the Nigerian Army at Gusau, Sokoto State which was visited by the Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo when he was on a state visit.
  3. Contributed suggestions to the supreme commander and Head of States on many national issues.
  4. Contributed to the National Drought Relief Fund in December 1973.
  5. Contributed to the National Drought Relief Fund in December 1973 on behalf of Opu Nembe Descendants Union, Owo Branch.

Civilian Life/Social Life

Life after the military, though not as tasking and volatile, but also not very quiet. He became a contractor and businessman. Also, he went into Security services, Fishing, and other businesses.

Subsequently, He was the Founder/Chairman/CEO of Opuada Co Nig Ltd. In the past, he also partnered and owned shares in several other companies like Topmark Fishing, African Security Services, Savannah Sugar Co, etc.

He also went into partisan politics for short period. Contested for a position in Brass LGA in the 1980s, but wasn’t a success.

His Appraisal

Being a Soldier does not necessarily make a person rigid and stern. This was so in the life of Chief Adukpo-Egi Ikata as he was also a very sociable person. This was so even while in the army.

He was part of several social clubs, one of which was known as the defunct Senocratic Society of Nembe. This was a social group where people from all walks of life would gather (mostly in Nembe) mainly during festive periods to celebrate, have some catching up, and coming up with ideas that would improve and project our brotherhood, culture, and general growth in the Nembe society.

Leadership Roles

  1. Life Member of the Bible Society of Nigeria.
  2. Former Chairman Defunct NPN Brass LGA (Nembe, Brass, Ogbia)
  3. Chairman Nembe Chiefs Council as the following periods; Nov. 1987-May. 1990; July 1992- Nov. 1994; August 2001- Dec. 2001; 28 Dec. 2001 – 27 Dec. 2003.
  4. Grand Patron, Nembe Youth Movement.
  5. Associate Member, Nigeria Red Cross Society (Bayelsa State).
  6. Founder/ Vice Chairman, Retired Armed Forces Officers Forum now amalgamated into the national body of Retired Army, Navy, Air-Force Officers (RANAO) Club of Nigeria; Rivers/Bayelsa State Chapter.
  7. Chairman Brass/Nembe LGA United Front to aid the newly created Bayelsa State.
  8. Member of the Federal Board of Directors, Savannah Sugar Company NUMAN.
  9. In 1997, the Premier Institute of Nigeria, the Institute of Internal Auditors of Nigeria conferred on him three distinguished, meritorious and highest awards of:
  1. Honourary Fellowship Award of the Institute FCIA (Hon).
  2. International Figure of Outstanding Integrity and Eminence Award (IFDIE)
  3. Award of Merit for Probity, Trustworthiness and Hardwork (AMPTH).

He was also a patron to a host of clubs and associations (some defunct), etc. Some of them are;

  • Nembe Youth Movement (Grand Patron)
  • Amaebimo Ogbo
  • Nembe District Solidarity Front
  • Opu Nembe Descendants Union
  • Nigerian Legion- BALGA Branch
  • Nembe Ebi Dogi Ogbo
  • Ilaye Ilate Social Club of Nembe
  • Niger Delta Divers Association- Nembe

As A Chief

He was made Head Chief of the King Ikata, Chiefs Oruwari/Kemmer Group of Houses of Nembe Kingdom and all the communities under the house; The oldest War Canoe House in the land. A house that also spreads across various places like Brass, Odioma, and Kalabari regions.

He became Chief on the 10th November, 1979 through an election in his absence and was officially installed by the Amanyanabo of Nembe,

HRM Justice Ambrose Alagoa Mingi II on the 18th January, 1980 at Opu-polotiri, Nembe.

Ever since, he had dedicated his time, energy, resources, and blood to the services of the King Ikata group of houses and the entire Nembe Ibe.

He became Chairman of the Nembe Chiefs Council for 4 times, out of which he was asked to serve in that capacity by the Chiefs of the town on two of those tenures due to his leadership qualities and zeal to work for his people.

Legacies

It is worthy to state herein, He was the only Chief who stood to fight during times when the community had civil crisis with neighbouring communities, of which he lost a tooth on one of such occasions.

Also, He was the chairman of Nembe Chiefs Council when the Nembe Youth Movement was established in 1993. He gave the youth his blessings and full support to operate as a recognised and independent body in Nembe Kingdom; and was thus made Grand Patron of the Nembe Youth Movement.

