According to a statement on Saturday by the Deputy Director (Information), State House, Abiodun Oladunjoye, Abubakar spoke on Friday at a send-off organised for him by presidential aides and members of staff of State House at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He was until his appointment the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs/International Relations, in the office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
‘‘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,” he said.
The Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, set the tone for the evening at the event held in his conference room when he described the erstwhile aide as ”a patriot, intelligent and consummate gentleman.”
”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.
On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said it was regrettable that the new DG of NIA had been maligned by a section of the media following his appointment.
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.”