The presidency has stated that the newly-appointed Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, is “perfect for the job”.
SSAP to President Buhari on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this Friday evening when presidential aides and State House staff members held a send-off for Abubakar.
Shehu said it was regrettable that the new DG of NIA had been maligned by critics and a section of the media following his appointment.
”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 (MNJTF) 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,” he said.
Speaking, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, 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,” he said.
Also speaking, State Chief of Protocol, Amb. Lawal Kazaure, advised the former presidential aide to surround himself with the ‘‘right advisers.’’
”Do not have people who tell you what you want to hear around you but those who will tell you the truth dispassionately,” Kazaure said.
Responding, the new DG NIA 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.”
Abubakar, until his appointment, was a Senior Special Assistant to the President (SSAP) on Foreign Affairs/International Relations, in the office of the Chief of Staff.
Meanwhile, a civil society group, “Concerned Nigerians” has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to the Federal High Court in Abuja over the appointment of Abubakar.