‘He saved Nigeria from break-up’ — Obasanjo mourns Ahmed Joda

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the late Ahmed Joda, an elder statesman and public administrator, saved the country from breaking up during the 1966 crisis.

Joda died on Friday afternoon in Yola, Adamawa state capital.Humwashi Wonosikou, chief press secretary (CPS) to Ahmadu Fintiri, governor of Adamawa state, confirmed his death.Born in 1930, Joda attended Yola Elementary School and Yola Middle School before proceeding to Barewa College from 1945 to 1948.

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He served in different capacities as an administrator in both private and public sectors.In 2015, he served as chairman of the transition committee that ushered in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.Reacting to his death, Obasanjo, in a statement by Kehinde Akinyemi, special assistant on media, recalled how Joda and other permanent secretaries saved the country from breaking up during the 1966 coup.

The former president described him as a true and great Nigerian committed to the country’s unity and development, adding that there are not many Nigerians like Joda.“Ahmed Joda by his feature did not need to tell you was a Fulani man, but, in everything I know he did, he lived not just as a Fulani man, he lived, he worked and he laboured as a true Nigerian,” he said.

”There are not many like him, and that was what strengthened our relationship since 1959. I know that if not for people like Joda and other Senior Permanent Secretaries 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.”

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