Why IGP Abba Suleiman was Sacked

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Suleiman Abba

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President Goodluck Jonathan sacks Suleiman Abba, inspector-general of police over human rights abuses and appoints Solomon Arase as a replacement in acting capacity

| By Maureen Chigbo | Apr 21, 2015 @ 15:00 GMT |

WHEN Suleiman Abba, inspector general of Police, left his home to his office on Tuesday morning, the last thing on his mind was that he was going to be sacked by President Goodluck Jonathan. But that was exactly what happened when news spread that Abba has been released from his job, making his tenure one of the shortest for an inspector general of police in recent times in Nigeria. Solomon Arase has been appointed as the acting inspector general of Police with immediate effect.

Until his appointment as Abba’s replacement, Arase was the head of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Law, as well as Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Political Science and Strategic Studies. He is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Defence College.

He was also the former commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom. His managerial style can be glimpsed from the statement he made when he was appointed commissioner of police in Akwa Ibom. He said: “Akwa-Ibom state is strategic to the socio-economic configuration of this country. It is home to well-respected intellectuals, highly successful professionals and businessmen, vibrant youths and highly literate population. The state also boasts of a multi-billion dollar oil-industrial complex and a very vibrant economy. A state with such a socio-economic configuration will, naturally, be a tempting destination to organised criminals. The challenge of policing such a state is how to develop a policing strategy that will be potent enough to effectively address crimes and fear of crimes, while at the same time remain conscious of the sensitivities and rights of the highly literate populace. It is, therefore, imperative for the police to develop effective pro-active strategies and evolve vital partnerships needed to guarantee peace and security within the ambits of due process and human rights statutes.”

Solomon Arase
Arase

Arase said that in actualizing his objective, his first task upon assumption of duty on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 was to immediately undertake a detailed assessment of the state of security in the state, review existing policing strategies and evolve a more-proactive anti-crime strategies that are premised on the principles of ‘Community Policing’, ‘Intelligence-Led Policing’ and ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policing.”

Arase is coming at a time the police needed a new direction after Abba, his predecessor, was accused of human rights abuses. This is why many people were not altogether surprised at the tween from Reuben Abati, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, announcing the sacking of Abba who was the 17th indigenous inspector-general of Police. He was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan on August 1, 2014. He took over formally from M.D Abubakar (Rtd) who had successfully piloted the affairs of the Force from January 25, 2012, when he was appointed to July 31, 2014, having completed 35 years of service.

Although no official reason was given for his sack but his end has long been anticipated. He is not liked by the general public because under his watch police checkpoints which was dismantled by his predecessor came back much to the annoyance of commuters who viewed the roadblocks a means for the police extort money from the public. It was also alleged that he was being used as political tool by the party in power.

This allegation gained credence because of the way Abba started his early days in office on a wrong footing. Shortly after his appointment eight months ago, Abba withdrew the security detail of Aminu Tambuwal, speaker of the House of Representative, and followed up by sending policemen to prevent him and his supporters from entering the National Assembly. When he was queried, he said he would not recognised Tambuwal as the speaker because he defected to the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress. Abba, who hails from Gwaram local government area of Jigawa State, holds degrees in History and Law. He attended several management and security courses within and outside Nigeria. He is an alumnus of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos. He is known for his vast experience in criminal investigation, intelligence-led policing and crime-fighting operations.

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