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Ohaneze Salutes Anyaoku At 91 Birthday

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File Photo: Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Former Secretary-General of Commonwealth

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has felicitated with the former Secretary-General of Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on the occasion of his 91st birthday.

This is contained in a statement by the President-General of the group, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, and issued by its  National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbonna, on Thursday in Enugu.

According to Iwuanyanwu, Anyaoku is  a respected global icon, an extraordinary diplomat and a prudent negotiator.

He also described Anyaoku, a former minister for foreign affairs and  member, Presidential Advisory Council of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, as an astute harmoniser of diverse cultural and political interests.

Iwuanyanwu said Anyaoku had remained a veritable source of inspiration to the younger generation.

He said he was highly delighted that the foremost Nigerian diplomat was hale and  hearty at 91.

Iwuanyanwu recalled with freshness when Chief Emeka Anyaoku was elected as the third Commonwealth Secretary-General at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 24, 1989.

“By the reason of that election, Anyaoku became the first black man  ever to fully head a major international organisation.

“He served the body with an uncommon competence, adroitness, elegance and panache.

“Thus, Anyaoku was re-elected at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Limasso, Cyprus in 1994 for a second five-year term, beginning on 1 April 1995,” Iwuanyanwu said.

The president-general noted  that Anyaoku deployed  his robust intellect, tact  and capacity to relate with world leaders while he was at the Common Wealth  without compromising his Igbo cultural identity and enviable virtues.

“It was with such a diplomatic prowess that Anyaoku deployed in overturning the obnoxious apartheid regime and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela’s government of racial equality in South Africa.

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“Also, during the dark days of Nigeria, Anyaoku identified fully with  rights activists for the restoration of democracy to Nigeria in 1999,” he said.

He enjoined all sons and daughters of Igbo land and the the black race to celebrate ” in honour of an exceptional living legend and a man with a track record of successes in the service of numerous international organisations”.

“He is a rare gem, who has been conferred with doctorate degrees, honoris causa, by over 33 universities in all parts of the world; and a bridge builder ,who is very conscious and proud of his Igbo heritage.

“It is the prayer of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide that the Igbo titan will witness many more years in sound mind and vitality,” he said.

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