The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has described the death of Allison Ayida, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), as a big national loss.
Abubakar in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Paul IBE, on Tuesday in Abuja, described the deceased as a special breed of Nigerian and a civil servant extraordinaire.
The former Vice President, also described the late SGF as one of the finest of his time who would be greatly missed especially at the crucial time that they were set to get Nigeria working again.
“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 was 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”.
Abubakar recalled that 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 war and required rehabilitation,” he said.
He said that 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.
He condoled with the family, government and people of Delta, particularly the Itsekiris.
Abubakar advised them to 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.