BIOGRAPHY OF LATE LT. COL. JAMES UDO EBRESO (Rtd)
BIRTH AND PARENTAGE:
Late Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso (Rtd) was born on February 9, 1938 into the family of Late Obong Akpan Udo Ekpo Ebreso of Nung Obio Idop in Nung Emah, Ikot Andem Itam in the present day Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state. His mother was Late Madam Edo Akpan Udo Ebreso (Nne, Udo Okim) from Nung Obio Unek in Ikot Andem Itam, also in Itu Local Government Area. He was the last child of the family.
Late Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso (Rtd) was the only child amongst his siblings to enjoy western education. Notwithstanding the fact that he lost the father in 1940; which left the responsibility of family upbringing on the mother alone., he insisted and persuaded the mother to get him registered in school. In 1944, he was enrolled in the church of Scotland primary school, Obong Itam.
Financial challenges made him withdraw from studies in 1950, and 1951 tragedy struck when his mother died and these brought a temporary setback. Hope was rekindled when his cousin Late Mr. E. U. Okim who was a teacher at Salvation Army Primary School took Ebreso to stay with him and complete his standard six. While staying with his cousin, his brilliance and hardwork made him win a scholarship from the headmistress (a European) named Captain Evans. He obtained his standard six certificate in 1953.
Between 1957 and 1958, Late Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso studied and obtained Teachers Grade III certificate to make him a professional teacher having been engaged as a teacher. He went back to Salvation Army Teachers Training College, Akai Ubium for Grade II certificate in 1963. He also registered and studied by correspondent with Regent Institute and Wolsey College to prepare him for GCE Ordinary Level and Advanced Level which he obtained a few years after.
As a military personnel, he attended many educational courses including; Instructors Courses Grade II; English and French Language Courses at the University of Pau in Southern French earned him a diploma in French. In 1972, Ebreso, along with his colleagues attended Courses Four Short Service Training at the Nigerian Defence Academy and upon completion was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He also attended the command and staff college, Jaji, Kaduna State where he was exposed to subjects like: Geopolitics, International Relations, Administration and Government. He had also attended a number of seminars and workshops within and outside the country.
Towards the end of 1962, the young teacher’s mind, his aim and devotion was geared towards getting a charismatic partner. On 1st December 1962, during the youth get together and celebration at the village primary school, Ikot Andem Itam, the charismatic girl who became his God sent wife emerged. Right in the middle of the field during a net ball game, she caught his attention like a magnet. Her name was Eno Ibok Udo whom he did not even know, but in December 1963 the marriage took place according to the traditional rites.
The marriage is blessed with seven children who are alive and gathered here with their spouses and children to bid a befitting farewell to their beloved father, a worthy soldier of Christ and a decorated Soldier of the Nigerian Army.
PROFESSIONAL LIFE ;
Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso (Rtd) started his career as a young Teacher in 1954 at Ikot Itie Udung Catholic Primary School. His hardwork and profession stood him out, so in 1955 he was transferred to the headquarters of the Parish at Ndon Ebom ;he however resigned his appointment with the Catholic mission later and took up appointment with the Christian Schools management at Ikot usen, ibiono ibom local Government Area under Mr. Awat as the headmaster.
After his Teachers Grade III course in 1958, he was reappointed to teach at Ikot usen Christian school. In 1960, he served at Itukho Christian School as a Junior Primary Head Teacher. Upon his successful completion of his Teachers Grade II, he was posted to Ukat Aran Christian School as the Head Teacher in 1965. During the period, he worked with his colleagues to make the school famous in sports, academic performance and discipline. He left Ukat Aran for Mbiabong Ikono Christian School in 1969 as the Headmaster.
The career of Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso took a dramatic turn in June 1969 when he bid farewell to civilian life and embraced the regimented military life. He got enlisted in the Army in the heat of the Nigerian Civil War. Upon his recruitment and subsequent training in the Army Education Corps at Ikeja Military Cantonment, he was deployed to Abeokuta Training Depot as an Education Instructor. He participated in most of the Internal Security Operations of 2 Division of the Nigerian Army.
After the War in 1970, full educational activities resumed in the Nigerian Army. At Depot NA Abeokuta, classes were run for soldiers who had no basic education as Pre-Army Certificate in Education (PACE) and Army Certificate in Education (ACE) for those who had Primary education before joining the Army, as well as Advance Army Certificate in Education (AACE) for those who were preparing for GCE Ordinary and Advanced levels.
