President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday paid tribute to pioneer civil servant, great statesman and patriot, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, who died after a prolonged illness in his hometown, Yola, Adamawa State.
He was the last surviving member of Governor Hassan Usman’s Northern Nigeria cabinet, noted an Aso Rock press statement.
President Buhari highlighted Joda’s “monumental contributions to Nigeria’s unity and progress,” from birth of the nation until his death, saying that “his lofty ideals will continue to motivate millions across the nation. We will not forget his sacrifices”.
He also noted that the late “Super Permanent Secretary” as Joda and some of his colleagues were referred to in the 1970s “distinguished himself as a remarkable scholar, journalist, intellectual, public servant and farmer.’’
President Buhari called 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.
Joda’s Personal Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Baba, had earlier told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he died after a brief illness at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola.
Baba said the deceased was born in Yola in 1930, attended Yola Elementary School and Yola Middle School before proceeding to Barewa College from 1945 to 1948.
In the 1950s, he attended Pitman College, London, and gained practical experience in journalism while staying in Britain.
After completing his secondary education in 1948, Joda was admitted to Moor Plantation, Ibadan.
He worked briefly at an agricultural centre in Yola before entering the field of journalism at Gaskiya Corporation, Zaria.He later worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission serving as the editor of NBC Kaduna, then joined the Northern Nigeria civil service as Chief Information Officer and later permanent secretary in the regional Ministry of Information.
In 1967, he became a federal permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and subsequently moved to Lagos.
“It is worthy to note that he was the chairman of the 18-member transition committee, nominated by General Muhammadu Buhari to receive the hand over notes from the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration in 2015.
“Ahmed Joda is an administrator, journalist and politician.
“Also worthy of note is the fact that, he was the chairman of the transition committee in 1979 when General Obasanjo handed over to president Shagari,” his associate said.
Joda was buried same day in Yola according to the Islamic rites.