President Muhammadu Buhari has described the death of George Obiozor, president- general of Ohaneze Ndigbo, worldwide, as an immeasurable loss to the country.
The president in a statement signed by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said he is “deeply saddened by the passing of the late elder statesman.
The president, while extending his heartfelt condolences to the Obiozor’s family, the government and people of Imo State as well as Ndigbo, at home and in the Diaspora, said Obiozor’s demise is an immeasurable loss to the country.
The president noted that Obiozor had served as 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), adding that he “exemplified leadership skills and values as a thoroughbred diplomat.”
The president believes, however, 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 also 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.
The president, who recalled his fond memories of meeting Obiozor on several occasions, and values his endearing sense of patriotism, joined the Igbo nation in mourning the irreparable loss of this great son of Nigeria. He also prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of the deceased.
Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also described the death of Obiozor as a huge loss to Nigeria.
Atiku noted that “Obiozor was a charismatic personality, who 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 a pan-Nigerian.
“Professor 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 master of political consensus. A writer famous for his ‘politics of precarious balancing’ in which he espoused balancing the diverse interests in the country”, Atiku said.
He said Obiozor promoted national unity of the nation, adding that the Igbo nation and whole nation will miss him.
Atiku shared his condolences with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the southeast and the country as a whole over the fall of “an Iroko.” He prayed for a peaceful repose of his soul and the fortitude by his family to bear the loss of their patriarch.