Mike Okhai Akhigbe; the second in command in the military government that midwifed Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. The Admiral was between 1994 and 1998 the Chief of Naval Staff and became the Chief of General Staff in 1998, during the General Abubakar’s military government. His reported suggestion against a Government of National Unity proposed by NADECO to military Head of State General Abubakar delt a blow on the plan that would have brought MKO Abiola to power nominally and brought about the electioneering process of 1998 which finally brought in democracy[i]. He died in 2013.
Places of Growth
Mike Akhigbe was born October 19, 1946 in Fugar, Etsako, now in Edo State.
Akhigbe attended the Nigerian Defence Academy between 1967 and 1969. He was at the Royal Naval School of Maritime Operations, Southwick, United Kingdom in 1974 and the Command and Staff Colege, Jaji, Kaduna between 1982 and 1983. He also attended the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, near Jos, and the University of Portiers, Rovan, France[ii].
Akhigbe is at different times flag officer commanding Eastern Naval Command, Calabar; military governor of Lagos State and Ondo State. Akhighe became the Chief of Naval Staff in 1994 and later Chief of Defence Staff in 1998. As Chief of Naval Staff and a member of the Provisional Ruling Council, PRC under General Abacha’s regime, he was a skilled spokesman[iii]. He retired from ‘ service in 1999[iv].
[i] Punch June 18, 2017
[ii] Tell November 6, 2006
[iii] Tell October 16, 1995
[iv] Insider October 2, 2006