The row surrounding the appointment of Abubakar Rufai Ahmed as the substantive Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is yet to abate as the National Patriot’s Forum, has accused the Presidency of “desperately trying to cover up the fraud by telling unbridled lies and half-truths, using its propaganda machinery”.
A statement by the group on Thursday said that “In a Hausa Radio programme on Vision FM monitored in Abuja on Wednesday, one of the presidential spokespersons, Garba Shehu, tried misleading the gullible Nigerian Hausa listeners ignoring the obvious contradictions in the birth and nationality of Rufai Ahmed.
The group’s statement signed by Comrade Adewale Benjamin, convener and Mustapha S. Tarajo ,co-convener said “Whereas Garba Shehu, in seeming ignorance of what is contained in the official Resume of Rufai Ahmed stated that the NIA DG was born in Chad, which is the truth, the official records, as contained in Rufai’s CV however indicates that the man was born in Katsina state of Nigeria. The poser here is who is telling lies between the Presidency and Abubakar Rufai Ahmed?
“Suffice it to state that, being born in Chad automatically confers on Abubakar Rufai Ahmed the citizenship of Chad, going by conventional practice which makes citizenship either by birth, by naturalization or by registration.
It added that “Since The Presidency admitted the truth of his place of birth, it pre-supposes that a holistic vetting would have been carried out from the cradle. As far as we are concerned, he could have been born anywhere else since nobody has carried out any vetting on him as required by law.
Going further, the Patruiot’s Forum said “On the issue of his marriage to a foreigner, it is necessary to point out that, contrary to Garba Shehu’s postulations that no law exists guiding the marriage of a foreigner by diplomats and other officers of the foreign Affairs Ministry; regulation no. 6, appendix c, section 2, sub section (a) and (b), of the Federal Public Service Rules which the Foreign Affairs Ministry subscribes to stipulates amongst others that: (a) Any member of the foreign service who proposes to marry a foreigner shall first seek prior permission of the Permanent Secretary before proceeding with the marriage.
“It is needless to expatiate that it is completely forbidden in the case of Head of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA. This is intended to insulate officers from vulnerability to double loyalty and exposure to Hostile Intelligence counterparts.
“It was rather laughable the explanations made by the Presidency on the issue of Abubakar Rufai Ahmed’s failure in promotion examinations, to the effect that Garba Shehu said, Rufai was made to sacrifice his promotion having come from outside the country to sit for the examinations at each turn.
“It is rather absurd to say that he was prevailed upon to be patient on the grounds that he had been a Director at the UN. Abubaker Rufai Ahmed never rose to the rank of a Director at the United Nations. At best, he was a P5 Officer, the equivalent of an Assistant Director. He was given an honorary Deputy Director so that he will be entitled to pensions, as has been the practice at the UN.
According to the Forum, “The contradiction is, whether he accepted to return to the NIA as an Assistant Director, having been a Director at the UN, or that he was too provident to allow others proceed, while he downgrades? The fact remains that he was a glorified Personal Assistant, PA, to Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, who was head of Africa’s Peace Keeping Mission, UNAMID, before it was taken over by the UN.
It said “In accordance with Civil Service Rules, where an officer comes from does not count in his promotion, just as it does not subtract anything from his record of service. It has always been a level playing field, with no room for forfeiture on account of one’s duty post.
“There is nowhere all over the world that an officer will be prevailed upon to forgo his promotion, in a situation that he passed necessary evaluation tests, under the guise of sympathy for others. The question to ask include; whether Rufai Abubakar was prevailed upon verbally or in written and under which Director General did that take place?
“That Abubakar Rufai came in from Katsina then into the NIA is a fact, contrary to the claim that he came in from the United Nations. In fact the issue coming from the UN does not arise because it is assumed that he came from the NIA to take up appointment with the UN.
“It remains an aberration that the NIA DG who was supposed to have been downgraded on his transfer of service from Katsina State to the Foreign Affairs, he was rather promoted from Grade level 12 to Grade level 14.
“That Abubakar was both a permanent staff of the NIA as well as the UN, and retired from both in the same year are issues to be investigated. It is not practicable anywhere for an officer to hold two appointments both on permanent basis at the same time.
“There is the need to state for the avoidance of doubt that Nigerians, including supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari are not impressed with the infantile defenses being put up to save the job for the cabal, using Abubakar Rufai Ahmed and the NIA as a proxy.
“Lies, however beautifully colored can never take the place of truth, neither can deceit, however well clothed take the place of reality. Nigerians are watching,” the group said.