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NATIONAL: Former Chief of Air Staff, Nsikak Eduok, dies at 73

‘He contributed greatly to the development of our country and state’ — A/Ibom govt

FORMER Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok, has died at the age of 73.

The news, which was earlier broken by veteran journalist Nsikak Essien in a Facebook post this morning, has been confirmed by the Akwa Ibom state government.

In a press statement titled, “Air Marshall Nsikak Eduok (Rtd) is Dead,” the government, said the former Minister of Aviation, “died yesterday, 6th January, 2021 in Uyo.”

“The information from his doctors indicate that he died of end-stage kidney failure,” said the government.

The statement, signed by Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem Secretary to the State Government, continued, “The late elderstateman was a very respected Nigerian and Akwa Ibomite who contributed greatly to the development of our country and state.

“His Excellency the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, is greatly grieved by the news of his death and extends his condolences to the bereaved family.

“May his gentle soul rest in peace. Amen”

Family sources had earlier said Eduok died from kidney-related illness which had kept him in hospital for sometime.

His death has nothing to do with coronavirus, said a member of his family, who also disclosed that they were waiting for official announcement of Eduok’s passing by the state government.

Eduok’s death comes two weeks after that of the first indigenous military governor of Akwa Ibom Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, who died December 24 reportedly from Covid-19-related complications.

Said to be the only service chief ever produced by Akwa Ibom State, Eduok was born July 11, 1947 at Ibesikpo Asutan local government area of Akwa Ibom, and enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) as a potential pilot on August 1, 1968.

He had his initial military training at the Nigerian Defence Academy after which he went for primary flying training in 1970.

On completion of his primary training, Eduok undertook the Basic Flying Training Course in 1971.

He emerged as the best-all-round student pilot in both phases and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in February 1971.

Air Marshal Eduok, after whom, the Nsikak Eduok Avenue in Uyo is named, attended several professional and staff courses both at home and overseas.

He also served in various capacities in several units within the NAF and was appointed CAS on March 30, 1996, a position he held until the return of civilian rule on May 29, 1999.

Among other non-military related appointments, Eduok served as chairman, board of trustees of the United Evangelical Church in his home state.

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