By Our Correspondent
Information reaching CrossRiverWatch suggests that the gubernatorial candidate of the defunct All Peoples Party in the 1999 general elections, Chief Mark Ukpo has died.
Mr. Ukpo who is the younger brother to former military administrator of River State, Brigadier General Anthony Ukpo (rtf) died Friday evening after an undisclosed illness.
It is unclear what Mr. Ukpo may have been suffering from with Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade visiting his relative the former Archbishop of the Calabar Catholic Archdiocese, Most Reverend Joseph Ukpo on Thursday night where he also promised employing a graduate who had flunged himself at his feet pleading for a job; much to his surprise as he kept asking him to stand up.
Mr. Ukpo had first ventured into teaching and became a prominent English Language teacher at MaryKnoll College Okuku, Yala which was also his Alma Mater.
He later contested for the House of Representatives in the second republic to represent the then OGOJA federal constituency which consisted of all the five local government areas in the northern senatorial district and won on the platform of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
However, his stay in the House was cut short when on December 31, 1983 a coup overthrew the government with the then Major General Muhammadu Buhari citing charges of corruption and administrative incompetence as reasons for military intervention.
In 2007, he contested for a seat in the Senate to represent Cross River North on the platform of the Progressive Peoples Alliance in the April 2007 elections which he lost to Senator Greg Ngaji.
CrossRiverWatch has reached the family for comments.
In a related development, Senator Rose Oko who represents the district in the 8th National Assembly has described Mr. Ukpo’s passing as a shock.
Senator Oko who became emotional, quietly said: “l am deeply shocked and saddened over the news of the death of my dear brother and friend,” the LEADERSHIP newspapers reports.
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