January 18, 2024

‘Moral edifice, global icon’ – Ohanaeze felicitates Anyaoku at 91


The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has described former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, as an “Igbo quintessence, moral edifice and global icon” in a message to him on his 91st year birthday on Thursday.

According to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze prayed to God to continue to keep Anyaoku in good health, enjoining “all sons and daughters of Igbo land; and indeed the entire black race to clink glasses in honour of an exceptional living legend; a man with a track record of  successes in the service of numerous international organisations.”

The statement read, “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide joins millions of admirers to felicitate a remarkable Igbo quintessence, moral edifice, global icon, an extraordinary diplomat and prudent negotiator, astute harmonizer of diverse cultural and political interests, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Member, Presidential Advisory Council of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide; former Secretary–General of the Commonwealth and Nigerian Permanent Representative in the United Nations, His Excellency Chief Emeka Anyaoku, CON; CFR; GCVO; GCON, the Ichie Adazie of Obosi and Ugwumba Idemili as he attains 91 on Thursday, January 18, 2024.

“Chief Emeka Anyaoku has remained a veritable source of inspiration to the younger generation. He has displayed an exceptional inter-ethnic wizardry, marital exemplariness, prudent negotiator, global renown, oratorical skills and unassailable friendly finesse.

“The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, MFR; OFR; CFR; FNICE; FNSE; FNIST; KSG (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo) is highly delighted that the foremost Nigerian diplomat is hale, hearty and fit as a fiddle at 91.  

“The Igbo Leader recalls 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 24 October 1989. By the reason of that election, Anyaoku became the first black ever to fully head a major international organization. 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.

“Ahaejiagamba adds that one of the most cherished of the Anyaoku persona is his unwavering self-esteem, dignity, dispositional humility, robust intellect and capacity to relate with almost all the Heads of Government in the world 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. Also, during the dark days of Nigeria, Anyaoku identified fully with the Rights activists for the restoration of democracy to Nigeria in 1999.

“The Igbo Leader enjoins all sons and daughters of Igbo land;  and indeed the entire black race to clink glasses in honour of an exceptional living legend; a man with a track record of successes in the service of numerous international organisations; 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.”