PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the death of the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, George Obiozor.
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, announced Obiozor’s death late Wednesday.
The President extended his heartfelt condolences to Obiozor’s family, the government and the people of Imo State, and Ndigbo at home and in the Diaspora.
Buhari’s condolence message was conveyed in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled ‘President Buhari pays tribute to Prof Obiozor, Ohaneze President General’.
Parts of the statement read, “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, exemplified leadership skills and values as a thoroughbred diplomat.”
Buhari said he has fond memories of meeting Obiozor on several occasions and values his endearing sense of patriotism.
Former Governor of Enugu State and senator representing Enugu East, Chimaroke Nnamani, also described Obiozor’s death as a massive loss to the nation.
Nnamani stated that Nigeria and the South-East Zone, in particular, had lost a patriot and mentor who stood to be counted when it mattered.
On his part, the governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, described the deceased as an intellectual whose contributions and wise counsel on national and global issues will be greatly missed.
He described Obizor as a renowned academic, an exceptional diplomat and statesman and a tenacious patriot.
Meanwhile, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia and titled ‘Igbo titan bows out’, described Obiozor as an erudite, reflective scholar of world standard.
“Until his death, he was the President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization. Obiozor was a prodigy and an enigma of some sort: an erudite reflective scholar of world renown, prophetic intellectual, astute resourceful administrator, sagacious plebian 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,” Ohanaeze said.
The group added that Obiozor was sometimes misrepresented and misunderstood because of the silent, cautious strategy and tactics with which he pursued his goals.
Obiozor, a former Nigerian Ambassador to three countries, including Israel, Cyprus and the USA, died at 80 after a brief illness.