In these programmes, Ebreso taught English, General Studies and Map Reading.
Ebreso, then a Sergeant in the Army Education Corps was concerned about advancing his military career, so in 1972 he undertook the Nigerian Defence Academy Selection Examination and was successful. Between March and September 1972, he completed the Short Service Training and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant; there, his service as a commissioned officer began. He was deployed to 3 Marine Command Division, Port Harcourt and later to 13 Infantry Brigade, Calabar.
Another posting took him to 8 Infantry Battalion, Ikot Use Ekong where he served as the Battalion Adjutant, the Battalion was later moved to Ugep in Cross River State. He was later posted to 18 Battalion Ikot Ekpene in January 1975 where he served as the Adjutant; but he was again redeployed to Ugep. In that same year, he was sent on a course to France and upon return, in January 1976 he was posted to 70 Infantry Battalion, Birnin Kebbi, there he served as the company commander. In 1978 Ebreso was posted to 181 Infantry Battalion as platoon commander and deployed to the Middle-East under the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon. He became a company commander in 1979.
Between 1981 – 1984, Ebreso served as the company commander at the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria and during the period, he attended many commander’s course at Nigerian Army school of Infantry Jaji.
In 1985, he was posted to the 4 Mechanized Brigade Headquarters, Benin as a General Staff Officer Grade II in charge of staff Duties and plans. Between 1986 – 1987, he attended Senior Staff College Course at Command and Staff College, Jaji. Between 1987 – 1990, he served as Deputy Adjutant and Quarter Master General. In 1991, he was posted to the Army Headquarters, Lagos as staff Officer I in the department of Administration, there he served until March 1993. In April 1993, Ebreso was posted as Commanding Officer, Trainees Battalion, Nigerian Armed Forces Rehabilitation Centre, Oshodi and he served there till October 1993 when he voluntarily retired having put in 24 years of military exploits and meritorious service to his fatherland, Nigeria.
Ebreso rose through the ranks in the military and retired having attained the Rank of a Lieutenant Colonel and won many accolades including service medals. Upon retirement, Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso (Rtd) served as a Board member with Akwa Ibom State Property Development Authority between 1994 and 1995. Between 1996 and 1998, he was appointed Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Sanitation Task Force. In his village, Ikot Andem Itam, he was appointed Chairman Board of Governors., Community Secondary Commercial School, Ikot Andem between 1997 – 2003, Community Leader on Electricity Completion 1999 – 2000. He was the Chairman, Efak Ibesikpo, Udo Eduok, Nsit and it’s environs, Uyo until his demise.
CHRISTIAN LIFE ;
Late Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso was baptized into the Church Of Christ on December, 1953. He was a faithful Christian and contributed to the Successes of many congregations of church Of Christ. On his retirement and return to Akwa Ibom state, he placed his with Campus Church Of Christ, NCI, Uyo in December 6, 2008. The Church later moved to 12 Akpa Ube Close, Uyo, where he continued to serve God faithfully until his demise.
SOCIAL LIFE ;
Late Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso was a sociable person,. He belong to various socio-cultural organization where he contributed his quota and wealth of experience. During his military service days, he belonged to Cross River State Association and later, the Akwa Ibom state Association after his state creation. He was also a member of Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio and rose to the position of Mkpisong in the Organization.
He was also a member of the Itam Clan Council on advisory capacity and member of “Isin Itam” – a group of egg heads that have the final say in the affair of Itam Clan. He played a vital developmental roles in Ikot Andem Itam, his homeland – he was was a patron of several Associations in the community and a Patron of the Police-communities Relations Committee in Itu Local Government.
DECORATION AND AWARDS:
Late Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso (Rtd) had the following military decorations and awards :
Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)
national Service Medal (NSM)
Regimental Service Medal (RSM)
General Service Medal (GSM)
Silver Service Medal (SSM)
Forces Service Star (FSS)
Meritorious Service Star (MSS)
military Member of the United Nations Interims Forces in Lebanon (MMUNIFIL)
Award of Excellence as Pillar of Growth and Development by East Itam III Ward 5 Youth Council.
Award of Excellence by UNESCO
Ambassador of Peace (AMBP) by Bureau of Inter-Religious International Federation of World Peace (BIIFWP)
Patron of Police Community Relation Committee Itu Chapter.
