A former Nigerian Chief of Air Staff, and a retired military Chief, Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok(Rtd) has died at the age of 73. He was the Chief of Air Staff from 30th March, 1996 29th to May, 1999.
The late Air Marshal Eduok who served under the military regime of both late General Sanni Abacha and General Abdulsalami Abbubakar reportedly died after a protracted illness.
According to the family of the deceased, the late Air Force Chief died from a kidney related ailment. The deceased family members also revealed that Eduok has been on sick bed for many months before he eventually gave up the ghost on Wednesday night.
While confirming the sad news in a press statement, the government of Akwa Ibom described late Eduok as “a very respected Nigerian and Akwa Ibomite who contributed greatly to the development of our country and state”.
It would be recalled that Eduok’s death comes two weeks after the first indigenous military governor of Akwa Ibom State, Air Commodore, Idongesit Nkanga(Rtd) died. Nkanga who hailed from Akwa Ibom died on the 24th of December, 2020 as a result of complications arising from Covid-19 related illness. Both Nkanga and Eduok who hailed from Akwa Ibom State served in the Nigerian Airforce.
Eduok was born on July 11, 1947 in Ibesikpo, in present day Akwa Ibom into the family of Essien Eduok of Ibesikpo Asutan Local government. At an early age, young Eduok began working for Voice of Nigeria (VON) shortly after his education as a studio manager.
In a historic move that would later change the course of his life, Eduok enrolled in the Nigerian Air Force(NAF) as a probable pilot in 1968. He later obtained his first military exercise from the Nigerian Defence Academy(NDA) in 1970.
The following year, Eduok proceeded to complete his principal training. He emerged as the best overall student among his colleagues. Consequently, in 1971, he was signed on as a Second Lieutenant. Between 1971 and 1986, he attended several prestigious flying courses which included Advanced and Tactical Flying training courses, Aircraft Accident Investigation courses, and MiG-21 conversion courses in United Kingdom.
Eduok attended USAF Air War College, Alabama in 1991 and graduated in 1992. It is on record that the late former Chief of Air Staff, Eduok was the first Operations Officer of Makurdi Strike Group. He was the Operations Officer from 1975 to 1976. He was also the Commanding Officer of NAF Station, Enugu and the first Commander of the 75th Fighter Squadron.
In recognition of his brilliant military career, he was appointed as Chief of Air Staff (CAS) on March 30, 1996, a position he held until the return to civilian rule on May 29,1999. Among other non-military related appointments he held, Eduok served as chairman, board of trustees of the United Evangelical Church in his home state of Akwa Ibom.
In appreciation of his accomplishments, the Nsikak Eduok Avenue in Uyo was named after him. The late Eduok is survived by his wife and three children.