Jonathan Names Suleiman Abba New Chief Cop
In March 1984 when the young Suleiman Abba joined the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as a young cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), little did he know that one day he would be the chief cop of the nation.
He was yesterday announced by the federal government as the acting Inspector General of Police (IG), to replace the outgoing Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, who retired yesterday.
The appointment was contained in a statement issued by the president's spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, last night.
“AIG Abba, currently the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7, comprising Abuja, Kaduna and Niger States, replaces the incumbent Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar, who proceeds on statutory retirement today having completed 35 years in service.
“The incoming Inspector-General, a lawyer, hails from Jigawa State and is an alumnus of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.
“Positions previously held by him in the Police include Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, FCT Command, Deputy Force Secretary and Commissioner of Police, Rivers State,” the statement said.
The outgoing IG and the incoming IG were at the presidential villa where they met with the president immediately after the council of state meeting.
When they came out, the new IG declined to speak to journalists. He simply said: “Let's not jump the gun.”
Abubakar told journalists after meeting with the president that he was grateful to Nigerians and the president for giving him the opportunity to serve the country for 35 years.
Abba’s rise to the top has been gradual and steady. He surely paid his due, as humility, focus, and hard work are some of his hallmarks from the beginning of his career as a police officer.
The new IG was born in Gwaram Local Government Area in the present day Jigawa State on March 22, 1958. He started both his elementary and secondary education thereafter in the area.
He studied History as his first degree and later studied Law as second degree when it was obvious to him that as a young police officer, he needed to know what the law of the land says in order for him to function effectively in the Force.
It was as a result of his dedication to the service of his fatherland that made the then military Head of State, late General Sani Abacha, to entrust the security of his dear wife, Mariam, to him to serve as his Aide de Camp.
Abba rose rapidly through the ranks and soon became the deputy commissioner
of police (DC) in charge of welfare of the force. The police management team then thought it worthwhile to further equip the officer for greater future roles by sending him on a course at the prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.
On completion of his course in the famous school, he was promoted to the rank of a Commissioner of Police (CP) and made the deputy force secretary before he was later posted to Rivers State as the Command Commissioner of Police between 2010 and 2012.
He was later promoted to the position of an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), after which he manned the Zone 7 headquarters, comprising the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Kaduna and Niger States police commands, the post he held until he was yesterday announced as the 17th indigenous IG.
Abba, who is married with children, succeeded Abubakar, whose tenure expired yesterday.
As expected with such fortune, it comes with the rain of felicitations. They are already pouring in as the Governor Jonah Jang-led Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) was the first to congratulate the new IG as the forum urged him to be fearless in performing his functions as the police chief.
In a statement made public in Abuja yesterday and signed by the Secretary of the Forum, Osaro Onaiwu, the governors urged the new IG to consider the peculiar security challenges facing Nigeria and see it as an opportunity for him to write his name in history by leading a successful fight against the forces of darkness plaguing the nation.
The statement further thanked the men and women of the Nigeria Police Force for their patriotic sacrifices in the fight against criminal elements, and called on them to support the new IG in his efforts.
The governors under the leadership of Jang of Plateau State, also called on Nigerians to remain vigilant and provide security agencies with information anytime they notice any unusual activity in their neighbourhood.
Former IG, Mr. Mike Okiro, also felicitated with the new chief cop and enjoined him to rise up to the security challenge in the country.
Okiro, who is also the Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), pledged the commission’s support to Abba in his new appointment.
In a statement, issued by the commission’s spokesperson, Ferdinand Ekpe, in Abuja yesterday, Okiro noted that as a tested officer who had held various command positions in the NPF, that he has no doubt he would bring new perspectives in the search for solutions to the security threats confronting the nation.