Joda’s transition a collective loss, says Buhari
• Pays tribute to Orimoloye, pioneer pilot who passed on at 89
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Yola, Adamawa State, described former Permanent Secretary and Chairman of his Transition Team 2015, Ahmed Joda, 91, as a patriot and most valuable citizen, who gave his best for unity and development of the country.
Speaking through a delegation, led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to commiserate with family, friends and associates of the elder statesman, including government and people of Adamawa State, Buhari said Joda’s transition was a collective loss to the family, state, country and the world that he touched and improved with integrity and competence.
The President told the family: “Joda was a trustworthy and loyal companion, who steadfastly stood for the interest of the nation through highs and lows. The country will not forget his sacrifices.”
The family, through Alhaji Mustapha Aminu, Galadima of Adamawa, thanked the President for sending a high-powered delegation to mourn with them, agreeing that Joda was a hero for all Nigerians.
Aminu highlighted the trust and loyalty that shaped the relationship between the President and the former Permanent Secretary, also known as one of the “Super Perm Secs’’, saying the President shared greatly in the loss as well.
Also, Buhari lauded one of the pioneer pilots in Nigerian aviation, Captain Rufus Adetunji Orimoloye, who took his ‘last flight’, aged 89.
The President, in a statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday, prayed that the Odofin Ayedun of Akure would rest well, even as he sought God’s comfort for all those who mourn him.
The President saluted the many decades of commitment to the aviation sector by the departed, who trained as a pilot between 1954 and 1956 in the United Kingdom and then returned home to ply his trade, first with West African Airways and later Nigerian Airways for 26 years.
Buhari recalled that Orimoloye flew with the Presidential Fleet and was also Chief Flight Instructor and Director at Zaria Flight School between 1986 and 1988.
He said the contributions of the departed would remain evergreen in the annals of the aviation industry in the country, a fact already attested to by his being bestowed with the MFR National Honour in 2009 and also the 50th Anniversary Award of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
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