PRESS RELEASE – 30/10/23
Subject: The Eternal Passage of Professor Ben Nwabueze, Nigeria’s First Academic Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Former Minister of Education
With heavy hearts and profound sorrow, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, joins the entire Igbo nation and the world at large in mourning the irreparable loss of a great luminary, a towering figure, and a champion of the Igbo cause, Professor Ben Nwabueze. We announce with deep grief the passing away of our beloved founder and former Secretary-General, Professor Ben Nwabueze, a man whose contributions to the academic, legal, and political spheres are immeasurable.
Professor Ben Nwabueze, fondly referred to as the “Professor of Professors,” was born on December 22nd, 1931, in Atani, Ogbaru Lga of Anambra State. His journey through life was marked by unparalleled dedication, unwavering commitment, and an unwavering pursuit of justice and equality for the Igbo people. His profound intellect and undeniable passion for knowledge led him to become a prolific author, penning over 30 books and publishing more than 200 articles in academic journals.
As one of the founding fathers of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in 1976, alongside other distinguished Igbo sons such as Rt Hon Francis Akanu Ibiam, Dr. M.I Okpara, Chief K.O Mbadiwe, Chief Ugochukwu, P.N Okigbo, and Jerome Udoji, Professor Ben Nwabueze played an instrumental role in shaping the destiny of our people. He dedicated himself to the cause of the Igbo nation, working tirelessly to ensure that our voices were heard and our rights protected.
During his tenure as Secretary-General from 1978 to 2004, Professor Ben Nwabueze transformed Ohanaeze Ndigbo into a formidable and highly regarded nonpartisan Pan Igbo Pressure group. Under his visionary leadership, the organization became a beacon of hope and a symbol of unity for the Igbo people. His efforts in championing the cause of the Igbo and advocating for justice, fairness, and equity will forever be etched in our hearts.
In recognition of his exceptional achievements, Professor Ben Nwabueze received numerous accolades, including several prestigious chieftaincy titles and The Nigerian Order of Merit. His contributions to academia, law, and nation-building are immeasurable, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of Nigerian history.
As we mourn the loss of this extraordinary scholar and statesman, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, together with the entire Igbo-speaking states, including Anioma in Delta State and Ikwerre in River State, will observe four traditional market days of mourning to honor the memory of Professor Ben Nwabueze. We implore all Igbo sons and daughters, both at home and in the diaspora, to join us in this solemn period of reflection and remembrance.
Furthermore, we appeal to the esteemed President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to immortalize the legacy of Professor Ben Nwabueze by naming one of the new approved Federal Universities after this seasoned academician
Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro
Secretary General Ohanaeze Ndigbo
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