A Week Of Rebranding Initiatives As Rufai Ahmed Takes Over NIA, By Lanre Yusuf
Silhouetted suddenly under a pall of scandal generated by Ikoyigate, eyes have continued to gaze in the direction of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), in expectation of more sizzles and sensations. But the agency by design is never built for such. It was the reason the Presidency recently effected a change of guard in the agency, appointing Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as the new Director General.
Abubakar, a careerist had worked closely with the Nigerian President on Foreign Affairs for years before being appointed to head the NIA. He knows the desire of the President to have the place reformed and perfected. All along, he had been noted for hard work and dedication to service. Competence and professionalism have also been footnoting his conduct, drawing attention in the process, as a man fit for the job. He resumed fully just a week ago.
He had hardly settled down for work when the rank and file of NIA took note of his leadership and managerial skills. He too was eager to put on display the good virtues, while embarking on reorganization of the agency, almost immediately. His first task was to mobilise all the staff towards strengthening and sustaining the NIA as an agency founded on patriotism, courage, efficiency and professionalism. He looked visibly unperturbed by the cacophony of insinuations stuffed in both the conventional and the social media, aimed towards hacking him down.
For staff of the NIA, the zest and zeal the new Director General came with were unmistakable, All of them immediately aligned with his vision and purpose. Officers of the Agency who, hitherto had regarded him as one of them as well trained, well motivated, purposeful, thoroughly exposed and above all, professionally inclined were not taken by surprise. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar had proved a point that NIA officers never really retire, as they continue to train in anticipation that they could be called upon to render service to the fatherland at anytime, even after service.
Within the first 48 hours of assumption of office, the NIA boss established of a two-way communications with staff. That inspired optimism amongst members of staff who are now more motivated to put in their best as critical elements in the first line of national defense. The new DG communicated the right thoughts and set the right tone in the most effective manners.
At different meetings with staff, he listened patiently to views and suggestions across board, welling up a groundswell of consensus that he is on a trajectory to become a boss who inspires. In just one week, the new DG had won the hearts and support of the Agency’s Management Team and members of staff in general.
By implication, the morale of the rank and file of NIA, which was down few months back, has started growing again, and robustly too. From now on, NIA will be operating by the rules that will literally stave off any possible scandal from its corridors. As situation stands today, with Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as the Director General, every member of staff now has a voice. That is a cheering development for the patriotic officials who work behind the scene, constantly putting their lives on the line for the security and prosperity of Nigeria.
The confidence reposed in Ahmed Rufai by the President is apt and understandable because when the chips are down, the buck stop on his table.
The Presidency in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Mr Femi Adesina, debunked allegations that he carries dual nationality and that he has never been qualified. It affirmed that the new Director General of NIA is a Nigeria and has never been a Chadian.
Adesina said, “The new NIA D-G retired from Foreign Service as Deputy Director (not Assistant Director) and had thrice during his career won Merit Award for competence and meritorious service. “Failing promotion examination can only exist in the fecund minds of fiction writers. “His last position before the new appointment was as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs/International Affairs where again he quietly proved himself.
*Lanre Yusuf a Public Affairs analysts writes from Lagos