Much ado about the new DG NIA By Hassan Gimba
Nigeria is a funny country; a country where everything is scrutinized with suspicion by its citizens. Any move by the leader must have a motive. And that is why any conscientious leader in Nigeria must think through his actions before committing them.
Take the case of the new Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar. He is a retired career Foreign Service officer and until his appointment served as Senior Special Assistant to the President (SSAP) on Foreign Affairs/International Relations. He, for a short while served as Senior Adviser at the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), with headquarters in Ndjamena, Chad, before becoming the SSAP.
Some people think he is not a ‘full blooded’ agent because ‘he came from outside the service based on patronage and served for just ten years before he was retired having failed to, on three occasions, pass the mandatory promotion examinations from the post of Assistant Director to Deputy Director’.
Another unconfirmed allegation is that he once wrote to Ambassador Arab Yadam, who took over in acting capacity when Ayo Oke was suspended, not to conduct an overdue promotion examination for 2017 but promote certain individuals to Directors by fiat.
Not comfortable with the directive, it was said that the Plateau man, Ambassador Yadam, met the President over it. The President feigned ignorance over such directive and told the man to go and conduct exams based on the Agency’s extant rules and laws.
What worries some observers, is not only the fact that the Acting DG had already started restructuring and reorganizing the Agency along global best practices but that just like the Director General of the DSS, this new DG of the NIA is also from Katsina, the President’s home state.
They believe if the President’s preference was for a retired officer, there is a pool from which to draw a suitable candidate from.
However, you have those who defend the president’s action by claiming that former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Minimah from Rivers as Chief of Staff, Nigerian Army; Ita Ekpeyong as DG SSS and Gen. Patrick Aziza as NSA and that all of them came from the South!
However, if the Jonathan administration will be the ‘mirror’ or ‘role model’, then, wither the ‘Change!’?