President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the passing of George Obiozor, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation.

Mr Obiozor, a professor, died “recently” after a brief illness, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State announced in a statement, Wednesday night.

In a statement on Thursday by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, Mr Buhari described the death of the Ohanaeze leader as an “immeasurable loss to the country.”

The president extended his condolences to the deceased family, the government and people of Imo State as well as Ndigbo —- both at home and in the diaspora —- according to the statement.

He said Mr Obiozor “exemplified leadership skills and values as a thoroughbred diplomat” during his time as Nigeria’s ambassador to United States and Israel, High Commissioner at the Republic of Cyrus and the director-general, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.

“President Buhari believes that the contributions of the unique leader and strong proponent of peace and a stable polity, who also held other strategic public positions, will never be forgotten.

“President Buhari trusts that all who mourn the demise of the statesman, who commanded great respect among his peers in the academia and foreign policy arena, will honour his memory by actively embracing his beliefs and ideas geared towards uniting Nigeria beyond geopolitical considerations,” the statement added.

Mr Buhari said he has “fond memories of meeting Prof. Obiozor on several occasions” and that he values the “endearing sense of patriotism” of the elder statesman.

The president prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased who, he said, was a “great son of Nigeria.”

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