Ohanaeze president Obiozor dies at 80

Ohanaeze president Obiozor dies at 80

Uzodimma, others mourn

SOUTHEASTERNERS lost one of their leaders yesterday. President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo (Worldwide), Professor Ralph Obiozor, is dead. He was 80.

The death of the diplomat was announced in statemwent yesterday by the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma.

He hailed from Awo-Omoma, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State.

The statement reads: “On behalf of the government and people of Imo state, I, Sen Hope Uzodimma, the Executive Governor of Imo State, sorrowfully announce the passage of a great son of Imo State and Nigeria, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo (Worldwide), Prof George Obiozor.

“A renowned academic, an exceptional diplomat, a statesman and a tenacious patriot, Prof George Obiozor passed on recently after a brief illness.

“The death of this foremost Igbo leader and former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States (U.S.) and the State of Israel, is a big loss to Imo State, the Southeast and the entire Nigeria.

“I have no doubt that both Nigeria and the international community will miss his profound intellectual contributions and wise counsel on national and global issues.

“His burial arrangements will be announced in due course by the family. May his great and gentle soul rest in peace.”

The death of the one-time Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) drew reactions from prominent Igbo leaders.

They expressed expressed shock over the death, which they described as a great loss to the Southeast.

“Igbo race has lost a rare gem,” one of them concluded.

A former House of Representatives member, Dr. Chris Asoluka, said the demise of the Igbo leader came to him as a shock.

He said: “I am short of words, may his soul rest in peace. He was such a nice man and a great Igbo leader. The Igbo race has lost a gem. We will all miss him.”

A former President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Imo State, Dr. Ezechi Chukwu, described the late Obiozor as a christmatic leader.

He said: “It is quite unfortunate it is happening now that we need him most. He was one of most brightest and Christmatic leaders in the history of Igbo. Ndigbo has lost a great leader and we will miss him. We God grant him enternal rest.”

Mr. Giddy Uwazuruike, a lawyer, who contested the President-General position with the late professor, said it would be rare to have another Obiozor in Igboland.

“He (Obiozor) lived a very fruitful life, meaningful life. We Igbo will miss him. We don’t know when we will have another Obiozor. May he rest in peace.”

Prof. Chidi Osuagwu described the deceased as a great man, adding that “his death was quite a pity.”

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