Abba Suleman As the Fall Guy ,By Ali M. Ali




IGP Suleiman AbbaFourth and perhaps the most important reason I, as an admirer of the new police boss, is weeping for him is the politics of the ruling party. The PDP is known for its ‘do-or-die’ politics. It takes no prisoners. Its mentality is ‘winner takes all’. For controlling power at the centre, it has misused the police so frequently during elections that those at the receiving end see the force as an extension of the party. 7/7/2014

The sack, two days ago, of erstwhile Police Chief, Abba Suleman is perplexing. It immediately engendered curiosity. Tongues are wagging. A plethora of questions begs for answers. Why fire the man who had been a faithful Man Friday serving the government, lame duck as it were, outstandingly? What is of immense importance that he had to be humiliated out of office when the government itself would be history in less than six weeks?

In the absence of a convincing response, citizens are at liberty to wonder. The story in town is that President Jonathan is inconsolable by the ‘disloyalty’ of Suleman in failing to bring to fruition the rigging script authored by the now mangled PDP for   the just concluded polls. This is a big dent on the borrowed robe of “statesman”, the out going president is wearing.

The critical and even the not so critical press is awash with reasons why the former no1 cop was given the boot.  All are unanimous: Abba Suleiman’s   major sin was loyalty to the constitution and not to the president that appointed him. I am inclined to disbelieve this tale. What does the president stand to gain by rubbishing his willing side kick in the twilight of his government? Why taint his new ‘well polished’ global image as hero for willingly conceding defeat and going the extra mile of congratulating the winner by sacking the police chief?

Questions. More questions. Is the president regretting making that decisive call congratulating his opponent in the presidential poll that etched his name in the democracy hall of fame? Is he biting his fingers is contrite in blazing the trail of being the first incumbent to lose election in the country?   Actions like these in the past have earned Jonathan unflattering sobriquets.  The premature retirement of the police chief for clearly self serving reasons is rekindling images of sledge hammer treatment of high government officials who chose the state and not the chief servant of the state in the discharge of their duties. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Martin Agwai are ready examples. Both were given the Suleman treatment although of varying degree.

The sack of Suleman has damaged Jonathan irretrievably. It is already eroding his newfound regalia of a statesman.  Critics were divided after he conceded defeat. Some, especially of the irredeemable hue, dismissed that redefining gesture as an ‘act’. I was among the other category unafraid to celebrate an emerging nationalist. I and others like me were prepared to forgive and forget the serial blunders of a bungling president. We made excuses of past failures ‘to launch’ and blamed the battery of jaundiced aides and advisers for caging a ‘harmless’ man ceaselessly misled. I celebrated him as a true compatriot serially misrepresented by self-seeking lieutenants. I saw him as a lamb isolated in a cave filled by conspiring foxes. But the egregious removal of Suleman for yet unfathomable reasons other than the speculated ones is presenting the out going president as vindictive and narrow minded lacking incapable of rising to the lofty heights of  ‘statesmanship’.

It means that the out going president is not prepared to ‘sink’ alone. There will be more fall guys. Already Ahmed Adamu Muazu, his party’s chair is being psychologically affronted. Word in town is that he will be removed for working for the ‘opposition’.

When Suleman was appointed police chief mid last year, I ‘wept’. I had a plethora of reasons to weep for the newly appointed IGP. I listed four on this page on August 7TH, 2014.  The long quote was one of   the four.  I had   a feeling that he was going to end up like this sacked. Even at the time, it had become   apparent to watchers of the politics of the PDP controlling federal power that the party didn’t delineate between loyalty to the constitution and to the government. It had routinely misused the police. Consider if you may, the pathetic of Tafa Balogun. He was the first victim of the high-handedness of the do-or-die politics of PDP. In 2002,President Obasanjo appointed him IGP. He clinically supervised the 2003 election that was ominously conducted on April 19.Before the advent of card readers, that election was particularly shambolic. In one state for instance all the registered voters voted the PDP. Not one vote was invalid. Not one voter abstained. So higgledy-piggledy it was it later became know as the 4-1-9 election representing April 19¡

Suleiman might have came to the job ‘prepared’ and well connected. He had an impressive resume’. On paper, he was flawless. A degree in law and a progressively urbane outlook destined him for the top echelon of the police. But given the provincial outlook of his former paymasters, that’s was why I wept for him when he mounted the saddle last year. I shudder to think what would have happened to Jega if the Oruebebe script at the collation centre had sailed through. This should console the former IGP.He has just swapped places with Jonathan. He is the new hero of the just concluded election. His sack has ‘canonized’ him as truly a servant of the people who paid allegiance to the constitution. We are prepared to forget his previous gaffes and role in teargasing federal legislators. Recall the ignoble part the police played after the out going Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal had defected. The former IGP suddenly assumed the status of the judiciary interpreting the constitution. He said that the police under his leadership had ceased to recognize him the Speaker. But we forgive all that. Lucky him.

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