Ambassador George Obiozor has emerged new President General of the Igbo socio-cultural group Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
He succeeded John Nnia Nwodo.
Obiozor scored 304 votes to beat two other contestants to emerge the winner in an election held at the Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri.
Obiozor, 78, polled 304 votes to defeat his closest and only rival, Mr Valentine Oparaocha, who scored 15 votes, in the election, held at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, on Sunday.
Three other contestants, Ezechukwunyere Nwebo, Uju Okoro and Goddy Uwazuruike, withdrew at the election venue, just before the process began, and urged their supporters to back Obiozor.
Similarly, the trio of Chidi Osuagwu, Chris Asoluka and Dr Joe Nworgu, who had all picked nomination forms, failed to return them and thus did not participate in the process.
Announcing the results, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Prof Gary Igariwe, said : ” With the power vested on me as the returning officer, I hereby declare that Prof George Obiozor, having scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared winner and president of Ohaneeze Ndigbo “.
Igariwe said the committee adopted the open process of Option A4 for the election, to ensure transparency and credibility.
Other winners included, Deputy President General won by Mr Obi Nwali and Secretary General won by Mr Okey Egbuche.
Others were: Treasurer General, Mrs Beatrice Eze, Financial Secretary, Mr Bartholomew Okere and National Publicity Secretary, Mr Tony Ezekwesili.
Seven states participated in the election, namely: Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers, in addition to delegates from affiliate Igbo bodies in the diaspora.
Notable personalities at the event were Governors of Ebonyi and Imo, Chief Dave Umahi and Sen. Hope Uzodinma.
Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, his Science and Technology counterpart, and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), were also at the event.
Also present were: Chief Adolphus Wabara, a former Senate President, Sen. Sam Egwu, representing Ebonyi North, and Sen. Osita Izunaso, former senator representing Imo west, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, former Imo governor, speakers of Houses of Assembly and a host of other government functionaries from the South East zone.
In November, Imo state adopted Obiozor as consensus candidate.
Obiozor is a professor of political science and former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States between 2004 and 2008.
He studied at the Institute of African Studies, and Albert Schweitzer College.
He graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1969, and from Columbia University with a Ph.D. in International Relations.
He was also between 1999 to 2003 Ambassador of Nigeria to the State of Israel, and high commissioner to the republic of Cyprus.
He was a senior Research Fellow at Nigerian Institute of International Affairs and became the Director-General of the Institute.