Emeritus Archbishop Joseph Edrah Ukpo has died at 85 years of age.
CONVERSEER learned that Ukpo died on Wednesday morning, March 1, 2023, in Calabar, Cross River State capital.
Reports say he died after a brief illness.
Ukpo who served as the Bishop of Ogoja Diocese before being uplifted to Archbishop of Calabar has been a priest for over 50 years.
Born on 6th June 1937, His Grace was ordained a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Ogoja on 25th April 1965.
Emeritus Archbishop Joseph Ukpo was appointed as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese on 24th April 1971 and on 1st March 1973, he was appointed as the substantive Bishop of the Diocese until he was appointed the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Calabar on 17th December 2003.
Mourning the Archbishop, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, Leader of the 9th Cross River State House of Assembly and Deputy Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, said he is saddened by the demise of the man who has put in many years in serving God.
“I am saddened by the death of His Grace Archbishop Joseph Edrah Ukpo, Archbishop Emeritus of Calabar Catholic Diocese and Bishop Emeritus of Ogoja Diocese.
“His Grace, was a wonderful leader, a servant-leader who helped in building the Christian Faith in Ogoja and across Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. As Bishop of Ogoja, he established Pope John Paul 11 Junior Seminary, Okpoma, Mater Dei Day School and a host of Catholic Schools across Cross River State.
“He was an exceptional man whose life was dedicated to building humanity and spreading the message of Christ and giving hope to the hopeless, joy to the saddened, peace to the weak and smile to the distressed.
“Archbishop Ukpo will be remembered for his love for humanity, his ability to develop the educational sector in our State and for spreading the message of love and kindness to our people.
“On behalf of the good people of Ogoja, I sympathise with the Archdiocese of Calabar, his immediate constituency, the Ogoja Diocese and ask the good Lord to grant him a place in His kingdom”, Odey said.
Also, Barr. Alphonsus Eba, Chairman of the APC in the state in his condolence message recommended the sterling virtues of Most Rev. Ukpo to younger priests and preachers, and to all Nigerians at large.
He described the Bishop Emeritus as a “great spiritual father,” who has left his footprints on the sands of time.
The Chairman prayed that God grants him rest and give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.