The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired); the presidential candidate of the Congress of All Progressives, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; and the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, were among those who, on Thursday, mourned the death of the president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor.
the punch had reported that Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma announced Obiozor’s death on Wednesday night.
Buhari, in a condolence message signed by his special adviser for Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, described the former ambassador as a diplomat who contributed to the country’s peace.
He said: “Describing his passing as an immeasurable loss to the country, the President notes that the former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, the High Commissioner to the Republic of Cyprus, the Ambassador to the State of Israel and the former Nigerian Director General Institute of International Affairs exemplified leadership skills and values as a thoroughbred diplomat.
“President Buhari is confident that all who mourn the death of the statesman, who commanded great respect among his peers in academia and foreign policy, will honor his memory by actively embracing his beliefs and ideas aimed at uniting Nigeria beyond of geopolitical considerations. ”
Tinubu, in a condolence message issued by his press office and signed by Tunde Rahman, described Obiozor as one of the most outstanding patriots to have served the country.
He said: “I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of Ambassador George Obiozor, General Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide. This great Igbo leader and Nigeria’s greatest statesman was a distinguished academic and diplomat who served his people and the entire country with honour, dedication and distinction.
“As the leader of Ohanaeze, Ambassador Obiozor championed the course of national unity and economic development while seeking a more equal and impartial federation where all constituent units and ethnic groups can live together in peace and harmony.”
Similarly, in a Facebook post on Thursday he wrote: “Prof. Obiozor was a charismatic personality. He was very comfortable anywhere in Nigeria. He was an accomplished diplomat who believed in consensus and had a stabilizing influence.
“The Igbo nation will miss him. He will be missed by the entire nation. Although of Igbo extraction, he was accepted among other leaders and stakeholders in different parts of the country. He will be greatly missed, as well as his voice of wisdom and reason, which is needed at this crucial moment in our socio-economic and political evolution.”
The main Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, said Obiozor sacrificed his comfort in the service of the Igbo nation.
The statement read in part: “Until his death, he was the general chairman of the main Igbo socio-cultural organisation. Obiozor was a prodigy and enigma of some sort: a thoughtful scholarly scholar a world-renowned prescient intellectual, a shrewd and resourceful administrator, a shrewd commoner political sub, a seasoned diplomat, a cultural reservoir, a detribalized patriot, a cerebral wrangler. jolly, among others.
“Obiozor was sometimes misrepresented and misunderstood due to the silent, cautious strategy and tactics with which he pursued his goals, but behind the great achiever was a rare and perfect knight of immense proportions.”
For his part, Labor and Employment Minister Chris Ngige, in a statement from his press office in Abuja, said: “Messages of goodwill and congratulations poured in from all corners of our beloved country, extolling your competence, character, rich track record and tracking records
“I have not forgotten his acceptance speech, in which he promised to use his position for the benefit of the Ndigbo and to address the injustices committed against his people in Nigeria.”
Likewise, a former Secretary of Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Anyim, in a message of condolences on his Facebook page, described the late Obiozor as a father, a leader, a mentor and a friend and praised his love for young people who he believes are the future of the nation.
Former Enugu State Governor Senator Chimaroke Nnamani noted in his tribute that Obiozor “promoted Nigeria and its potential to the outside world and demonstrated tremendous leadership and international affairs skills.”
The South and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, in a joint statement signed by Edwin Clark, leader of the South-South Forum and Pan Niger Delta; Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Afenifere, and Pogu Bitrus, president of the Middle Belt Forum, described Obiozor as “an exemplary leader, unpretentious and modest; and a first-class gentleman, a thoroughbred scholar, who steadfastly, along with his compatriots, upheld our common stance on the fundamental principles of fairness, fairness and fairness, and inclusiveness, in the pursuit of a better Nigeria.”