By Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJA — Indications emerged, yesterday, in Abuja, that President Goodluck Jonathan and the Police council made up of the 36 state governors and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Mbama Okiro (IGP, rtd) have settled for the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 7, Mr. Suleiman Abba as the next Inspector General of Police when incumbent, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar retires tomorrow after attaining the mandatory 35 years in service.
It was gathered that the authority settled for AIG Abba following convincing arguments that the leadership of the nation’s security forces will be concentrated in a particular zone of the country should the new IG be appointed from the list of names earlier submitted to the President.
Sources told Vanguard that President Jonathan was also under pressure by the North, who insisted that appointing the next IGP from the South-South geopolitical zone would be counter-productive, especially with the security challenges facing the nation.
They argued that with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General K. T. J. Minimah from South-South, Police Service Commission Chairman, Okiro from the South-South, an IGP from same zone would have been interpreted to mean deliberate ploy to use security forces to clamp down on the opposition expected from the North in the 2015 elections.
Five senior officers were said to have been considered as the new IGP and they include one Deputy Inspector General of Police from South-South, another DIG from North West, and three AIG’s, from North West, South –South and North Central zones.
During debates at the meeting for a new police boss, a group argued that Abba’s appointment will amount to favouring a particular zone since he is from the zone as his predecessor as well as former IGP Hafiz Ringim.
Another group, however, countered that during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former IGP Tafa Balogun and the Chief of Air Staff then came from the same zone. Eventually, everybody agreed on the choice of AIG Suleiman Abba as the new IGP.
Abba had served as the Commissioner of Police in charge Rivers State, Deputy Force Sec, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Deputy Force Sec), Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of State CID, FCT Police Command.
He was also ADC to Mrs. Abacha during the tenure of General Sani Abacha as military head state.
The incumbent IGP Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, whose tenure expires tomorrow, July 31, 2014, was appointed the 16th indigenous IGP in January 2012.
Vanguard was further informed that President Jonathan feels comfortable with the AIG zone 7, Suleiman Abba, having worked with him in Abuja for almost two years now. Abba is an alumnus of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPPS, Kuru.
The new IG will be announced today after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided by President Jonathan.