Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubarkar has described the news of the death of Allison Akene Ayida, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), as a big national loss.
Atiku in a press statement in Abuja, by his media adviser, Mr. Paul Ibe, said that the late SGF was a special breed of Nigerian, a civil servant extraordinaire and one of the finest of his time who would be greatly missed especially at this crucial time that we are set to get Nigeria working again.
According to Atiku, Ayida was a celebrated, outstanding and revered son of Warri Kingdom, a nationalist, an enigma, and a profile of what Nigeria was and should have been.
He described him as a disciplined, transparent and detribalised public servant who was highly respected by his peers and his subordinates for his sound knowledge of the Public Service and establishment matters.
“Ayida was a man with a well nurtured, perceptive and resolute mind. He was always clear in his mind on what to do at any given time, and the choices he made set him apart from the pack”.
The PDP presidential candidate recalled Ayida and his colleagues became “super permanent secretaries” because they served in an interesting but unpalatable time which tasked their patriotic sensibilities and their professional capabilities to the limit.
“They were determined to pursue the national project and eventual glory of the Nigerian state by restoring a nation that had fought a civil way and required rehabilitation.” he said.
According to Atiku, the politics of boundary dispute and ceding of some oil wells between Delta and Ondo States was one of the issues that thoroughly tested his acumen and problem solving ability. His calmness, humility and forthrightness played out in waving through the tumultuous water of ethnic and communal politics involved as he operated with the sensibility of a patriot.
In condoling the family and government and people of Delta state particularly the Itsekiris, Atiku said they should take solace in the fact that the late former SGF left behind worthy legacies that would be remembered and valued by generations to come.
He prayed the Almighty God to grant them the fortitude to bear the vacuum created by the irreparable loss of the elder statesman.