President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said he was deeply saddened by the demise of Prof. George Obiozor, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
A retired diplomat, Obiozor died Wednesday aged 80.
The President, in a statement, extended his condolences to Obiozor’s family, the government and people of Imo State, and Ndigbo, at home and in the diaspora.
Describing his demise as an immeasurable loss to the country, the President noted 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 of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) exemplified leadership skills and values as a thoroughbred diplomat.
“The President has fond memories of meeting Prof. Obiozor on several occasions and values his endearing sense of patriotism.
“He joins the Igbo nation in mourning the irreparable loss of this great son of Nigeria, even as he prays for the peaceful repose of the soul of the deceased,” said the statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
On his Twitter handle, yesterday, Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, described the death as a great loss to Nigeria.
He said: “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. Obiozor was a patriot, renowned academic and diplomat, who served Nigeria and Ohanaeze selflessly and diligently. He was witty, well heeled in history and effusive in his personal charm and warmth.
“The death of this foremost Igbo leader is a huge loss to the entire Obiozor family, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Nigerians in general.
“On behalf of my family, I commiserate with his family and all who mourn him.”
In the same vein, All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, paid glowing tribute to Obiozor for his distinguished life of service to Nigeria and the Igbo race.
Tinubu noted that Obiozor served the country with pride and distinction, lamenting that death has, once again, robbed Nigeria of one of its finest statesmen.
He said: “I am deeply saddened by the news. This great Igbo leader and Nigeria’s elder statesman was a distinguished academic and diplomat who served his people and entire country with honour, dedication and distinction.
“Obiozor’s death, at this time, has again robbed our dear country of one of its finest public servants and committed leaders. As the leader of Ohanaeze, Obiozor championed the cause of national unity and economic development, while seeking a more equitable and even-handed federation where all constituent units and ethnic groups can live together in peace and harmony.
“On behalf of my family, I commiserate with the family of our departed statesman, the Federal Government of Nigeria, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, government and people of Imo State and the entire Igbo people over the passing of Ambassador Obiozor.
“May God Almighty comfort his loved ones and all those he left behind and also grant his soul eternal rest.”
Also, presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, described the death of Obiozor as a huge loss for the country.
In a statement, he personally signed, yesterday, Atiku said he received news of the death as a rude shock.
“Prof. Obiozor was a charismatic personality. He was much at home in any part of Nigeria. He was a consummate diplomat who believed in consensus, and had a stabilising influence.
“His wide experience in diplomatic foreign missions garnered over decades and across diverse postings came in very handy in making him pan-Nigerian.
“Obiozor taught us the essence of large-heartedness because he was generally accepted by even those who were not in support of his candidacy during the election that saw his emergence as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“He was a promoter of the unity of the nation. Igbo nation will miss him. The whole nation will miss him.”
Source: The Guardian