George Obiozor, former ambassador to US, emerges Ohanaeze president

Professor George Obiozor, former Nigerian ambassador to the US, has emerged the the new president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Obiozor emerged in an election held at Dan Anyim stadium in Owerri, the Imo state capital, on Sunday.

He had reportedly emerged the consensus candidate few weeks ago but controversy trailed the endorsement, with John Nwodo, the outgoing president, denying supporting any one for the position.

“The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldide has been drawn to a spurious, mendacious and malicious news item making the rounds that a candidate has been chosen to occupy the post of the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, which by rotation, is now the turn of Imo State,” he had said in a statememnt.

“The said vexatious piece would have been ignored for the chaff it is but for the fact that it impinges on the solid and time-tested tradition of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in choosing its leadership and the integrity of its present President-General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.

“The truth of the matter is that posts in Ohanaeze Ndigbo are rotational and positions zoned to states. It is the responsibility of states to choose their candidates which they may prune down for their convenience.”

Meanwhile, other candidates reportedly boycotted the election.

One of the leading contestants, Chief Chuks Ibegbu, had announced his withdrawal from the election.

Ibegbu, who is the outgoing Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the body, lamented that the election process was faulty and lacked proper democratic rules of engagement.

He said, “Following obvious distortion of the proper democratic rules of engagement and feeling the pulse of the Igbo Nation, I hereby exclude myself from the Nwodo led Ohanaeze election.

“Though I purchased the nomination form at an unacceptable sum of N300,000, regrettably the process was full of manipulation and the outcome would not be acceptable to Ndigbo.”

George Obiozor, 78, from Imo state, is professor and diplomat. 

He studied at the Institute of African Studies, and Albert Schweitzer College. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1969, and from Columbia University with a Ph.D. in International Affairs.

He was director-general of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. 

He was the high commissioner to Cyprus. He was the Nigerian ambassador to Israel, from 1999 to 2003. He was the Nigerian ambassador to the United States, from 2004 to 2008.

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