By Jacob Kubeka (ABUJA) –
Ahmed Joda, an influential Nigerian administrator who rose through the administrative cadre of the Northern regional government and then the federal civil service to retire as Permanent Secretary, has died at the age of 91.
The former super federal Permanent Secretary died after a brief illness at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, Adamawa State, on Friday, according to his Personal Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Baba.
Baba confirmed the demise of Joda in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola.
He said the deceased, who 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 of 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,” the source said.
Following the liberalization of the telecommunications sector by the government of president Olusegun Obajano in 2000, Joda was appointed the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and supervised the birth of Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communications together with the Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of the Commission, Engr Ernest Ndukwe.
Joda has been buried in Yola according to the Islamic rites.
Deputy Chief Imam of Yola town Central Mosque, Sheikh Tijjani Tahir,led the funeral prayers.
The burial was attended by top officials of Adamawa Government, led by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Bashir Ahmed, representatives of Adamawa Emirate Council and Politicians, among others.
Joda is survived by four children, comprising two males and two females, including Hajiya Asmau Joda, a female activist.