President Muhammadu Buhari has described former permanent secretary and chairman of his 2015 Transition Team, Ahmed Joda, who died on Friday at the age of 91, as a patriot and most valuable citizen, who gave his best for the unity and development of Nigeria.
Speaking through a delegation led by the secretary to government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to Adamawa State yesterday to commiserate with the family, friends and associates of the late elder statesman, including the state government and people of the state, President Buhari said Joda’s transition was a collective loss to the family, state, country and the world that he touched and improved with integrity and competence.
The president in a statement signed by his media aide, Garba Shehu, told the family that, “Joda was a trustworthy and loyal companion, who steadfastly stood for the interest of the nation through highs and lows.
“The country will not forget his sacrifices,” he said.
The family, through Alhaji Mustapha Aminu, the Galadima of Adamawa, thanked the president for sending a high-powered delegation to mourn with them, agreeing that Joda was a hero for all Nigerians.
Aminu highlighted the trust and loyalty that shaped the relationship between the president and the former permanent secretary, also known as one of the “Super Perm Secs’’, saying Buhari shared greatly in the loss as well.
At the palace of the Lamido of Adamawa, Dr Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha, the SGF conveyed the “deepest condolences” of Buhari and that of the government and the people of Nigeria to him and his people, saying, “we have come to mourn a hero, a mentor and a father.”
Buahri eulogised the late permanent secretary for his productive services to Nigeria and the world.
He also said when he looked around for someone to help manage his transition to the presidency, following his victory in the 2015 general elections, he saw that Joda was most fitting, with “the right quality and calibre.’’
The Lamido of Adamawa thanked the president for sending the delegation and described Joda’s death as a big loss to the state and the country.
Governor of Adamawa State Umaru Fintiri who also received the presidential delegation said the state and the country had lost a “father, a friend and an adviser to whom we ran to for solutions to intractable problems.”