President Muhammadu Buhari has paid tribute to a former civil servant, statesman and patriot, Ahmed Joda, who died after a prolonged illness in his hometown, Yola, Adamawa.
Mr Joda was the last surviving member of Governor Hassan Usman’s Northern Nigeria cabinet.
In a condolence message released by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, Mr Buhari highlighted Mr Joda’s “monumental contributions to Nigeria’s unity and progress,” from the birth of the nation until his death.
According to the president, Mr Joda’s lofty ideals will continue to motivate millions across the nation.
“We will not forget his sacrifices,” he added.
He also noted that the late “Super Permanent Secretary” as Mr Joda and some of his colleagues were referred to in the 70s, “distinguished himself as a remarkable scholar, journalist, intellectual, public servant and farmer.’’
President Buhari called Mr Joda “a hero for all Nigerians” who, even in death, “will continue to inspire every generation to move forward with love, brotherhood and harmony.”
He prayed to Allah to accept his good deeds and grant fortitude to those he left behind in his family, Adamawa Emirate Council and entire people of the state, to bear the loss.
Also, the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, described Mr Joda’s death as the “fall of an iroko”.
Mr Abubakar in a statement he signed in Abuja on Friday described Mr Joda as a great Nigerian and a member of the first generation of Adamawa indigenes who made an immense contribution to the growth of the state and the country.
“Today, our beautiful Adamawa State has lost a colossus. Indeed, an iroko tree has fallen in Nigeria, particularly Northern Nigeria.
“The news of the death of Joda comes with some kind of a jolt even though he lived to a prime old age.
“He belonged to the first generation of Adamawa indigenes who put our state and the North in the map of modern Nigeria.
“His stature as an accomplished administrator was towering and colourful.
“He was a shining star in the galaxy of Nigeria’s public servants.
“Joda, with a few of his peers, wrote the rule book of Nigeria’s civil service and his footprints will remain indelible.
Mr Abubakar prayed that the Almighty Allah accepts his soul and provides his family with the fortitude to bear the loss.
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