Uzodimma Mourns as Obiozor, Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Dies at 80
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Imo state government yesterday announced the death of the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor, a former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States.
The Government statement signed by the state governor, Hope Uzodinmma, was however silent on when the Ohanaeze leader breathed his last. A competent source, however, stated that he died since Monday.
Obiozor emerged the leader of the Igbo socio-cultural group in January 2021, scoring 304 votes to beat two other contestants to emerge the winner in the election at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Born August 15, 1942, according to available public records, the professor and diplomat, at a point in his career, was the director-general of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) as well as being the high commissioner to Cyprus.
In addition, the late octogenarian was the Nigerian ambassador to Israel, from 1999 to 2003 and was a prolific writer on international affairs.
Some of his books included: Uneasy Friendships: Nigeria-United States Relations; The politics of precarious balancing: an analysis of contending issues in Nigerian domestic and foreign policy and Nigeria and the World: Managing the Politics of Diplomatic Ambivalence in a Changing World.
He started his early education at Awo-Omamma Comprehensive Secondary Schoo, Imo State, and later the Institute of African Studies Geneva Switzerland, University of South Tacoma Washington USA as well as the Columbia University, New York. He was also the Ugwumba 1 of Orlu and was a recipient of several local and international awards.
In an obituary personally signed by Governor Hope Uzodinma last night, the Imo state government described Obiozor’s death as a big loss to the state , the country and the international community.
“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 and 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 and the State of Israel, is a big loss to Imo state, the South-east 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,” Uzodinma noted.
In addition, the statement stressed that Obiozor’s burial arrangements will be announced in due course by the family, while praying for the repose of the soul of the professor.