NIA DG: Presidency frowns at media reports on Rufai
– The presidency has frowned at media reports criticising its latest decision
– The appointment of the new Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ahmed Rufa’i had been widely criticised
– Officials in the presidency however believes that the appointment was in order
The presidency has frowned at media reports criticizing the appointment of the new Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ahmed Rufa’i.
A statement issued in Abuja today, Saturday, January 20, by the media unit of the State House, quoted Malam Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman as flaying the negative reports.
Shehu expressed concern during a send-off for the newly-appointed director-general of the NIA.
The send-off was organised by presidential aides and staff of the State House, Abuja.
Shehu said it was regrettable that the appointee had been maligned by a section of the media following his appointment.
He, however, described Rufai’s appointment as well deserved.
“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.
The chief of staff to the president, Malam Abba Kyari, who also spoke at the event, described the erstwhile aide on international relations to the president as “a patriot, intelligent and consummate gentleman.”
His words: “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.’’
Also speaking, the state chief of protocol, Ambassador 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.
He urged other staff members to continually pray for the new director-general.
Mrs Bumi Badejo, who recently retired as a director in the office of the chief of staff, said career civil servants that worked with Rufai 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.
Ahmed Rufai, who 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.(NAN)
Meanwhile, the permanent secretary in the presidential villa, Jalal Arabi, has said rodents and other pests are in the state house because of its location and availability of what he called “eatables.”
Arabi made the comment when he appeared before the Senate committee on federal character and intergovernmental affairs on Friday, January 19.
His words: “You know Abuja is so blessed with so many eatables, attracting rodents and other animals. You know where the Villa is located, it’s on a valley. You can’t restrict their movement because of the international convention on animals.”