29th January, 2018
A CALL TO SALVAGE THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, NIA. OPEN LETTER TO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND NATIONAL INTELIGENCE
PREAMBLE: This letter is in demonstration of our collective patriotism emanating from our undiluted loyalty to the Nigerian nation. It emanate from our love for fairness, justice, equity and fairness in the pursuit of national goals. Given our limitations, we are signing this letter under pseudo names.
- It is therefore with a great sense of responsibility and respect that we write to thank and commend you for the timely intervention in the crisis of confidence rocking the National Intelligence, NIA following the recent unceremonious change of leadership.
- We are constrained to write to you and make some vital imputes as you investigate the circumstances of the change in leadership and its possible consequences on the agency viz-a-viz the nation’s security apparatus.
- Mr Chairman, honorable members, we wish to first alert you that there is an imminent threat to the cohesion for which the NIA has been known, as this is the first time a Director General was picked from the rank below that of a Director.
- Since its inception 32 years ago , nobody below the rank of a Director has been appointed as its head. This explains why we regard the recent appointment of Ahmed Rufai ABUBAKAR, a man who is on record to have failed to merit elevation to the rank of Director and who has retired from service to come and preside over people who are not only his seniors in rank but who fit into the order of precedence.
- Rufai ABUBAKAR’s appointment as DG NIA will certainly set a dangerous precedence, with equally dangerous implications. While we are aware that part of the new DG’s agenda is to retire those of us who are his seniors, as it is more likely that he may not want to work with us, it is evident that he will pursue a vendetta mission, which he has already indicated in his very first address to us.
- While we wish to state that, he is at liberty to go ahead with what we know he intends to do, we wish to point out the underlying dangers in a massive purge of senior officers of the agency, to the effect that, not only will the millions of dollars spent on training and retraining us be lost, we are also custodians of the country’s intelligence dossiers, and may decide to use same for mischief.
- Already, the nation is in a precarious security condition, and further penetration by Hostile Intelligence Services could spell even greater danger. It is very unlikely that we will be insulated from penetration if we are treated as renegades after putting in our best for the country.
- In the event that Ahmed Rufai ABUBAKAR finds it difficult to work with those of us who are still in service and who have better credentials, the choice left to the authorities is to revert to the status quo and allow a serving director who understands the dynamics to continue.
- Having failed promotion examinations to the directorship rank, which we can attest to, we make bold to state that it amounts to administrative suicide to allow a practical misfit take over the agency and later mortgage same to his paymasters, who have ulterior motives.
- Since the Government itself admitted that Rufai ABUBAKAR was born and bred in Chad, while on the other hand he claims to have been born in Nigeria; at least going by his the records and his CV, suffice it to point out that there is an obvious contradiction. We call upon this honorable body to thoroughly look into this seeming discrepancy.
- As insiders, we are in a position to state that, the process of vetting in respect of the new NIA DG negates conventional practice, as nobody has visited Chad where he claims to have grown up and schooled to probe into his differential associates, or even his likely espionage roles.
- The rule requires that, anybody being considered for such strategic position must be vetted from the cradle. It is an incontrovertible fact RufaiABUBAKAR’s links with Chad, a country with likely rival interest with Nigeria, makes Rufai suspect as an espionage and not fit to head the country’s elite intelligence agency.
- It is necessary for us to alert that, the issue of likely doubtful loyalty, is a serious issue in intelligence corridors. Where a person’s nationality or that of his spouse becomes unclear, a thorough vetting from the cradle become even more demanding. In this case, it is very dangerous that the vetting process has been compromised, which is an ominous danger to the nation’s security.
- While it is increasingly becoming necessary to investigate the activities of the Presidential panel under the leadership of Ambassador Babagana KINGIBE and the current DG, we hasten to state that, the panel was in the first place a contemptuous affront on the office of the Vice President. It is unheard of for an officer with a lower rank being appointed to review the work of a higher officer; more so the Vice President of the country.
- It is very curious that, paragraph 4(1) of the recommendations of the Kingibe panel prescribes that a serving Director should be picked as the Director General, only for the same characters that sat in judgement over the need to reorganize the NIA, turning around to violate its own recommendations, by picking one of them to contemptuously assume duty as head of the NIA.
- It is very clear from the onset that the Presidential Review panel (PRP) led by Ambassador BabaganaKINGIBE, wasinnaugrated purposely to defend Ambassador Ayo Oke, who had often threatened to spill the beans when the chips are down, as he will not sink alone. Oke had severally threatened to expose the beneficiaries of his largesse if they allowed him to be disgraced. The other obvious motive was to ensure that the remaining $44 million, of the NIA intervention fund is kept within the reach of the cabal. The failure of the immediate past Acting DG, Muhammed Dauda to allow them access to the money may be the under pinning reason for his removal
- Be that as it may, we implore this honorable committee to demand from the Kingibe led panel a copy of their own report and that of the Vice President and probe if there is any substantial divergence.
- As the conscience of our democratic quest, we request you to look passionately into the issues raised and those observations from other quarters where you can see that, merit, fairness, justice, equity and competence have been sacrificed on a [platter of selfish personal quest by Ambassador BabaganaKingibe and his associates.
- Before we round up, permit us to disclose to you that, the Clandestine Operations Unit of the NIA, has been ordered to manufacture and clone documents that could be used to defend AbubakarRufai Ahmed, who from all indication is facing legitimacy crisis.
- As we draw to a close, we wish to urge this honorable committee to in the interest of national unity, federal character as enshrined in the constitution, fairness, justice or even common sense to Prevail on the President to drop Ahmed Rufai ABUBAKAR as the Director General of the NIA in the face of the obvious odds against his appointment. Coupled with the fact that it is an aberration to thrust the headship of Nigeria’s most sensitive security and intelligence organizations in the hands of people from the same ethnic stock, state and even town. In a country of over 200 million people, we feel it was not only highly contemptuous but dangerous. As Professor ItseySagay said, we are indeed uncomfortable with this appoint.
- While thanking you for the attention, please accept the assurances of our highest esteem.
E O OLAREWAJU NELSON OBIAKOR AHMED SARKI
For and on behalf of Concerned Directors of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA