Some directors of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) have written to the House of Representatives Committee on Security and National Intelligence, asking it to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to fire Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar as the new Girector-General of the agency.
Writing on behalf of Concerned Directors of the National Intelligence Agency, they used pseudo names such as E. O. Olanrewaju, Nelson Obiakor and Ahmed Sarki to protect their real identities, in an advertisement published in one of the national dailies, yesterday.
They described Abubakar as a misfit and unqualified for the post of DG of the NIA.
The directors questioned the new DG’s nationality, competence to head the NIA and the fact that nobody below the rank of director had ever been appointed as head of the agency.
“Coupled with this fact, it is an aberration to thrust the headship of Nigeria’s most sensitive security and intelligence organisation 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.
“Already, the nation is in a precarious security condition, and further penetration by hostile intelligence services could portend an 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,” they said.
The directors also claimed that Abubakar was plotting to retire some of them who were once his seniors.
“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,” they warned.
The directors also alerted the nation to what they described as “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.
They warned that the nation’s security would likely become precarious under Abubakar whose link to Chad was investigated by the intelligence agency.
“In the event that Ahmed Rufa’i 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,” they stated.
The directors maintained that since the Federal Government itself had admitted that Abubakar was born and bred in Chad, “while on the other hand, he claimed to have been born in Nigeria; at least, going by his records and his CV, suffice it to point out that there is an obvious contradiction”.
They, therefore, called on the House 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.
“It is an incontrovertible fact that Rufa’i Abubakar’s links with Chad, a country with likely rival interest with Nigeria, makes Rufa’i suspect 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, thorough vetting from the cradle becomes 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,” they said.
The directors also said that it had become necessary to investigate the activities of the presidential panel under the leadership of Amb Babagana Kingibe and the current DG, noting that the panel was in the first place a contemptuous affront on the Office of the Vice-President.
According to them, “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 reorganise 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 Amb Babagana Kingibe was inaugurated purposely to defend Amb Ayo Oke, who had often threatened to spill the beans when the chips were 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 $44million of the NIA intervention fund is kept within the reach of the cabal. The refusal of the immediate past acting DG, Muhammed Dauda, to allow them access to the money may be the underpinning reason for his removal.”
UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers
As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.
Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0
Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment
The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.
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