Former Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Suleiman Abba, has opened up on what transpired between him, former President Goodluck Jonathan; Muhammadu Buhari and former Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.
The former IGP said there were many allegations against him on the role he played during the 2015 general elections but that they were false and baseless.
He said he wished his accusers “could give me examples or instances that such things happened. Some of them alleged that I quickly switched loyalty after Jonathan lost the election.”
Speaking with Sun, the former police boss said it was Jonathan that ordered him to withdraw the security detail of Tambuwal.
He continued, “That was totally untrue. I will love them to tell me how and when I did that. They should also substantiate claims of hobnobbing with the then President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari. I am a gentleman to the core, a trained policeman who has given his best to the service of Nigeria.
“It is unfair for someone to make such allegation against me. They alleged that I went to the airport to welcome Buhari who was President-elect then.
“Remember that a sitting IGP doesn’t travel alone. He must go with orderlies, escorts and some close senior police officers. So, they should provide videos to justify their allegations.
“Besides I can’t be stupid or careless enough to go to the airport to welcome a President-elect when there is a sitting President. I have worked in the Presidential Villa for years and I have mastered presidential protocols and I also know and appreciate the powers in the office of the president.
“So, it will be unfair to say that someone like me that knows the truth and protocols will violate it. I was in charge of Mobile escort in the Presidential Villa for one year between 1994 and 1995. I was later appointed Aide de Camp (Police) to the then First Lady.
“I held that post for four years. That gave me good exposure and knowledge of the Presidency. So, anyone that accused me of going to welcome the President-elect when there was a sitting president was being economical with the truth.
“However, I must confess that I was at the International Conference Center, Abuja, when the then President-elect was being presented with the Certificate of Return. I attended that event because it was the peak/climax of the 2015 electoral exercise. I was duly invited to that occasion.
“As a matter of fact, a seat was kept for me right from the point of collation of votes because Electoral Act only recognized the police as regards security.
“I was there to take charge in case of any kind of “Orubebe” incident. I didn’t have to wait for INEC Chairman to call me about any security breach. So, I took precaution and made myself and some of my senior officers available at the event because, at that point, I had lost trust in people around me.
“I must also confess that I visited the then President-elect to congratulate him on his victory at the polls. That was the first time I met him face to face. But I must tell you that it was a common agreement between me and other Service Chiefs. For some reasons, they went without me, so I had no option but to go on my own to congratulate him. I did no wrong in my own interpretation of the scenario.”
On him being attacked by the former administration for refusing to do their bidding, he added, “The truth about the entire thing was that a certain political party won an election and another political party lost an election. We (the Service Chiefs and the IGP) had privileged information few hours after the election was concluded that the then President Jonathan had lost that election. Even Jonathan himself knew that he had lost the election. His Principal Secretary was in a meeting where the entire electoral process was being reviewed bit by bit. Immediately it was clear that Jonathan had lost the election, his loyalists began to plot how to disrupt the process. That was when I cautioned them to be careful so they don’t put Nigeria into flames. I suggested that they should allow the process to conclude to avoid crisis that would lead to the death of people. That was when they calmed down and began to accept defeat.
“Remember that whenever things have gone wrong, the people in power choose who to see. Besides, they never believed in me. They were never satisfied with my approach to the elections. Shortly before the elections, I was queried by the Presidency for asking the State Commissioners of Police to be civil, impartial and non-partisan in their handling of the elections.
“I also received a communications from some senior government officials seeking to know why I asked the CPs to be impartial and non-partisan, instead of asking them to help their party win the elections.
“I was made the chairman of the election security committee and I knew the importance we attached to the election. However, I gave the directive at the regular meeting of police senior officers. But the government officials queried why I should give such directives.
“They suggested that I do it individually instead of collectively. Meeting and interaction of police officers are regular exercise in the police service whether during elections or not. It is always an opportunity to constantly remind the officers of the need to be professional in their conduct.”
On Tambuwal, he said, “I didn’t act alone in that saga. The then president gave us the assignment to withdraw the security details of the then Speaker. The assignment was not given to me alone. Myself and the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS) were given that assignment.
“I tried as much as I could to convince the president to, at least, allow me retain the ADC of the ex-Speaker, but I couldn’t succeed. Nigerians didn’t really understood what happened at that time and that was because the information available to the public was limited. My happiness was that I never allowed myself to be used by people in the corridors of power.”
JUST IN: Declare Kalu’s Seat Vacant — Abia PDP Chieftain Tells Senate
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia, Chief Charles Ike, has charged the Senate leadership to declare the Abia North Senatorial seat vacant due to the incarceration of Sen. Orji Kalu.
