NIA boss not with dual nationality, presidency clarifies


The Presidency yesterday dispelled reports that the newly appointed Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar holds dual nationality. 

Until his new appointment, Abubakar was President Muhammadu Buhari’s Arabic and French interpreter. 

However, there have been concerns over his alleged incompetence, Chadian citizenship issue and failure to pass promotion examinations twice. There have also been fears in the security circle that a person with alleged dual citizenship should not be made the head of the country’s spy agency. 

But the presidency in a statement yesterday in Abuja by the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President, Femi Adesina, a lot of half-truths, misinformation and outright falsehood had attended the announcement of the new NIA boss. 

He said: “Some of such unfounded stories include that Abubakar had retired from the service of NIA as an Assistant Director, because he failed promotion examinations twice, and had to quit, willy-nilly. 

“Others claim he is married to a Moroccan, and so cannot hold such sensitive security position, while others say he was born and bred in Chad, and he holds dual nationality. All these have been widely disseminated on the social and some mainstream media.”

The presidential spokesman noted that with the formal assumption of office by Abubakar, it has become necessary to set the facts straight.

He reiterated that the new NIA DG retired from the Foreign Service as Deputy Director and won the Merit Award for competence and meritorious service thrice during his career. 

He continued: “Failing promotion examination can only exist in the fecund minds of fiction writers. His last position before the new appointment was Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs/International Affairs where again he quietly proved himself.

“Abubakar’s parents hailed from Katsina State, and had settled in Chad at a point in their lifetime. The new DG did his primary school in Ndjamena (then Fort-Lamy), but returned to Nigeria for his secondary and university education. He never at any time held Chadian nationality.”

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