Lt. Col. James Udo Ebreso became ill in the last two years and was diagnosed of prostate cancer,. He was attended to by some of the best Medical practitioners both in Nigeria and United States,. But as God would have his way, he passed away on Friday, 13th April 2018 at the University of Uyo, Teaching Hospital. Having kept the faith thus far, he fought as the soldier he Was, but this time around, the battle was different and the call was irresistible and as a faithful soldier of the Cross he could not but, answer the Master’s call, leaving his footprints of his 80 years sojourn in the sands of time.
To God be the Glory.
He is survived by :
Mrs Eno Ebreso
Etiene James Ebreso
Nyeneime E. Efiakedoho
Oto James Ebreso
Ema Effiong Ebong
Mfon James Ebreso
Itoro James Ebreso
Uko Etiene Ebreso
Inyene Etiene Ebreso
Sifon Etiene Ebreso
Oyonumoh Effiong Efiakedoho
Idongesit Effiong Efiakedoho
Abasiofor Effiong Efiakedoho
Inimfon-Abasi Effiong Efiakedoho
Atharah Iveren Bai
Elnathan Effiong Ebong
Eliana Effiong Ebong
Nnamso Effiong Ebong
Nnamso james Ebreso
Kufre James Ebreso
Engr. Effiong Efiakedoho
Dr. Abraham Bai
Mr. Effiong Ebong
Mrs. Ohunene Etiene Ebreso
FOR NEPHEWS / NIECES
Mr. Ime Ebreso
Mr. Udofe Ibok Udoh
And a host of other relations to mourn him.
TRIBUTE TO MY BELOVE HUSBAND
Love and Providence brought us together when you met me on the netball pitch in Ikot Andem Itam. You hastened and made enquires about me; and immediately spoke with me after the match; then you asked me to marry you. Indeed, I was overwhelmed so i covered my face; I thought it was a joke.
You bashed me with love and care since we had the knot tied, fulfilling the purpose of God. You gave me this name “love”. Alas! Who will call me by this name again, now that you are gone?
Love, you were sent to me by God; you were a wonderful husband (My lord), a father, a brother and a friend. You were my Pillar, you made me who i am today,. You had a great milk of human kindness, a rare specie of a personality, gallantry and a disciplinarian, yet accessible to all who came your way. You were imbued with peace and the fear of God.
What about the promise you made to your grandchildren?
They are all in tears, what about your promise to Uko?
Weep not Uko; weep not my dear Ekebo.
All hope is not lost, though your grandfather is gone.
We are still your support.
God will always fill the vacuum.
Your story will end in a praise.
On your passing out parade, his spirit will smile,
His presence though may be missed
Yet you will have to fly the flag high
Cheer up, all is not lost.
Oh! Owo nneme mi has gone home and left me alone
Uwem idoho iba ekpedo iba, ikpamana isobo nte Ebe ye Nwan.
I know you are resting in the bosom of your father, but i will always miss you My Lord.
My Lord, convey my greeting to my mum
She used to call you ‘Owo ama Esie’
I guess she gave you a warm reception
But i must linger a little here till my turn comes
Take your rest, sleep on my Love!
Your Loving Wife
OBONG-ANWAN EBRESO (as you fondly called me)
To God we say, all Glory, Adoration, Majesty and thanks be ascribed!!! To men, Organizations, Institutions, Friends, In-laws and sympathizers, we say a million thanks!
For acknowledgement of special note, we wish to mention :
Members of Churches Of Christ, especially, The Church of Christ, 12 Akpa Ube Close, Uyo and indeed members of the Christian community;
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS); Executives and members of Retired, Navy and Air Force Officers Association, RANAO and the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces as well as other Security Agencies.
Government of Akwa Ibom state, Honourable Commissioners, Local Government Chairmen, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Local Government service, Directors, Councilors and Supervisors, Executives and members of NULGE, Executive and members of NANIM, Nigerian Society of Engineers etc;
Socio-cultural organizations: Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio, Itam Clan Council, Ikot Andem Itam community, Ukat Aran Community, other organizations not listed here.
Business Associates, Inlaws, friends and sympathizers;
Members of Central planning committee and sub-committees.
Indeed we owe we owe you all a debt of gratitude which through eternity we may never be able to defray. We pray God in His infinite mercies to bless you all and reward you commensurately. Whenever you will stand in need of help and support may God raise people to stand by you; and may he grant you all journey mercies as you return to your homes.
Once again, God bless you richly.
For the family