George Obiozor, president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a pan-Igbo sociocultural organisation has passed, Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma confirmed today.

Prof Obiozor marked his 80th birthday on 15 August this year.

The governor last night laid to rest Wednesday’s wild media speculations over the health status of the Ohanaeze leader.

Interestingly, the governor’s post on Instagram suggested that Prof Obiozor’s did not die this week.

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

Uzodinma described the death as “a big loss.”

“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.

Elected president of Ohanaeze in January 2021, he barely served for two years before his death.

The Imo State academic and diplomat was born on 15 August 1942. He studied in Nigeria and the United States, earning a doctorate in international affairs from Columbia University.

He returned from the US to head the government think-thank, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. And was later posted to Cyprus as ambassador.

His sojourn as a top diplomat included ambassadorship positions in Israel (1999 – 2003) and to the United States (2004 -2008).

Among his noted academic works are:

  • Uneasy Friendships: Nigeria-United States Relations (1992, Fourth Dimension)
  • The politics of precarious balancing: an analysis of contending issues in Nigerian domestic and foreign policy (1994, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs)

The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library’s Centre for Human Security published his collected essays and speeches in 2016. It is titled Nigeria and the World: Managing the Politics of Diplomatic Ambivalence in a Changing World.

The Imo State Governor said his burial programme will be announced by the Obiozor family.

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