Former Inspector-General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, on Sunday appealed to officers of the Nigeria Police Force not to allow themselves to be used to disrupt the 2019 general elections.
Abba told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that there was a lot for the officers to learn from him because he did not allow the 2015 general elections to be scuttled.
“I am not only cautioning the Nigeria Police Force against disruption of the next elections, but I will be most happy if the Police is able to maintain the tempo.
“And I will be sad if these Police Officers allow the legion of doom to succeed in leading them or conspire with them to disrupt our democratic process.
“There were several efforts to disrupt the 2015 general elections, but I led the Police to resist it, and we did it well,’’ he said.
The former IGP said that it was imperative for the Police to know that it was, first, their responsibility to ensure the safety of lives and property, rather than involving themselves in politics.
Abba said that although the intervention of the Police in the prevention of a disruption of the 2015 elections had led to his early retirement, he was happy for the success of the elections.
According to him, some persons were determined to disrupt the elections, but the Police under his leadership prevented everything that would have led to mayhem and violence.
“Let me say that when we had the responsibility to protect lives and property when it mattered most, we are glad that we did and we did it well.
“And if the consequence is that I lost my office, that is alright. Life goes on. We are glad that we did it in a very civilised manner.
“We sensitised our officers to be impartial and non-partisan before, during and after the conduct of the elections.
“And I am proud of the Police officers who adhered to our instructions to make the elections one of the best ever,’’ he said.
Abba commended President Muhammadu Buhari on his initiative for recently recognising the mandate given to the winner of the June 12 election, Chief MKO Abiola, posthumously.
The former IGP, who described the President’s reconciliatory initiative as unifying, said that it had brought together tens of millions of people to resolve their differences.
“What this reconciliation means is that we will be able to put behind our personal differences and sentiments.
“This will remain in the annals of not only Nigeria, perhaps the whole world,’’ he said.
Abba worked in various capacities in the Police Force. He served as Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Rivers States, and was a one-time AIG in charge of Zone 7, Abuja.
He also once served as Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to Maryam Abacha, spouse of Nigeria’s former military leader, Sani Abacha.