However, He also spearheaded the introduction of our long lost brothers from Kalabari Kingdom; the descendants of Ngeribra (Ongiri), a son of King Ikata Mingi 2, Amanyanabo of Nembe. He brought them back to be a part of their ancestral home, the King Ikata group of houses in Nembe Kingdom; and also chalked and installed the King of Ngeribra-ama; HRH King Capt. D. Benibo Ngeribra 2. This was performed at the Feni-Polo in Nembe.

Chief Ikata’s leadership qualities and love for his people and mankind earned him trust and warm regards in the hearts of many in the Ikata group of houses and the entire Nembe Kingdom.

Religious Life

Papa was brought up as a Christian of the Anglican faith. He was a confirmed member of the Anglican Communion, St. Luke’s Church of Nembe.

Afterwards he was introduced to Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, and was baptised as a member on the 31st March, 1982. Ever since he has been a dedicated member of the fold, up until his transition. He was ordained a pastor sometime around 2006. However, due to the reality of division in the BCS fold, he became part of the newly established Christ Practical Brotherhood of the Cross and Star.

Papa was not just a Christian by association, but also by his lifestyle. He always acknowledged God in everything he did. He thus brought up his children and everyone under his care in the Christian faith

Most significantly, He also had a great deal of regard for other religions, and respect for people’s decision to believe in whatever they wanted to believe in.

His Values

Chief (Major) Pedro Adukpo-Egi IKATA was a man who always stood for what he believed to be just and true without any form of compromise or prejudice, without fear or favour.

He was a man who abhors any form of oppression and injustice. Always ready to render help or support to people; known and unknown. In addition, He was very keen and committed to anything that brings growth and progress to his country home, and nation.

When Pedro Adukpo-Egi was in the secondary school in 1955, he propounded what he called the “Egi’s Theory” in the ‘Law of Oculorum’ which says

the closer the eye to an opening, the wider it sees the universe”.

Pedro Adukpo-Egi

But he could not proffer formulae to determine the area seen at graduated distances from the opening. It is clear that this is a light theory akin to telescope. However, this shows a propensity for scientific research and creativity, which was not developed.

Orator/Poetry

It was at Government Secondary School Shinkafi, Sokoto State in 1977 that he made an epoch making speech as a guests speaker. Here he emulated Jesus Christ who told the human race to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and every thing shall be added unto you”, and Dr. Kwame Nkruma of Ghana who told Africans to “seek ye first the political kingdom and everything shall be added unto you”, Major Pedro Adukpo-Egi told all students to “Seek ye first the kingdom of education and everything shall be added unto you” when he was the Commanding Officer of 74 Infantry Battalion Nigerian Army, Gusau. It was published by the Daily Times newspaper on Thursday July 21, 1977.

He was also a poet, and amongst his list of poems are “Journey to the Seaside”, “To my mother”, an epitaphic poem, and “I Believe”, written in 1966 during the Nigerian Crisis; which the Daily Times called “The Students Creed” in 1977. I believe runs thus;

I believe in democracy
‘cause I’m a product of theocracy
I believe in self-determination
That’s why I resist domination

I believe in truth
For it’s the noble’s breath 
I believe in justice
Therefore I must fight injustice

I believe in liberty
“Give it me or death”
I believe in freedom
As freemen hate serfdom

I believe in fair-play
Therefore fear I must allay
I believe in honesty
It vanquishes greed and depravity

I believe in kindness 
She is a daughter of godliness
I believe in immaculate humanity
Therefore I always abhor cruelty

I believe in preventing cruelty to God
With humanity are in concord
But many  people are so ungodly
Father help us to defend these virtues boldly

With these our Nation shall survive
Nigeria patriot and I believe
I also believe

He wrote about an inscription on the walls of his childhood school, St. Lukes Primary School Nembe, which says “Act well your part, there your honour lies”. That is what had been his guide over the years.

His Residences Until Death

  1. No 44B Omerelu Street, G.R.A. Phase 1, Port Harcourt
  2. No 1 King Ikata Boulevard, Igopiri, Nembe (Which he intended to Rename “MINGIAPOLIS”)

His Death

Alabo Pastor (Major) Pedro Ayebanimiworio Adukpo-Egi IKATA passed on peacefully on the 7th of August, 2021 in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

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