Outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan this afternoon sacked the Inspector General of Police, Sulaiman Abba. No reasons were given for relieving Sulaiman Abba of duty. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Solomon Arase has been named as the Acting Inspector General of Police.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) finds this development very curious for two main reasons. Firstly, Sulaiman Abba is not due for retirement until March 22, 2019. Sacking such a high profile service chief without any justifiable casus belli raises more questions than answers. Secondly, it is quite unusual for an outgoing regime to embark on this type of exercise like sacking service chiefs and appointing new ones.
The implication is that the hands of the incoming administration are being tied and its maneuvers being restrained. The incoming regime is being saddled with unnecessary and avoidable human liabilities.
It is our contention that President Jonathan owes Nigerians lots of explanations about the raison d’etre for this eleventh hour replacement of a service chief.
Tongues have already started wagging. Is President Jonathan really getting ready to handover? If so, why is he in a hurry to appoint a new IG for the incoming regime? Why should an IG be sacked shortly after the ruling party lost a general election? Is it that he did not ‘play ball’ during the elections? Did he refuse to obey illegal commands? These questions are very vital because the opposition had alleged that the Nigerian government relied on using security agencies to thwart the will of the Nigerian people.
MURIC therefore tasks Mr. President to reveal the offence or offences committed by Mr. Sulaiman Abba. This matter must come to the public court of the Nigerian people who are the end-users and tax-payers. Mr. President must assure Nigerians that he is not just destroying peoples’ careers because he is on his way out.
We appeal to the incoming administration to be on the tip-toes of watchfulness. The people’s mandate must be jealously guarded. Nigerians voted for change. Heads of states are known to change service chiefs to strengthen their positions. The question here is should President Jonathan be preparing his handover note or strengthening his position? This singular act appears to have been taken to consolidate incumbency. Nigerians must be on guard. It is not over until it is over. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
The Buhari Transition Committee must declare clearly, unequivocally and unambiguously that no unnecessary eleventh hour appointment can be made otherwise such will be declared ultra vires and of no effect whatsoever. Outgoing state governors must avoid saddling incoming state administrations with emergency appointments. Such appointments are, ceteris paribus, made with sinister motives.
MURIC calls on civil societies within the country and the international community to take special note of this development. President Jonathan must be made accountable to his pledge to leave on May 29.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)