As the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo mourns its President General, Prof George Obiozor; President Muhammadu Buhari, former President Jonathan, Presidential Candidates of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and Labour Party, Peter Obi, amongst others, have commiserated with the family, the group and the Igbo over their loss.
In a condolence message signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Chidozie Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze said:”It is with pain and sorrow in our hearts that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and indeed all the Igbo sons and daughters received the news of the passing of Ambassador, Professor George Obiozor. Until his death, he was the President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization.
“Obiozor was a prodigy and an enigma of some sorts: an erudite reflective scholar of world renown, prophetic intellectual, astute resourceful administrator, sagacious phebian political submarine, seasoned diplomat, cultural reservoir, detribalized patriot, jovial cerebral discussant, among others.
“The most endearing of the Obiozor mystique can be summarised in character; the courage of his convictions, steadfastness and uncompromising commitment to his goals.
“Obiozor was sometimes misrepresented and misunderstood because of the silent cautious strategy and tactics with which he pursues his goals but behind the great achiever was an uncommon and perfect gentleman of immense proportions.
“The Obiozor life trajectory is one of the most enviable he started as a child in Awo-Omamma, went to the USA for further studies, acquired a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), taught in the world class universities and was promoted to the rank of a professor of International Relations, served Nigeria in various capacities without blemish as the Director General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos; Nigerian Ambassador to three countries: Israel, Cyprus and the USA; articulated the Return of Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu with Dr. Chuba Okadigbo and Joe Asogwa in 1982; led the Igbo delegation to the 2014 National Constitutional Conference and ultimately, was elected the President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
“Above all, Obiozor in his first world press conference as the President General, at the headquarters of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, assured the Igbo that time has come for the age-long collective aspiration of a Nigerian president from the South East of Nigeria. He demonstrated his unassailable commitment to the Igbo by leading delegations to Olusegun Obasanjo, British Embassy, E K Clarke, Ayo Adebanjo, Sultan of Sokoto, among others. “The Obiozor led advocacy assumed an irreversible, unquenchable and irresistible national charm, resonance and unprecedented crescendo.
“During the last meeting of the National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide held at Owerri, Obiozor spoke emotionally about the candidacy of Peter Obi and pointed out that it would have been a major catastrophe if Obi were not in the race. He expressed satisfaction that Peter Obi has changed the political dynamics of the country and created a pathway for Nigerian new beginning”.
Obiozor’s demise, immeasurable loss to Nigeria –Buhari
Paying his condolence, President Muhammadu Buhari described the death of Obiozor as an immeasurable loss to Nigeria.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President extended his heartfelt condolences to Obiozor’s family, the government and people of Imo State as well as Ndigbo at home and in the Diaspora.
According to the statement, “Describing his demise as an immeasurable loss to the country, the President notes that the former Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States, High Commissioner to the Republic of Cyprus, Ambassador to the State of Israel and former Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) exemplified leadership skills and values as a thoroughbred diplomat.
“The President believes that the contributions of the unique leader and strong proponent of peace and a stable polity, who also held other strategic public positions, will never be forgotten.
“President Buhari trusts that all who mourn the demise of the statesman, who commanded great respect among his peers in the academia and foreign policy arena, will honour his memory by actively embracing his beliefs and ideas geared towards uniting Nigeria beyond geo-political considerations.
His death, loss to the nation –Jonathan
Former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan also expressed sadness over the passing of Professor George Obiozor, describing his death as a huge loss to the nation.
Dr. Jonathan stated this in a condolence message to the Obiozor family and the Government and people of Imo State in which he recounted Obiozor’s contributions to the growth and development of the nation.
The former President stated: “On behalf of my family, I commiserate with the Obiozor family, the Government and People of Imo State and Ndigbo in general on the passing of the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Professor George Obiozor.
“Professor Obiozor was a great patriot whose love for the nation and his people knew no bounds in his selfless service towards the unity and development of our country.
His death, a great loss –Obi
In his tribute, Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi described the death of the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo as a great loss to Nigeria. Obi, who said this in a Twitter post yesterday, 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.
He was a patriot –Ngige
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige while paying glowing tribute to the late Prof. Obiozor, described him as a successful administrator, quintessential public servant, a seasoned diplomat, and renowned public intellectual who contributed immeasurably to socio-political engineering in the country.
The Minister who reacted in a statement by his media office in Abuja, Thursday, said he was saddened by the news of the demise of a man he described as his special friend and patriot whom he encouraged two years ago to ascend the Ohanaeze Presidential seat.
Huge loss to Ndigbo –Prof Madubuike
In his condolence message, Former Minister for Health, Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike described the death of Ambassador George Obiozor as a huge loss to Ndigbo.
Professor Madubuike who spoke with Vanguard in Umuahia, said he had very close personal relationship with the late Diplomat, whom he said was his personal friend.
” He was a very vivacious intellectual, an excellent conversationist, a lover of his people, and a man of great ideas. We got on well. We came back to this country almost at the same time at the end of the war.
” I knew him up to his family unit and we have been good friends working together in different spheres. He was a good Igbo man and we miss him greatly.”
