From Magnus Eze, Enugu
The National Executive Council, (NEC) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has announced new date for the burial ceremony of its late president general, George Obiozor. The family had earlier slated Friday, February 3 for the burial.
Obiozor, who was elected the 10th President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on January 10, 2021, died in December 2022 at 80.
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State announced his death in a statement, describing him as “an exceptional diplomat and a tenacious patriot whose demise was a big loss to the state, Southeast and entire Nigeria.”
But announcing the burial arrangements during an emergency meeting of the NEC at the national secretariat of the organization in Enugu, secretary-general of the apex Igbo body, Okey Emuchay, said that Obiozor would be buried on Friday, February 10, 2023, in his home town of Awo-Omamma, Imo State.
He said that there would be activities prior to the burial of the late PG, including a valedictory session at the national secretariat and other activities at the National Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos and Abuja.
He also announced that the former PG of Ohanaeze, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey would head the burial committee with the President of Ohanaeze, Imo State, I.C Ihemedu as its secretary.
Emuchay added that all members of NEC and other stakeholders across the seven states of Ohanaeze would also be members of the burial committee.
“A central planning committee will come up together with sub-committees,” he said. “The chairman and the secretary will handle that.”
Emuchay also announced that the Deputy PG of Ohanaeze, Joel Kroham, who died last August would be buried on February 4, in Ahoada, Rivers State, noting that this was the first time that the organization was losing its president-general and deputy president-general at almost the same time.
“The NEC, however, wants to assure that the ship of Ohanaeze is in safe hands,” he said, adding, “We shall pass through this very difficult period and everything will be done to ensure that the late PG and his deputy and Mbazuilke Amaechi who also died on November 1, 2022, are accorded the dignity and honour that they deserve.”
The NEC appealed to all members of Ohanaeze both In Nigeria and in the diaspora to make out time and open condolence books and give people the opportunity to say good bye to Obiozor.
“Formal letters will go to the governors of the seven Ohanaeze states, to the leaders of our partners in Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt Leaders Forum, together with the leadership of Northern Elders’ Forum. We’ve been in touch with them and they are shocked at what has happened. So, we will write to them formally as we have done with the seven Ohanaeze governors and other stakeholders including the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and others, to convey the new date of 10th of February 2023 for the burial of our departed PG,” Emuchay said.