The practice or art of telling lies repeatedly, forcefully and consistently has a philosophical foundation and far-reaching psychological effects. Those who tell lies in this manner, even though they know they are not being truthful, have a reason for doing their trade. They do this because they know the more they dish out the lies, tie them around some events and coincidences and make sure these lies come in different shapes and sizes and from different sources and sustain them in the public domain through the media – social and traditional, the more people tend to believe it’s the truth or close to the truth. The simple explanation is this: A lie repeatedly told get stuck in people’s consciousness and in their sub-conscious mind, it begins to assume the status of the truth.
This of course is the only reason one can trace to the barrage of lies, lies and lies told by too many self-centred people against one of Nigeria’s outstanding public servants, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
The latest in the series of orchestrated propaganda aimed at forcing the hand of President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Abubakar from office was published in the current edition of PowerSteering Magazine. Among other fallacies, the Magazine claimed that Abubakar’s loyalty is to Chad and Morocco, not Nigeria, since he is Chadian and his wife a Moroccan, that he was indicted for impregnating a Sierra Leonian while in the service of the United Nations, that he left the foreign service as assistant director, having failed promotion exams twice… All these are lies, false tales just to portray the cerebral Abubakar as incompetent to serve in such a crucial foreign intelligence outfit like the NIA. All these lies have been busted by more diligent investigations carried out by well-meaning Nigerians.
To start with, from records available, Abubakar NEVER failed any promotion examination and NEVER retired as an assistant director but as deputy director. Three times during his glittering career, he had won the merit awards for competence and meritorious service. There is no way the NIA in its finest tradition, would allow officers who failed exams to work for the President of Nigeria, even after retirement. It is common knowledge at the highest level of government that the NIA puts its best foot forward at every turn. That Ahmed Rufai Abubakar occupied a sensitive post in the President’s office is a clear indication that he is one of the best products of the NIA and the Agency is proud of him.
Contrary to the obvious lie that his wife was a Moroccan, Abubakar’s wife is not only a Nigerian and an indigene of Katsina state, she is also from the same village as her husband. In fact, she is his cousin. Abubakar is a full-blooded Nigerian. He actually hails from Katsina state while his parents had only settled in Chad at a given period and Abubakar did his secondary and university education in Nigeria. He NEVER at any time held Chadian nationality.
Now to the nitty gritty of the matter, it is difficult to fathom how some people even believe a stranger, foreigner or an incompetent or inexperienced fellow could make it to the top of the NIA, based on its strict internal rules of background checks.
The National Intelligence Agency created on June 5, 1986, is a national agency saddled with the task of overseeing foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations. NIA owes its existence to Decree 19 by the military government of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida in 1986, proscribing the National Security Organisation (NSO).
Based on his erudition, experience and background, it is difficult if not impossible to say any other person is qualified for this job other than Abubakar. He has seen it all in the classroom and government – foreign and local intelligence community. He worked as a Lecturer at Bayero University before taking up appointment with Katsina State Government.
Later he transferred his services to NIA in the 90s. At different times, Abubakar served at the Nigerian Embassy Rabat, Morocco, African Union Peace Mission in Darfur, Sudan and later joined United Nations as Director in Peace Support Operations, Mediation Process, Preventive Diplomacy and Good Governance office. He also worked as Senior Advisor with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), with headquarters in Ndjamena, Chad before his appointment as Senior Special Assistant to the President. He has always been fluent in English, French and became a versatile intelligence officer whose service is ever required in Nigeria’s intelligence community.
He had also acquired extensive experience working with the United Nations in peace support operations, mediation process, preventive diplomacy and good offices, while all along helping to promote good governance and respect for the rule of law and human rights.
As noted in the beginning of this piece, liars and propagandists do their thing regularly because they believe their lies would stick in the minds of people, but they must also know that no matter how fast falsehood travels, truth would meet it someday.
People who lost out in the hunt for the NIA top job have a right to be angry, but attempting to destroy the institution just because of one man who can only be in office for a few years is the height of callousness and unpatriotic disposition. Nigerians must purge themselves of this If-i-dont-have-it-I-must-destroy-it mentality.
In all of these, kudos must be given to President Muhammadu Buhari for sticking to merit in appointing Abubakar to head the NIA and for not dancing to the tune of people who do not wish the country well.