LIFESTYLE

Obasanjo mourns Ahmed Joda, speaks on how ‘Super Perm Sec’ saved Nigeria

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed how the late former ‘Super’ Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, and other Super Permanent Secretaries then, saved the unity of Nigeria shortly after the country’s upheaval in 1966.

Joda, the Chancellor of Bells University, Otta, Ogun State and 60-year old friend of the former President died on Friday, aged 91.

Obasanjo while reacting to the death through his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, described Joda as not just a Nigerian, but a true and great Nigerian, committed to unity, development and progress of the country.

“Oh! What a heart breaking news, that my friend for well over 60 years has passed to the great beyond. If every Nigerian has attributes of Joda, Nigeria would have been more better than what it is now.

“Ahmed Joda, by his feature, did not need to tell you he is a Fulani man, but, in everything I know he did, he lived not just as a Fulani man, he lived, worked and laboured as a true Nigerian. There are not many like him, and that was what strengthened our relationship since 1959,” Obasanjo said.

He said that they met when he was a Second Lieutuant in the Nigerian Army and Joda was a Deputy Chief Information Officer in the Federal Civil service.

Obasanjo, who rolled out the drums to celebrate Joda’s 90th birthday last year in Abeokuta, recalled that the effort of him and his other ‘Super’ Permanent Secretaries, as they were fondly called in the then civil service, saved Nigeria in 1966.

According to the former President, “I know that if not for people like Joda and other Senior Permanent Secretaries as they were called Super Permanent Secretaries as at that time, after the second upheaval of 1966, after the first upheaval we would have had Nigeria broken into pieces. Because Araba was bent on having Nigeria divided.

“But, it was Ahmed Joda and other Super Permanent Secretaries (senior civil servants) like Philip Asiodu, Liman Ciroma, Alison Ayida who prevailed not to have Nigeria broken up.

“Well, Dear Ahmed, you have served your family, your community. You have served your country and indeed humanity, you have done your best, including working for the transition between the Buhari administration and Jonathan administration.

“You have done your best working with me on the progress and programme of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library. You have done your best becoming the Chancellor of Bells University. We love you, but God loves you best. Rest permanently in the bossom of Allah,” Obasanjo said.

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