Ukpabi Asika

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Anthony Ukpabi Asika
Administrator of East Central State, Nigeria
In office
28 Oct 1967 – July 1975
Preceded by Lt. Col Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu
Succeeded by Anthony Ochefu
Personal details
Born 2 June 1936
Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria
Died 14 September 2004
Abuja, Nigeria

Anthony Ukpabi Asika (28 June 1936 – 14 September 2004) was Administrator of East Central State, Nigeria during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon, appointed when his predecessor, the Eastern Region governor Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, led the Biafran state into secession.[1]


Asika was born in Onitsha in modern-day Anambra State on 28 June 1936.[2] His father was Edward Obiozo Asika of the Ijelekpe Dynasty in Ogbeoza Village, Onitsha.[3] He was educated as St. Patrick's College, Calabar, Edo College and University College, now the University of Ibadan. He worked as Clerk of Onitsha Town Council (1953), Clerk in the Department of Marketing and Export, Lagos, Clerk at the Northern Nigeria Marketing Board, Kano. Asika studied at the University of California in the USA from 1956 to 1965 and then became a Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Ibadan between 1965 and 1967.[2] He was an erudite scholar.[4]

Administrator of East Central State[edit]

Asika was appointed administrator of East-Central State in October 1967 at the start of the Biafran civil war, theoretically based in Enugu which in fact was the capital of the breakaway state. Biafran radio used the nickname for "Lord Haw Haw" for Asika, who was a pro-federal Igbo intellectual.[5] After the war ended in 1970 he was responsible for administering a large part of the former Biafran territories. His administration was said to be starved of funds.[6] He was strongly opposed to the creation of new states.[7] While governor, he was also a member of the Technical Committee on the Review of the National Census from 1973 to 1975.[2]

Later career[edit]

Asika later was Team Leader of the Presidential Delegation to Niger, Chad and Cameroun which negotiated re-opening Nigeria borders in 1985.[2] Asika suffered a stroke in 1996, requiring extensive medical care, and was incapacitated from then on.[2] He died on 14 September 2004.[8]

Asika was married to late Chief Mrs. Chinyere Asika, and the couple had three children: Obi, Nkiru and Uju.


  1. ^ "Nigerian States". WorldStatesmen. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e George Oji (2004-09-16). "Ukpabi Asika Dies At 68". ThisDay. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  3. ^ Nwolu Odiamma (10 November 2004). "Ukpabi Asika, The Patriot Goes Home: A Tribute". Vanguard. 
  4. ^ Fred Iwenjora (April 1, 2006). "Obi, Ukpabi Asika's only son reveals: My father was largely misunderstood 'cos he worked for one Nigeria than tribe". Vanguard. Retrieved 2010-05-15. [dead link]
  5. ^ Nowa Omoigui. "Nicknames, Slogans, Local and Operational Names Associated with the Nigerian Civil War". Dawodu. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  6. ^ Justice Chukwudifu Oputa. "Research Reports" (PDF). Dawodu. Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  7. ^ Tony Edike (April 8, 2006). "As Adada is tipped, Igwe Abangwu prays: After 9 failed attempts, it's time to wipe away our tears". Vanguard. Retrieved 2010-05-15. [dead link]
  8. ^ Alphonsus Nwez, and Kenneth Ofoma (17 September 2004). "Eulogies As Asika's Death is Confirmed". Daily Champion. Retrieved 2010-05-15.