Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet
Godswill Ihetu, Ph.D
A few days ago in February 2023, I participated at a well attended day of tributes for Professor George Obiozor at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, in Lagos. He was born in 1942 and died in 2022. He was the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide.
Among those present were members of Ndigbo Lagos Elders Council including General Ike Nwachukwu, Chief Ekesi, Dr. Walter Ofonagoro and Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, who said a most moving and solemn opening prayer. Retired Gen. Nwachukwu and Dr. Ofonagoro spoke, and did so from their hearts.
The highlight for me was the speech by Chief Ayo Adebanjo who expressed surprise that Ndigbo and the South East are not going all out in support of the presidential aspiration of one of their own, not even with their money, when in fact, for the sake of fairness and equity, it is their turn.
Ndigbo Lagos Elders did not participate in the event as a body, for the reasons that the President stated days earlier. My view of tributes for the dead is that those eulogies would have been better said during the person’s lifetime.
Even though Prof. Obiozor was our member, there was a feeling among some of us that he was not pushing the quest for an Igbo as president of Nigeria sufficiently and vigorously. At one of our meetings last year, I was requested to speak to him about it. I did so the same night and reported back his response and avowed commitment to our Chairman that same day. Sadly, I am not sure that Ndigbo Lagos Elders got the benefit of his response.
I, therefore, wish to use this opportunity to tell our members that George Obiozor, even with his deteriorating health, was fighting the Igbo cause to the end. At least, Chief Ayo Adebajo corroborated this position.
May Prof. Obiozor’s soul rest in peace.
*Ihetu was former Managing Director Nigeria LNG and Nigeria Gas Company, former Group Executive Director of the NNPC, is the author of ‘From Oloibiri to Bonny: My Life and Insights from Rising and Leading in Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry.’
George Obiozor, distinguished life in diplomacy and leadership (1942-2022). By Chido Nwangwu