President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu has insisted that erstwhile Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs/International Relations, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar is most qualified to head the National Intelligence Agency, NIA.
Newsworth recalls that the lawmaker representing Bauchi Central, Senator Isah Misau had on Wednesday accused so-called cabal in Buhari’s government of appointing an “unqualified” person as Director-General of the NIA.
He alleged that Abubakar failed the promotion examinations when he was a staffer of the NIA before his departure from the agency. “Today, the DG NIA that was just appointed, is he qualified to be there? He’s not qualified. This is the person that failed two exams, we know. He failed two exams and just because he is close to people taking decisions, he was appointed,” Misau said.
But speaking on Friday at a send-off organised for Abubakar by presidential aides and members of staff of State House at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Shehu countered Misau, stating that Abubakar voluntarily resigned to take up a job at the United Nations.
He said, “Ahmed Rufai Abubakar is a perfect fit who is most qualified for the job. He has occupied various top public offices in the agency in the course of which he received several awards. He left voluntarily to go to the United Nations as a Director.
”When he retired, he was appointed as a senior adviser in the Multinational Joint Task Force regional coalition of countries for the fight against Boko Haram and other trans-border security threats in the region. There is no doubt at all as to Mr. Abubakar’s qualifications for the job and that is what is most important.”
A statement issued on Saturday by the Deputy Director (Information), State House, Abiodun Oladunjoye, reports that the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari described the NIA DG as ”a patriot, intelligent and consummate gentleman”.
Kyari said at the send-off event, ”I met him for the first time in this office after my appointment as Chief of Staff.
”I do not think his elevation will deny us the opportunity of still working together. During his stay here, he distinguished himself as a patriot and he brought his wealth of experience in working with international organisations to bear on his work.
”At any given time, even at late hours, Abubakar was always ready to give his best. He was committed,’’ the Chief of Staff added.
In his remarks, Abubakar said, ‘‘I am emotion-laden for so many reasons and I thank you for what you have said about me. The best I could have done in my life is to serve the President and the nation”.