Obiozor left indelible footprints on sand of time –Ikpeazu
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu also expressed sadness at the death of Professor George Obiozor, but added that the former diplomat left indelible marks on the sands of time.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka, the Governor described Obiozor as a ranking member of the global academic community, a world acclaimed Professor of International relations, a diplomat of the finest grade, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the United States of America and President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide who will sorely be missed by Ndigbo, Nigeria and the world.
Ikpeazu lamented that Obiozor’s death is painful coming at a time the Igbo nation was still battling with the issue of leadership and place in a united Nigerian federation.
His words:”The death of Professor George Obiozor has robbed Igbo land of one of her most illustrious sons. He was clearly one of our most powerful men at the global diplomatic level. Our decision to support his emergence as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide was based squarely on his pedigree and integrity. His death is even more painful coming at a time like this when the Igbo nation still grapples with issues around leadership and our place in a united Nigeria.
Obiozor’s death, rude shock to us –Okwesilieze Nwodo
Expressing his sadness, the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Okwesilieze Nwodo, described the demise of the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, as a rude shock to the Igbo nation.
Nwodo, who was a former Governor of Enugu State also said that the late Obiozor’s experience and direction would be missed, especially, as the Igbo approach the 2023 general elections and other challenges facing the region.
He also said that his death has created a vacuum which would be difficult to fill because of his diplomacy and enviable academic attainments.
“His death came as a rude shock to us. We know he has been indisposed but he was getting adequate medical attention both at home and abroad. We thought he was overcoming his indisposition only to suddenly hear that he has left us.
“Because of his background, his heading Ohanaeze Ndigbo was a big plus for us. He was diplomatic and has laudable academic achievements and experience. It would be difficult to replace him but we have to accept the reality that he is no more,” he said.
He was a great nationalist, Moses of Ndigbo–Udeogaranya
A former presidential aspirant and a chieftain of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Charles Udeogaranya in a release yesterday expressed shock at the demise of Ohanaeze Ndigbo president- general.
He lamented that Africa, Nigeria and Ndigbo has lost an amazing and skillful leader at a critical time in the life of Nigeria.
The ex-presidential aspirant extolled the virtues of late Amb. George Obiozor as the Moses of Ndigbo, who saw and led with diplomacy the bid of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction before his sudden passage.
Obiozor served Nigeria with pride, distinction –Tinubu
Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in his tribute to Professor George Obiozor said he served Nigeria with pride and distinction.
In a statement issued by the Tinubu Media Office yesterday and signed by Tunde Rahman, the APC candidate noted that the career of Professor Obiozor, who was at various times the Director-General of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Ambassador of Nigeria to United States, Ambassador of Nigeria to Israel and High Commissioner of Nigeria to Cyprus, made the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leader one of the foremost patriots who served the country with diligence, honour and integrity.
According to him, Ambassador Obiozor served the country with pride and distinction, lamenting, however, that death has once again robbed Nigeria of one of its finest statesmen.
INC condoles Ohanaeze
The President of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, has, on behalf of the Ijaw nation and National Executive Council, NEC, of the foremost Ijaw socio-cultural organisation expressed his condolences to the Igbo apex body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on the death of its President General, Prof. George Obiozor.
Prof Okaba, in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the INC, Ezonebi Oyakemeagbegha, described the sudden passing of the renowned academic and outstanding diplomat as shocking and devastating to his family, Imo State, Ndigbo and Nigeria at large.
He noted that the great Igbo leader, who had meritoriously served as Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States and Israel, took a bow at a critical time in Nigeria’s history when his wise counsel and purposeful leadership would have been of immense benefit to the Igbo ethnic nationality ahead of next year’s election.
Obiozor’s demise, monumental loss to the nation –Anyim
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim in his tribute described the death of Prof. George Obiozor, the President- General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide as a monumental loss to the nation.
In a condolence message titled: “The demise of Prof. George Obiozor: The Iroko has fallen”, which he placed on his Facebook page, Sen. Anyim explained how late Obiozor had provided him with guidance at many critical times in his career.
According to him, “I received with deep sense of sorrow the sudden demise of Prof. George Obiozor, the President – General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. It was like a fairy whisper until the confirmation of the sad news by the Governor of Imo State few hours ago.
“Like a trojan horse, Prof. Obiozor bestrode the Nigeria public service as an intellectual, a diplomat, a leader, a patriot and indeed a statesman.
“The demise of Prof. Obiozor is no doubt a monumental loss to the nation and moreso to the younger generation to whom he beheld as a project.
“May his gentle soul rest in peace.”
Obiozor irreplaceable–ABC Nwosu
Former minister of health , Prof ABC Nwosu, has expressed sadness over the death of President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo , Prof. George Obiozor.
He said the demise of the diplomat was particularly painful to those close to him because of the man’s uniqueness and commitment to the unity and progress Ndigbo and Nigeria.
Nwosu said “It is sad his death came at this time . It is sad not just for Ndigbo but for Nigeria and the diplomatic world.
“Those of us his friends will feel his painful loss very much . It has left me totally disoriented and confused”.
He explained that the late Ohanaeze President was a special human being who “brightened every room and every conversation he came into “.