Saturday, 20 January 2018

NIA DG: What I said on hearing that a Northerner replaced Yoruba man – Dabiri-Erewa

Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President Buhari on Diaspora, has hailed the appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as Director-General of National Intelligence
Agency (NIA).

Abubakar, until his appointment, was SSAP on Foreign Affairs/International Relations, in the office of the Chief of Staff.

According to Dabiri-Erewa, she had looked forward to consummating their work plans for 2018 before the new appointment.

She spoke Friday evening when presidential aides and State House staff members held a send-off for Abubakar.

”When he was appointed, I got a text message from someone who said: a Yoruba man was removed from office and now a northerner has been appointed in his place, what kind of thing is this?

”I replied: If it is this Rufai that I know and have worked with, honestly he is the best person for the job and I really don’t care where he comes from, and that ended the conversation,’’ she said.

Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, said the civil service has gained richly from Abubakar’s wealth of experience.

“Hardwork was Ahmed Rufai Abubakar’s middle name during his period at the State House. Please, I want you to be guided by your conscience and philosophy in your new assignment,” he said.

Fola Oyeyinka, a presidential aide in the Office of the Chief of Staff, noted that colleagues will always have fond memories of the new intelligence chief as a generous and witty gentleman.

“We worked together in the ‘Chief of Staff’s Little Office’ and I recall He will always share his lunch and food with us. Our ‘little office loss’ is Nigeria’s gain and we wish the new DG the very best in his new role,” he said.

Mrs Bumi Badejo, who recently retired as a Director in the Office of the Chief of Staff, said career civil servants that worked with Abubakar would fondly remember him as a witty, humble and intelligent gentleman.

“He will correct you nicely without raising a word. He is a wordsmith,” she said.

A steward, Sule, recounted that his over two-year stint with his principal was devoid of rancour, query or any ill-feeling.

Sule jokingly told his former boss: “I will not forget your kindness to us. Please do not forget us in your new office.”

Meanwhile, a civil society group, “Concerned Nigerians” has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to the Federal High Court in Abuja over the appointment of Abubakar.


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