A former director-general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Edet Akpan, is dead.
Mr Akpan, a retired major general in the Nigerian army, died Friday morning in his home in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, two persons who work as his domestic aides confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES, Saturday morning.
One of Mr Akpan’s aides said they were shocked over his death as he did not show any signs of illness.
The aide said they were too shocked to break the sad news to Mr Akpan’s wife who lives in the same home with the late husband.
Mr Akpan was commissioned a lieutenant in the Nigerian army in 1968 and was appointed the director-general of NYSC in 1984. He was promoted to the rank of a major general in 1994.
Mr Akpan was actively involved in Akwa Ibom politics and was one of the most influential politicians between 1999 and 2007, during the administration of Victor Attah, the second civilian governor of Akwa Ibom.
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One of the sad moments in his post-retirement life was in February 2010 when he was abducted inside a church, Qua Iboe Church, at his hometown, Nsit Atai, by gunmen who shot and killed a woman, a police officer, and a soldier.
That was during the administration of Godswill Akpabio, when the oil-rich state recorded several unresolved abductions and killings.
Mr Akpan was arrested for alleged involvement in ballot stealing during the April 2015 general elections in Akwa Ibom state. He was detained for four days by the State Security Service in Uyo and later charged to court.
The retired general retired from active politics after his tumultuous experience during the Akpabio era, and lived a quiet life with his family in Uyo.
Mr Akpan, in 2016, told PREMIUM TIMES he supported the call for the restructuring of Nigeria, but that he was against the country returning to regionalism. He also said it was impossible for the people of Nigeria’s South-South to be part of the agitation for the independent State of Biafra.
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Biafra, he said, lost the civil war because the minorities in the then eastern region did not agree with the Igbo for a separate country because they were not sure that their future was secured in an Igbo-controlled nation.
“Lack of trust has always been on between the Igbo and the minorities,” he had said.
“I remember one Igbo leader who said, ‘Don’t worry the quarrel between the Igbo and the minorities is that between a husband and wife’. Oh, this place almost went into flame. Then it was asked, ‘Who is the husband and who is the wife?’ You see, the lack of trust is still there.”