Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has endorsed former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States of America (USA), Prof George Obiozor, to succeed Chief John Nnia Nwodo as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Sen. Kalu who represents Abia North Senatorial district, also called on Imeobi Ohanaeze, the organization’s highest decision-making organ, to adopt Obiozor as consensus candidate.
In a statement signed by Emeka Nwala of office of the Senate Chief Whip, Kalu said he made very wide consultations with Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, his counterpart at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state and Engr. Dave Umahi, the governor of Ebonyi state before arriving at the decision.
He also disclosed that his call has the backing of other very prominent leaders of the southeast including Governors Willie Obiano, Hope Uzodimma of Anambra and Imo states respectively including his colleague at the Senate and Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
Senator Kalu also disclosed that former Secretary to Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon Nkeiru Onyejeocha among other Igbo leaders in National Assembly are in sync with his position in support of the candidacy of Prof. Obiozor.
He said Ohanaeze Ndigbo needed a non-partisan technocrat to steer its leadership stating that Obiozor possesses all the qualities needed to revive the group.
“Ohanaeze is the authentic voice of the Igbos, which exists for the sole purpose of speaking for and representing the interest of Ndigbo since its inception in 1976. It is expected to be non-partisan. We need a leadership that can rightly define and defend the interests of the Ndigbo.
“I have known Professor George Obiozor for quite a long time ago and I am confident he will competently lead an active, mature, hardworking and viable Ohanaeze Ndigbo”, Kalu saud.
Kalu also urged all delegates from Abia state to vote for Obiozor for the good of Ohanaeze and growth of the Igbo nation.
Obiozor, a diplomat and academic, was Nigeria’s Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America, Israel and Cyprus at different times. He was earlier at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) where he was the Director General.
He was also a coordinator for Southeast delegates to the 2014 National Conference as well as appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the conference.
Prior to that, Prof. Obiozor, who is known to be a bridge-builder, was adviser to President Ibrahim Babangida on International Affairs as well as adviser to General Ike Nwachukwu while he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He was also a member of the Vision 2010 Political Conference set up by Head of state, General Sani Abacha as well as a member of the 1994 political conference held in Lagos.
An author and co-author of 16 books, Prof. Obiozor was Special Assistant on Research to Dr. Chuba Okadigbo while he served as Political Adviser to President Shehu Shagari.
Commenting on his interest on leading Ndigbo into a new era, Prof. Obiozor promised to “assemble Igbo talents and experts to cater and defend the destiny of Ndigbo with appreciable success and diplomatic dexterity, decency and decorum. And Ndigbo will never be victims again, of Nigerian tragic circumstances which they did not create nor can they control.”