President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on Friday, expressed grief over the death of elder statesman, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, who died after a prolonged illness in his hometown, Yola, Adamawa.
They spoke in separate statements extolling the virtues of the deceased, who served as a Federal Permanent Secretary and was the last surviving member of Governor Hassan Usman’s Northern Nigeria cabinet.
Buhari, in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was deeply saddened by Joda’s death.
Shehu highlighted Joda’s monumental contributions to Nigeria’s unity and progress.
He quoted Buhari as saying, “We will not forget his sacrifices. Joda distinguished himself as a remarkable scholar, journalist, intellectual, public servant and farmer.
“He was 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.
Speaking in a similar vein, Atiku said that with Joda’s death, an Iroko has fallen.
In a statement personally signed by himself, Atiku said, “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.”
Abubakar prayed that the Almighty Allah accepts his soul and provides his family with fortitude to bear the loss of a forthright and iconic patriarch