Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Obasanjo, Obi mourn Obiozor


The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the apex socio-cultural organisation of the Igbo nation, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi

have expressed grief over the death of Prof. George Obiozor.

Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday announced the death of the former Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S., aged 80.

The apex socio-cultural organisation of the Igbo nation’s reaction to Obiozor’s death was contained in a statement signed by the group’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Alex Ogbonnia, and made available to newsmen in Owerri, on Thursday.

Ogbonnia stated that Ohanaeze received the news of Obiozor’s passing on “with a heart overtaken by pain and sorrow”.

He described Obiozor as “a prodigy and an enigma of some sort, an erudite, reflective scholar of world renown and a prophetic intellectual”.

He further described him as an “astute, resourceful administrator, sagacious phebian, political submarine, seasoned diplomat, cultural reservoir, detribalised patriot and jovial cerebral discussant”.

He also stated that “the most endearing of the Obiozor’s mystique could be summarised in character; the courage of his convictions, steadfastness and uncompromising commitment to his goals”.

The statement added that the deceased demonstrated his unassailable commitment to the Igbo.

It stated: “Obiozor will be remembered as a man who displayed an uncommon intellect, irrepressible courage, candor, tolerance, large heart and equanimity.

“He sacrificed his personal comfort in the service of Igbo nation.

“Obiozor was sometimes misrepresented and misunderstood because of the silent cautious strategy and tactics with which he pursued his goals.

“But behind the great achiever was an uncommon and perfect gentleman of immense proportion.

“The Obiozor life trajectory is one of the most enviable.

“He started as a child in Awo-Omamma in Imo, went to the USA for further studies, acquired a Doctor of Philosophy, taught in world class universities and promoted to a professor of International Relations.”

Ogbonnia recalled that during the last meeting of the group’s National Executive Committee in Owerri, “Obiozor spoke emotionally about the candidacy of Peter Obi”.

“He pointed out that it would have been a major catastrophe, if Obi were not in the race.

“Above all, Obiozor in his first world press conference as the President General assured the Igbo that time had come for the age-long collective aspiration of a Nigerian president from the South-East of Nigeria,” he stated.

He noted that the global academic community has lost a lot with the passing of Obiozor.

Ogbonnia further remarked that Obiozor stood out among his peers “for his unique intellectual wizardry, profound sense of humour, extraordinary creative imagination, rationality, clear-headedness, unwavering determination and incandescent passion”.

The group condoled with the deceased wife, children and his immediate family.

“We take solace in the fact that when a chronicle of Igbo personages will be launched, some leaders will appear in footnotes while some chapters will be devoted to Prof. George Obiozor,” it added.

Obiozor served Nigeria in various capacities, including being the Director General, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Lagos and Ambassador to Israel and Cyprus.

He also led the Igbo delegation to the 2014 National Constitutional Conference.

He was elected the group’s PG on Feb. 9, 2021.

Also, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has mourned the death of the President of Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, George Obiozor.

Obasanjo, who is currently in Ethiopia with the African Union (AU) High Representative to the Horn of Africa, sent his condolences through a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, on Thursday.

In the message, the former president described as “a fitting complement”, the efforts of Obiozor at remaking Nigeria’s international profile while he served as Nigerian Ambassador to Israel and the United States of America.

“The good work he did while he served as Nigerian Ambassador to Israel and the United States of America was a fitting complement to my administration’s painstaking efforts to re-make the international profile of our dear country.

“Indeed, for the enviable and sensitive positions he occupied both at home and abroad, and the developmental roles he played while in active service, Ambassador Obiozor would be fondly and proudly remembered as a foremost multilateralist, an erudite scholar, a passionate nationalist, and a diplomatic legend of international repute. He was an icon and a true Nigerian.”

Obasanjo further described late Obiozor as a peace maker and lover of democracy.

“Until his death, he built for himself an impressive profile of immense goodwill and affection among his people. He was imbued with an undying love for his people which informed his acceptance to serve as the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo so as to assist in ministering to, and advocating for their needs and truly, he was committed to the development and global vision of his people and the entire South-Eastern region of Nigeria till he breathed his last.

“The finality of Ambassador Obiozor is painful, especially as he still had a lot to contribute to community and national life, but we can draw some solace from knowing that he left his mark indelibly in whatever he was called upon to do. In all the assignments he was given, quality and integrity were his imprint and legacy.”

The former president also commiserated with the Imo State Governor, Mr Obiozor’s family and the entire people of Imo State as he prayed that “God, in His mercy, will comfort you all and grant him the reward of his faithfulness.

On his part, Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi, described the death of the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, as a great loss to Nigeria.

Obi, who said this in his twitter handle on Thursday, expressed sadness over the news of Obiozor’s death.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor.

“He was a dear elder brother and friend.

“Prof. Obiozor was a patriot, renowned academic and diplomat, who served Nigeria and Ohanaeze selflessly and diligently.

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“He was witty, well-heeled in history and effusive in his personal charm and warmth.

“The death of this foremost Igbo leader is a huge loss to the entire Obiozor family, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Nigerians in general.

“On behalf of my family, I commiserate with his family and all who mourn him,” he said.

Obi prayed God to grant him eternal rest and those he left behind the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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