On April 21, Nigeria’s outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan fired Inspector General of Police (IGP) Suleiman Abba, the head of Nigeria’s National Police Force. Abba had been in the position since last August. He has been replaced, on an acting basis, by Deputy IGP Solomon Arase.
Under civilian rule since 1999, few IGPs have served longer than two or three years, and it is common for them to leave in a climate of presidential displeasure – the last IGP but one, Hafiz Ringim, was sacked in 2012 amid criticism of the administration’s performance on security (criticism that nevertheless continued).
Still, Abba’s firing is significant and has caught the attention of the Nigerian press in a major way, as journalists seek to explain the timing of the move. One article links the firing to disagreements between Abba and the presidency over how to respond to a tense gubernatorial electoral season in Rivers State earlier this month. Arase, stepping into the new position, will immediately face the challenge of organizing the police presence during tomorrow’s special gubernatorial re-run elections in Imo, Abia, and Taraba states.
Given the press attention and the electoral angle, I thought I would provide just a few resources on Arase:
- Arase’s remarks on Wednesday, accepting the position
- A bio of Arase from Nigeria’s Premium Times
- Further biographical details from Nigeria’s Pulse