Eloho Otobo Was Big ‘Dreamer’ Of Great Africa – Amb. Obaze

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Late Nigerian dilomat, Ambassador Ejeviome Eloho Otobo has been described as one who had an undying dream of having a greater Africa despite the prevailing socio-economic and political challenges rocking the continent.

Former Nigerian envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Oseloka Obaze, made this known while describing the noble commitment of Otobo to Pan-African affairs during his earthly sojourn.

Ambassador Obaze who was the lead speaker at the colloquium organised by Prime Business Africa on Thursday, August 11 2022, in honour of Otobo, said the late diplomat was a great gift to not just his community in Isoko North Local Government of Delta State, Nigeria but the entire humanity.

Describing their journey of friendship which had reached forty years, he said, “Eloho was to me, a very dear friend and a brother from a different mother. He was a friend, brother, confidant and literary interlocutor. He was a very jocular and effervescent person.

“Our professional and personal friendship began over forty years ago. We were professional colleagues as members of Nigerian Foreign Service.

“Eloho was the consummate, professional, career diplomat. He cut his niche in that sector as a scholar-diplomat, both at the national and international levels.

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“More personally, Eloho was Godfather to our second son, Chinua. My family members can count of a few people, whom I consider my best friends. Eloho belonged to the top echelon of that list.”

Eloho Otobo Was Big 'Dreamer' Of Great Africa - Amb. Obaze
Amb. Oseloka Obaze during the colloquium held virtually on Thursday August 11, 2022.

 

On the pan-African stance of Amb. Otobo, Obaze said he was a “big ‘Dreamer’ for Africa,” and “unrepentantly Afrocentric.” He added that Otobo was a cerebral writer who wrote “passionately about Africa and for Africa. He wrote broadly on African governance, development and security issues.

“Eloho saw in Africa, not just an emerging frontier, but a continent imbued with infinite possibilities. Nigeria, however, was his passion, given his deep conviction that an inextricable link existed between Nigeria and the realization of Africa’s manifest destiny.”

Eloho and Obaze also had a fruitful working relationship in the area of scholarship for more than 30 years in which they co-authored several publications on policy, economy and governance issues in Nigeria and Africa in general.

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He noted that within the period, Eloho had published three books. Two of the books he said, offer glimpses of his commitment to Africa. One of them, Consolidating Peace in Africa: Role of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (2015) is a 246-pages and seven-chapter volume of empirical analysis and lessons learned, in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.

Obaze further noted that Eloho’s second book, Africa in Transition: A New Way of Looking at Progress in the Region (2017), was aptly described by Dr. Marcel Mbamalu, (the then News Editor at The Guardian and now publisher of Prime Business Africa) as “a bird’s-eye view, incisive and richly illuminating dissection of Africa’s epochal moments.”

Obaze further disclosed that in 2018, he and Otobo embarked on another book project titled, Nigeria: Caught in the Whirlwind, which is yet to be completed until Otobo suddenly passed passed on. The book is also about leadership issues in Nigeria and how it is affecting development and economic prosperity of the citizens and the country in general.

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He summed up Otobo’s intellectual capability in the following words: “As a person, diplomat, writer and African dreamer, Eloho true to his erudite sagacity, proved himself a worthy raconteur of good governance principles, for which his knowledge and authority remained unquestionable.”

Amb. Otobo was until his death a member, Board of Directors at Newstide Publications and Editorial Board of Prime Business Africa.

He was a carrier diplomat who served in various capacities both in Nigeria Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Missions in various countries with special interest in economic governance, peacebuilding, among others.

 

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