President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Yola, Adamawa State described the services of the late Ahmed Joda to Nigeria as immeasurable, saying that all the years he knew the revered public administrator, he never requested any favour from him.
The President spoke at the palace of Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Mustafa, during a condolence visit to the families of three elder statesmen and prominent sons of Adamawa State who passed on recently.
The families are those of Ahmed Joda, a former Permanent Secretary and chairman of the transition committee that ushered in President Buhari administration in 2015; Dr Mahmoud Tukur, former Minister of Commerce and Industry during his military administration and Abdullahi Danburam Jada, Minister of Animal Health and Northern Cameroons Affairs in the defunct Northern Region government.
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari, who was accompanied by state governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, recounted his personal relationships with the deceased, noting that at various points, they played very supportive roles in his public service.
On the late Joda, he said: ‘‘Since I became Governor of North-East, under General Olusegun Obasanjo and later Minister, Ahmed Joda was part of those who assisted me, until his transition.
‘‘He was very supportive each time I called on him as governor, Minister and President and he never demanded any favour from me, either in cash or any form of gratification.’’
On the late Dr Mahmoud, the President said: ‘‘He was a bosom friend to my brother and they studied together in Europe. He also contributed much during my military administration and did well in his assignment.’’
President Buhari noted that from the antecedents of his close working relationship with the people of Adamawa and how they have distinguished themselves, he appointed one of their sons the Minister of FCT, a very important position.
‘‘I gave an Adamawa indigene, Mohammed Bello, a huge and complicated assignment as FCT Minister. Although he is young, he is performing very well with the fear of God,’’ the President said.
Commiserating with the Government, people and the Lamido of Adamawa on the demise of their illustrious sons, President Buhari prayed for the repose of the souls of the departed and divine comfort for their families.
In his remarks, Governor Fintiri thanked the President for the condolence visit, saying ‘‘given your closeness to the deceased we should have been the one travelling to Abuja to commiserate with you.’’
The governor commended the President for taking out time off his busy schedule to visit Adamawa, on the same day his son, Yusuf, is getting married to Zahra Bayero, the daughter of Nasiru Ado Bayero, the Emir of Bichi in Kano State.
The royal father, Lamido Adamawa also conveyed the Emirate’s appreciation to President Buhari and his entourage, pronouncing blessings for safe travels and success in the President’s engagement in Kano for his son’s wedding.