Northern youth groups tackle Buhari over dismissed NIA boss

By George Onmonya

A coalition of civil society groups under the aegis of Northen youths coalition for justice and national orientation has berated President Muhammadu Buhari over what it said was the unlawful dismissal of erstwhile acting director general of the NIA, Ambassodor Mohammed Dauda.

The group at it's quarterly press briefing in Kaduna, details, of which was made available to Ripples Nigeria condemned the entire debacle that engulfed the NIA and the various corruption allegations levelled against certain individuals in the inner cycle of the presidency, involved in the entire saga, “which led to the dismissal of the most senior Director of the NIA in a surrepcious but illegal manner”.

Convened of the coalition, Comrade Abdullahi Rabiu wondered why the President, an avowed anti corruption fighter would allow the controversial $44 million NIA funds recovered from Amb Ayo Oke whose appointment was terminated, to finally end up in the custody of those individuals hell bent on looting it.

They also lambasted the presidency for not taking the allegation made by the embattled director general against certain government officials seriously in national interest, and condemned the president's endorsement for his outright dismissal without recourse to the laid down rules and regulations governing the agency.

“It is on record that Amb Dauda fought corruption at NIA gallantly and rejected all enticement and reward for confirmation as substantive Director General by disgruntled elements who wanted to plunder the $44 million NIA funds in his custody if he had succumbed and cooperated. Instead of being rewarded and honoured, he was framed up by the same people and dismissed from work.This the greatest injustice that is despicable and unimaginable”, the coalition said.

According to the group, the treatment meted out on the erstwhile DG “is also the height of injustice and oppression which symbolizes dictatorship and tyranny that is unacceptable in a democracy”.

While commenting on the appointment of a substantive director general for the agency, the coalition also observed that due process of law and agency guidelines were “deliberately ignored to pave the way for the appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, the President's kinsman, who was unceremoniously asked to retire from service five years ago following his failure to pass compulsory promotion exams to the rank of deputy director on three consecutive occasions”.

It also faulted his appointment, arguing that the Kingibe committee set up to restructure the NIA which he served as secretary recommended that only the most senior Director would be appointed as Director General of the agency.

Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, the coalition said retired as an assistant director five years ago after failing promotion examination on three occassions. "The appointment is therefore practically short of requirements and grossly shrouded in illegality", the coalition maintained.

The coalition therefore called on all well meaning Nigerians to rise against injustice, nepotism, and oppression no matter who is involved because such actions which borders on national security should not be treated lackadaisically at a time the country is faced by various security challenges.

The coalition further stated that the administration's purported fight against corruption is now being labeled as a mockery on the sensibilities of Nigerians due to its selectiveness and insincerity.

The coalition also urged the president to reverse the unlawful dismissal of Amb Dauda and reinstate him back to office as substantive Director General in the interest of justice and fairness, since he is due for retirement in September, 2019.