Ike gave the charge in a statement he issued in Umuahia on Saturday, saying that the people of Abia North Senatorial District were no longer comfortable being “totally eclipsed” in the Senate. “I hereby call on the Senate leadership to quickly declare Kalu’s seat vacant to enable the district to elect a capable replacement,” he said.
He said that the area had set a machinery in motion for Kalu’s recall and that the process would soon commence in earnest.
Ike also spoke on the recent defection of Chief Bourdex Ogba, the Senatorial Candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for Abia North in the 2019 poll, to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He described Ogba’s defection as an act of “political indiscipline”.
He expressed disbelief that Ogba, who dumped APC for APGA, ahead of the 2019 elections, could “so quickly return to pick the same broom he said was not sweeping well”.
He alleged that Ogba’s return to APC was initiated to position himself for the senatorial ticket of the party in the event that the Senate eventually called for a byelection for Kalu’s replacement.
He alleged that Ogba had made four defections in recent time, having moved from PDP to APGA ahead of the 2015 general elections and later to APC and APGA before his latest return to APC.
Ike said: “His jumping from party to party smacks of political indiscipline and his desperation to go to Senate but you know that a rolling stone gathers no moss.
“Unfortunately, too, he lacks the political discipline to be trusted with any public office in Abia north.
“How can you trust a man whose only political antecedent is jumping from one party to another?”
The PDP chieftain further took an exception to a comment credited to Ogba, when he visited the APC national secretariat, where he was quoted to have asked the Senate not to declare Kalu’s seat vacant.
Ike argued that the comment was at variance with the wishes of the people of Abia north who, he said, were earnestly yearning to have a replacement for Kalu.
It would be recalled that Kalu of APC was jailed in December by a Federal High Court for 12 years, having been convicted for a N7.2 billion fraud, when he was Abia governor (1999 to 2003).
Although, Kalu has appealed the High Court verdict, Ike said that his continued incarceration left Abia north without a voice in the Senate.
Senate Declares Bayelsa Governor, Deputy’s Seats Vacant
The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan has declared vacant the Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West seats vacated by present Governor and Deputy Governor of the state, Sen. Douye Diri and Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, respectively.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure on Friday while addressing the first regular meeting of Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) in Abuja.
“In the case of Bayelsa State, both the Governor and Deputy Governor were serving Senators. Consequently, the Commission yesterday Thursday 20th February 2020 received two communications from the Senate President declaring the seats for Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West Senatorial Districts vacant.
“The Commission will soon meet to determine the dates for bye-elections in the two Senatorial Districts,” the INEC boss stated.
Recall that Diri and Ewhrudjakpo were sworn in as governor and deputy respectively after the Supreme Court invalidated the election of David Lyon and Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo over certificate forgery.
Nothing To Attract Fayose To ‘Confused’ APC — Ex-Gov’s Aide
Lere Olayinka, media aide to former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said that there is nothing that can attract any right thinking politician to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) let alone his principal.
Olayinka said this in a statement on Friday in reaction to a statement by the APC in Ekiti State, that Fayose was not qualified to join the party.
Olayinka said “it is funny that the APC in Ekiti State lied and went further to react to its own lies.”
He added; “As I write, Fayose is presently in a meeting of major stakeholders of the PDP in Ekiti State in the house of Senator Clement Awoyelu.”
He admonished the ruling party to focus its attention on its non-performing government.
He described the report of Fayose’s threat to join APC should his adopted candidate for the State chairmanship of the PDP, Hon Bisi Kolawole, fails in the forthcoming State Congress as figment of the imagination of those peddling it.
“The story of Fayose’s threat to leave PDP for the APC is one of the lies from the APC factory of lies and it is even more childish that the party in Ekiti State went ahead to react to its own lies,” he said.
While saying there was nothing to attract any right thinking politician to the APC, Olayinka asked; “is it the killings and kidnappings going on across the country?
“Is it the pariah State that Nigeria has become such that USA had to place the country on visa restrictions? Is it the huge debt the country has been plunged into? Or is it the directionless state of the country?
“Is it the sacking of over 3,000 workers by the non-performing APC government in Ekiti State?
“Most importantly, is it the confused state of the APC, which has made even the State Chairman of the party in Ekiti State, Mr. Paul Omotoso, to join others in calling for the removal of the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole?
“What is there in the APC to attract someone like Fayose, who is known for his stand in support of the masses of Nigeria that are being made to suffer more hardship by the APC government?
“They can continue to hallucinate about everything Ayodele Fayose, while he continues with his task of to rebuild the PDP in Ekiti State with a view to returning to power in 2022.”