Editor’s note: Following the colossal loss of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 28 and April 11 elections, rumours went rife that power brokers in the party were displeased with the Inspector General Of Police, Suleiman Abba, for not acting along with the script of the PDP in the concluded elections. While the presidency lingered on taking any decision on IGP Abba, it finally gave in to pressure and sacked the Police Boss on April 21, Tuesday, without giving any cogent reason.
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– An administration known for hiring and firing for the wrong reasons
– A vindictive president
-PDP power brokers wanted Abba out
(Naij.com) – President Jonathan’s administration has earned a reputation for hiring and firing for the wrong reasons. After sacking Martin Luther Agwai for the petty offence of attending Olusegun Obasanjo’s birthday celebrations, it has once again taken another infamous step by sacking the the IGP for reasons best known to it. But how did IGP Abba fall from Jonathan’s good books? Below are 5 factors that explain why.
1) Abba Never Had The Backing Of The Police Hierarchy
Suleiman Abba became the Inspector General of Police on August 1, 2014, following the retirement of his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar. His tenure as IGP however did not not get the backing of the top hierarchy of the police force due to his professionalism which some officers saw as unbecoming in an institution that has deviated from the concepts of service to flamboyance. Unlike his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar who lived a flamboyant life style, with celebrity weddings and an array of cars worth millions of dollars. Little or nothing was known about Suleiman Abba outside his police duties. In February, some police officers threatened to go on strike following the failure to Jonathan administration to pay them their outstanding salaries and benefits. The IGP sternly cautioned the officers to desist from embarking on any strike action. He also warned that those who breached the rules and regulations of the police act which prohibits strike actions will be sanctioned. Abba’s tough stance on police discipline made him lose popularity among his colleagues.
2) A Sign Of Transferred Aggression
After President Jonathan lost the March 28 election, several Nigerians applauded him for gracefully conceding defeat to his opponent, Mohammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Jonathan was described in many quarters as a true democrat and a peace-loving statesman for accepting the outcome of the presidential election. The accolades showered on Jonathan has however been damped by conducts which indicate that he is bitter about the loss he suffered at the poll. The president’s alleged directive to his supporters to return the huge sums of monies given to them for not delivering on their promises to secure victory for the PDP in the election are pointers to this fact that the president is less than a democrat than we think he is. Rather than take the blame for failing to tackle Boko Haram and other challenges bedeviling Nigeria, he has decided to pursue vindictive interests. IGP Abba was just a casualty of the president’s transferred aggression.
3) Abba Stepped On The Toes Of Many Power Brokers
The PDP’s dismal outing in the general elections has hurt the interests of several power brokers who have been in the corridors of power for many years. These brokers who once lived on juicy contracts and other government largess are pained to see their livelihood disappear in an instant. Many juggernauts in the party feel Abba did not do enough to help President Jonathan’s chances in the elections. The IGP was expected to emulate the kind of unprofessionalism displayed by AIG Mbu who gained notoriety for openly supporting Patience Jonathan in Rivers state during months of trouble with governor Rotimi Amaechi.
By sacking the IGP, President Jonathan has given the impression that he regrets the outcome of a free and fair election. Backing this claim, an administrative official who confided in Premium Times said: I can confirm that the relationship between the president and the IGP went cold after the election”. It was rumoured that while the presidency harped on free and fair elections, Abba was expected to do all humanly possible to ensure Jonathan’s victory at the polls, failure to do so made him fall in the bad books of the president.
4) Abba Was Among Those Who Allegedly Collected Money But Didn’t Deliver
After allegedly spending over N2tr in cash to secure his re-election, sources in the presidency note that President Jonathan is unhappy by the fact that the huge sums of money he spent on the election did not translate into votes. The president has been allegedly taking retributive actions against persons who collected huge sums of cash from his campaign team. The sack of IGP Abba may be connected to funds which he was coerced to accept so as to help the PDP at the polls.
Premium Times in a report noted that in a secret meeting with Sambo Dasuki, the National Security Adviser, all of the nation’s security units were given huge sums of money to help Jonathan and the PDP win the polls. But after suffering a colossal defeat, the president was said to be displeased with IGP Abba for not doing enough to help him win despite receiving huge funding.
5) For Attending Buhari’s Certificate of Return Presentation
In March, President Jonathan fired Martin Luther Agwai for flouting a presidential order that no government official or member of the ruling PDP, should attend the ceremony of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who was not in good terms with President Jonathan. Although there is no report to the effect that the president issued any directive barring his loyalists from attending Buhari’s certificate of return presentation ceremony, Suleiman Abba might have been the victim of Agwai’s mistake for attending the occasion.
His presence at the event might have given credibility to allegations that he was indeed working for the opposition, an offence Jonathan administration would have interpreted as betrayal. Thus, just like Agwai, he was also sacked.