To the surprise of many, the IG of police, Suleiman Abba, was fired by President Goodluck Jonathan for not interpreting the script to rig the March 28 and April 11 elections in favour of the defeated PDP.
The script, according to the PDP high command, was to use police authorities to coerce INEC officials to rig the vote and return Jonathan as President in the March 28 election.
LEADERSHIP learnt that President Jonathan was miffed by Abba’s inability to deliver on the order.
Abba was said to have been part of the PLAN at the initial stage but backed out of the wicked deal at the last minute, by ensuring that police personnel deployed for election duties showed a high degree of impartiality and fair play for all the political parties.
Suspicions that police and the military were going to be used to distort and disrupt the electoral process were rife in the build-up to the general elections.
In a vain effort to veil the reason for Abba’s forced retirement, the government has been weaving stories around his performance and loyalty.
A terse statement by presidential spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, did not disclose why the IGP was sacked; it just said the president had relieved IGP Abba of his appointment and duties “with immediate effect.”
LEADERSHIP investigation, however, revealed that the president’s action was a backlash for police conduct during the recent presidential and governorship elections.
Sources within security circles and the presidency confided in our reporters that IGP Suleiman “committed a litany of sins that have ultimately cost him his exalted position.”
According to the sources, there was a security blueprint designed to aid President Jonathan coast home to victory in the presidential election and also assist the PDP win most of the states during the governorship election.
The source revealed that both the president and his henchmen concluded that “Abba reneged and that made the environment conducive for free and fair polls that returned the All Progressive Congress (APC) to attain resounding victory over the PDP in most states, especially in the north.”
His colleagues alleged that Abba abandoned the blueprint and allowed the DIGs to call the shots during the elections.
The IGP’s redeployments of top police commanders on the eve of the presidential election and the follow-up redeployments on the eve of the governorship elections also drew the ire of the presidency which felt that the actions were actually meant to give the APC a level playing ground in the elections.
Another source disclosed that the president was particularly piqued by the huge sum of money made available to the police for election purposes, which was actually meant to compel the officers to give the PDP unalloyed loyalty and the opportunity to swing the votes during the elections.
A security source told LEADERSHIP that the presidency planted informers around the IGP who monitored him and many of them readily sold the IGP out in a bid to curry favour from the presidency.
Abba’s tenure is the shortest in the nation’s history: he served as substantive IGP for five months. He was confirmed IGP on November 4, 2014, although he was appointed in acting capacity on August 1, 2014, to succeed Mohammed Abubakar who had retired after 35 years of service.
With his removal, Abba will proceed on a forced retirement four years ahead of his due retirement time.
He was on Monday lauded by the United States ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, for the glowing conduct of police officers during the last elections. But the Presidency thinks othherwise.
Abba is not perfect but he had an eventful career in the police and may likely be recalled by Buhari.