Augustus Aikhomu

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Augustus Akhabue Aikhomu (20 October 1939 – 17 August 2011) was an Admiral in the Nigerian Navy, who served as the de facto Vice President of Nigeria during the Ibrahim Babangida-led military junta from 1986 to 1993. He hailed from Idumebo-Irrua, Edo State, in southern Nigeria. As a student, Aikhomu spent various periods of his early life studying at Irrua Government School, Yaba College of Technology, Royal Britannia Naval College in Dartmouth, England, Long Gunnery Specialist Course, India and the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria.

Aikhomu joined the Nigerian Navy on 1st December 1958. He joined the Royal Navy as an Artificer Apprentice with Series 35 entry at HMS Fisgard near Torpoint, East Cornwall in January 1959. He was in Grenville Division at HMS Fisgard and would have completed his 16 months Part 1 training at the end of April 1960.

Aikhomu was the Commanding Officer, Shore Patrol Craft, commanding officer, NNS Dorina, chief of naval personnel, naval headquarters, chief of naval operations (1983–84), and chief of naval staff (1984–86). Aikhomu is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and six children.

Aikhomu will be remembered for the act that he was a highly detribalised Nigerian who displayed professionalism and loyalty while serving as chief of Naval Staff, Chief of General Staff and later, in the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, as Vice President. Aikhomu in his later years was a key player in the politics of Nigeria. He was at a time the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of All Nigeria Peoples Party, an opposition party in the country. As a nation builder, Aikhomu in the various tributes by his associates was described as a national hero, a dependable ally, an uncommon statesman, a great naval officer, a highly disciplined gentleman and a respected mentor to most of his subordinate officers during the Babangida Administration. Aikhomu left his footprints in his native town of Irrua, where he bequeated many developmental projects to his name, especially the Irrua Specialist Hospital, the referral hospital for lassa fever in the country.

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