[wysija_form id=”1″]April 22, 2015 – Just yesterday Tuesday 21/04/2015, news broke about the sack of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba by the outgoing government of President Goodluck Jonathan and his immediate replacement by DIG Solomon Arase. The news came as a rude shock to Nigerians bearing in mind the fact that the government has less than 6 weeks to exit power after its defeat at the Presidential polls of March 28th, 2015 by General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
However, to discerning observers, it was expected that there will be a backlash for the defeat of Mr. President and his party, the PDP at the polls despite the unprecedented bribery and corruption of individuals, groups, organizations, institutions of various segments of the society with humongous foreign and local currency as well as the lies, propaganda, half truths, death wish, campaign of blackmail, calumny, promotion of ethnic and religious divide policy which all ended up as a journey to no man’s land as the people resolutely and doggedly went to the polls, despite all the hiccups and exercised their franchise in determining their political destiny and rescuing the country from the clutches of misgovernance, corruption, lawlessness and impunity which pervaded the land under the present administration. To God be the glory as the people’s will triumphed with the election of Rtd. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as the President Elect.
But the sack of Mr. Suleiman Abba was the least expected going by his antecedents and record in office as an IGP who followed in the tradition of his predecessors by repeatedly assaulting the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in utter violation of his oath of office just to assert his loyalty to the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Among his many misdeeds, one recollects with shame, how he unconstitutionally withdrew the security details of the speaker of the House of Representatives, Right Honourable Aminu Tambuwal on October 30th 2014 on the basis that in his own words, he no longer recognizes the speakership of Honourable Tambuwal because he defected from the PDP to the APC.
This act of lawlessness and impunity by IGP Suleiman Abba was roundly condemned by patriots and lovers of democracy not only in Nigeria, but all over the world because the position of speaker of the house of representatives is the prerogative of the members of the house through election and he can only be removed via impeachment or by judgement of a court of competent jurisdiction based on incontrovertible evidence of abuse of office and not by a pronouncement of the IGP.
He also went further in his assignment of illegality of confirming his absolute loyalty to the powers that be, by unconstitutionally attempting to usurp the functions of the courts by interpreting the constitution to justify his act of ignominy.
One also remembers how before the Ekiti and Osun states gubernatorial elections in June and August 2014, Mr. Suleiman Abba issued unconstitutional orders of a 72 hours lockdown of the states prior to the elections and his now infamous illegal warning of, keep a distance of 300 meters away from polling booths after voting to electorates of which, both were condemned and voters threatened to resist, which he eventually rescinded because of the fear of popular resistance and threat to public peace which his inciting statement could trigger.
We as well recollect how policemen allegedly acting under the instruction of now ex-IGP Suleiman Abba committed treason against the Federal Republic of Nigeria on November 20th 2014 by desecrating the hallowed chambers of the national assembly through invasion, locking out some honourable members, tear gassing others and working in cahoots with some undemocratic elements both outside and within who are members of the house of representatives in their satanic and illegal plot to impeach the speaker of the House of Representatives, Right Honourable Aminu Tambuwal which failed due to the vigilance and resistance of determined defenders of democracy members of the house. But the truth of the matter is that by these acts, Mr. Suleiman Abba had established a reputation as a lawless officer whose loyalty was not to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but “personally” to the government of the day just like his predecessors and this was shameful, illegal, unconstitutional, undemocratic and a national embarrassment.
Again, in the prelude to the 2015 general elections, Mr. Suleiman in keying into the tradition of illegality and unconstitutionality of his predecessors issued a warning to voters to keep a distance of 300 meters away from the polling booths after voting even when there was no law authorizing him to do that. But trust Nigerians, they rose up in one voice and condemned the illegality and provocativeness of the order which forced Mr. Abba to eat the humble pie of rescinding himself.
Since the removal of ex-IGP Mr. Suleiman Abba yesterday, a lot of reasons have been adduced by the Nigerian public for President Jonathan’s action which has largely being viewed as vendetta against him for refusing to play ball of compromise during the elections by discharging his responsibilities professionally and impartially unlike the usual practice of blind loyalty to the government at the expense of his constitutional oath. Be that as it may, one can only sympathize with Mr. Abba because he was the architect of his own misfortune which has made him to be the number one scapegoat of the Goodluck Jonathan administration Presidential election defeat.
If from the day he was appointed as IGP till yesterday when he was sacked, Mr. Suleiman Abba had exhibited professionalism and impartiality in the discharge of his constitutional responsibilities, nobody would have impugned disloyalty to the government in his actions of professionalism during the elections and by now, even though sacked, he would have written his name in Gold as a fine officer and gentleman.
But today, Mr. Suleiman Abba is a victim of a monstrous system he helped perpetuate as he has being sacrificed on the altar of expediency just like he helped sacrifice others and like we say, what a man soweth, so shall he reap. Therefore, let no one weep for Mr. Suleiman Abba.
Nelson Ekujimi wrote from Lagos, Nigeria
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