By C Don Adinuba
The Anambra State Government has congratulated Africa’s foremost constitutional law scholar, Professor Ben Nwabueze, on the attainment of 90 years, describing him as a global treasure.
In a message signed by Gov. Willie Obiano, the Anambra State government said that Prof. Nwabueze is a genius well recognised at Harvard University and other key centres of learning around the world.
“He is probably the world’s greatest constitutional law thinker alive at least in the English-speaking world.’’
Gov. Obiano recalled how the Supreme Court of Nigeria decades ago officially proclaimed “Nwabueze the leading authority on constitutional issues throughout Africa.
“The government and people of Anambra State are truly grateful that at 90, Prof. Nwabueze is not only alive but reasons most profoundly and writes so enchantingly, lucidly and so logically. The flourish of his writing is matchless.
“Just on February 27, 2019, Prof. Nwabueze presented two new books at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos.’’
Obiano extolled Nwabueze, a former Minister of Education, for authoring not less than 30 books and at least 100 academic articles.
Nwabueze, according to Gov. Obiano, became one of the few persons in history to receive the PhD of the University of London, where he had earlier earned a bachelors’ degree in law with distinction, based on his globally influential publications.
“He got this rare doctorate on the publication of his third book on the presidential system of government in Africa,” Obiano declared.
The governor commended Nwabueze for his role as the founding Secretary-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, the pan Igbo organisation.
“Thanks to the heroic efforts of people like Nwabueze,’’ said the governor, “Ohaneze has been growing from strength to strength decades later’’.
He also praised Nwabueze, Nigeria’s first academic to be bestowed the honour of being made a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), for leading the Igbo Leaders of Thought group which on Dec. 9, 2019, declared Gov. Obiano the “Star of the East’’, urging him to share the secret of his success with his brother Southeast governors’’, after reviewing such legacy projects as Anambra International Cargo Airport and the 10,000-capacity International Conference Centre in Awka, the biggest in Africa.
Chief Obiano recalled how the foremost lawyer has been working with various organisations and eminent Nigerians across the country to create a better society, including the late Chief Fredrick Rotimi Williams, Nigeria’s preeminent lawyer.
“Not to be forgotten’’, noted the governor “is Prof. Nwabueze’s role in the constitutional development of a number of African countries, including Ethiopia which became a federation a few years ago as a result of the wisdom and sagacity of such people as this great Anambra indigene’’.
To mark Prof. Nwabueze’s 90th birthday, Gov. Obiano paid an undisclosed sum for Nwabueze’s new books to be sent to the state’s tertiary institutions.