Assistant Inspector-General, AIG Suleiman Abba, has emerged as the new Inspector-General of Police. He will succeed the outgoing IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, who retires today from office after 35 years of service.
Senior government officials confirmed to Nigerian Pilot last night that AIG Abba’s appointment was made public at the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting yesterday. The meeting was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Abba is currently in charge of Zone 7 of the Nigeria Police. The incoming IGP was the Aide-de-Camp, ADC to Maryam Abacha when the late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha was in power.
Indication that AIG Abba would take the plum job emerged during the Sallah celebrations when IGP Abubakar took him to visit President Jonathan.
It was learnt that the Presidency was well disposed to his choice having served in the Strike Force of the former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha .Abba is seen as the officer needed to curb the Boko Haram insurgency since he did well under the Strike Force.
It was however not clear whether AIG Abba will be automatically confirmed as the substantive police boss when the outgoing IGP Abubakar leaves.
Our sources confirmed that Jonathan settled for the Jigawa-born police officer on the recommendation of the Police Service Commission under an ex-IGP, Mike Mbama Okiro.
According to sources, the decision to announce AIG Abba was taken last Tuesday in Abuja, following a meeting of Police Council chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, with the 36 state governors as members and the Chairman PSC, Mike Okiro.
The choice of Abba, according to a senior police officer at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, who pleaded anonymity, said is causing a lot of bad blood among the high ranking officers particularly among the Deputy Inspectors General, DIGs, who are members of the management team of the force.
Consequently, there are strong indications that the current DIGs may take the option of bowing out of the force, hence they may not want to salute Suleiman Abba as their new boss.
Abba, Nigerian Pilot gathered had served as the Commissioner of Police in charge of Rivers State, Deputy Force Secretary, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Deputy Force Sec), Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of State CID, FCT Police Command.
AIG Abba is currently commanding the FCT, Niger and Kaduna states with a police strength of 34,515 officers and men.
There were also speculations that DIG Michael Zuokumor, who is currently the man in charge of Force operation’s department and AIG for Force Intelligence Bureau, FIB, Solomon Arase are also strong contenders, it was gathered that since the appointment of the IGP is political, seniority does not count in this case.
It was also gathered that at least about 60 senior officers would be retiring by July.
Zuokumor hails from Ojobo community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Arase is a native of Edo State. Abba hails from Jigawa State.
Until his elevation to the rank of DIG on January 15, 2014 by the Police Service Commission, Zuokumor was the AIG in charge of Zone 4, Makurdi, and would be retiring next year while DIG Fakai has about six years to stay in service.