*Facts that can’t be buried
National Patriots Forum, a group, has picked holes in the defence put up by the Presidency to justify the appointment Alhaji Abubakar Rufai Ahmed as the new Director General of National Intelligence Agency, NIA.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, on Sunday came up with a press release in which he debunked the widespread criticisms of the appointment of Rufai Ahmed as the new DG of NIA.
But Comrade Adewale Benjamin, chairman and Mustapha S. Tarajo, Secretary of National Patriots Forum reacted swiftly to the press release from the Presidency. Their statement said: “It was obvious that Mr Adesina merely read out a script, as his schedules demand but obviously does not understand the issues, neither does he know the new NIA DG well enough to defend him.”
They added: “It was not in dispute that Abubakar Rufai Ahmed was born and bred in Chad. It is also on record that he schooled there and later sought further education at the Bayero University, Kano in Nigeria. His educational pursuit in Nigeria has nothing to do with his nationality, as Nigeria has always been a haven of scholarship for Chadians and Nigeriens. Chad remains Abubakar’s first love, just like his mentor, Babagana Kingibe who still lives in Chad even today. It is only logical to state that Abubakar RufaiAhmed is a Chadian citizen by birth, going by international conventions covering citizenship. Unless he renounces that, he remains a citizen of Chad.
According to the Forum, the Presidency through its spokesman “was gracious to have admitted that Abubakar’s parents stayed in Chad and not his uncle as earlier claimed. We had cause to raise some posers when Abubakar initially claimed to have grown up with his uncle in Chad. Those posers may have changed the tone of the story now.
The statement however queried the official position thus: “Supposing Nigerians accept the latest story about his parents, the questions to ask are, who his parents are and what took them to Chad if they are Nigerians? Also whether the parents ever came back to Nigeria or still live in Chad and if they are dead whether they died in Chad or in Nigeria.
According to the Forum: “No amount of denials can change the story of his sordid marital background either, as we state without fear of contradiction that Ahmed Rufai married a Moroccan lady, named Mariam, with whom he had a female child. Whether they are divorced or still together, the fact remains that he is technically involved with a foreigner, which is inappropriate for any NIA staff.”
Even more, the statement said, “The controversy surrounding the NIA DG’s service and his unceremonious retirement are being swept under the carpet for obvious reasons.
It also challenged the presidency “to explain in clear terms with proofs of Abubakar’s record of service vis-à-vis relevant papers of his retirement from service. Or let any of Abubakar’s mates who sat for the exams with him come forward and tell the world if Abubakar did pass and did not retire willy-nilly following his poor outing in two previous exams.
Furthermore the group challenged the presidential spokesman “to publish the details of the so called merit awards won by Rufai Ahmed and whether such awards surpass workplace evaluation, which the NIA Director General failed twice. If he does not know he should ask from those who were witnesses to Rufai’s serial failings.
The forum added that “What the Presidential spokesman failed to explain to Nigerians is why the President flouted the recommendations of a committee he set to reorganise the NIA, by picking his personal aide instead of picking the Director General from amongst the core of serving Directors of the agency, as recommended.
According to the group’s statement: “Those who continuously pull the wool over President Muhammadu Buhari’s eyes, which prevents him from insulating such sensitive organisations like the NIA and from seeing the reality of the Nigerian anger against his Government are being most uncharitable to the country, the statement said.
They concluded by saying “President Buhari has what it takes to dig into the hidden story of the man who parades himself as his kinsman and personal aide, as he may have planted a foreign mole at the NIA. Femi Adesina will be doing his job well by declining to defend what is clearly indefensible.”