The presidency has reacted to insinuations in certain quarters that the newly appointed Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar is unqualified for the position.
The reports against Abubakar, submitted among other things that he failed promotion examinations during his time as a staff of the NIA, has dual citizenship, married a non-Nigerian- all of which makes him unqualified to occupy such a sensitive security position in the country.
A statement by Femi Adesina, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity over the weekend, shed light on the circumstances surrounding Abubakar’s appointment as well as the personality of the new NIA boss.
“A lot of half-truths, misinformation, and outright falsehood have attended the announcement of a new Director-General for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), in the person of Mr Ahmed Rufai Abubakar”, the statement reads.
“Some of such unfounded stories include that Abubakar had retired from the services of NIA as an Assistant Director, because he failed promotion examinations twice, and had to quit, willy-nilly. Others claim he is married to a Moroccan, and so cannot hold such sensitive security position, while others say he was born and bred in Chad, and he holds dual nationality.”
“All these have been widely disseminated on the social, and some mainstream media. With the formal assumption of office by Mr Abubakar, it is now necessary to set the facts straight.”
“The new NIA DG retired from Foreign Service as Deputy Director (not Assistant Director) and three times during his career, had won Merit Award for competence and meritorious service. Failing promotion examination can only exist in the fecund minds of fiction writers.”
“His last position before the new appointment was as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs/International Affairs where again he quietly proved himself.”
“Abubakar’s parents hailed from Katsina State, and had settled in Chad at a point in their lifetime. The new DG did his primary school in Ndjamena (then Fort-Lamy), but returned to Nigeria for his secondary and University education. He never at any time held Chadian nationality.”
“Mr Abubakar’s only wife hails from Katsina State, indeed, from the same community as the husband. The story of being married to a Moroccan can only be tale by moonlight, concocted by people who love a fib.”
“The President appointed the new DG because he had worked closely with him in the past two years, and sincerely believes that he would add value to the NIA.”
Recall Mr. Abubakar was recently appointed as the substantive DG of the NIA by President Buhari following the sacking of the former DG of the agency, Ayodele Oke.