How the Nigerian Police stopped coup against Buhari’s victory in 2015-Ex IGP Suleiman Abba
A former Inspector General of Police in Nigeria, Mr Suleiman Abba during the Daily Trust interview (Daily Trust)
London, August 26, 2018 (AltAfrica)-A former Inspector General of police in Nigeria, Mr Suleiman Abba has opened up on the planned attempt to disrupt the announcement of the 2015 election and plunge the country into crisis by preventing president Buhari from from being announced as the winner
In an exclusive interview with a leading Nigerian newspaper, Daily Trust, the former Nigerian police boss said except for the quick intervention and strong resolve of the leadership of the police, Nigeria would have had a repeat of June 12, 1993 inconclusive election
Asked about alleged attempt to truncate the announcement of the 2015 presidential election result Abba said” Yes, the police was in the picture. And thank God the police were in the picture because it did what was expected of it. It disrupted the efforts”
He continued “Let’s talk about the one you saw because there were other efforts the police under my leadership halted. If I may put it in a general form, the police in 2015 stopped another June 12 from happening. What you say was a clear indication that there were deliberate efforts to disrupt the results and, perhaps, bring about chaos that only God knows where it would have led us to.
“My happiness is that we were able to stop it from happening. Coming to your question, as to whether the police had prior information; yes the police had and we didn’t share it with anyone. This is because the police had reached a stage where, with information and efforts to disrupt the election, we were able to halt it. There was no need for me to trust anyone again. It is true I had prior information about what you saw that day. And that is because one of us who participated in the meeting where the disruption was hatched came and informed me. When he informed me, I immediately knew what to do. We already had men on ground, so we blocked all routes leading to the Conference Centre and only allowed those with cause to be there, like observers and party leaders. In any case, they were even there before that scene. We reinforced our personnel outside and inside the International Conference Centre, which served in many ways.
“One of the ways was that the people who were mobilised to come in and demonstrate around the centre could not get access. Secondly, those who were in the Conference Centre, like the one you saw protesting, had no supporters. The people who were to demonstrate were expecting the police to assist them by releasing teargas so that there would be serious chaos in the centre so that they would be able to take away the results that had been brought so far. Only God knows what they would have done to the senior officials of the INEC that were administering the collation.
A lot of questions have been asked as to why Orubebe who spearheaded the drama at the International Conference Centre was not arrested by the police.
Let me tell you why. I had worked in the Presidential Villa for four years. I was in charge of presidential escort as a mobile commandant. I was an aide de camp to the head of state for almost three years. I am also a lawyer; and I had served in the Police Force for over a decade, so I should know where power belongs. I was talking with my AIG and was the one who directed him to prevent that person from doing what he wanted to do, but at the same time to be careful. Only God knows if he was arrested and handcuffed like you are saying; maybe that was what they were expecting so that their plan ‘B’ could take place.”
The former IGP also spoke about various attempt to compromise the police and how he was asked to “deliver Osun State to have his appointment confirmed”
“The very first week I took over, we had the elections in Ekiti; that was August 2014. Arrangements had been made for the election by my predecessor and I think it was the same team that also did the Osun election, it was the same AIG.
One of the leading stalwarts in the PDP then said to me: “IG (you know I was acting then) deliver Osun to us and we will confirm you quickly.” I was shocked! That was when I knew that I may not last long in the office. Immediately, I said to myself, “How could I deliver when I am not an electorate? The voters are the ones to deliver, my own was to protect the whole process.” Of course I said to myself that what happened to one of my predecessors (may his soul rest in peace), Adamu Suleiman, was going to happen to me, maybe I would never be confirmed. He was Inspector General of Police and till he left office he was not confirmed.