Elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has condemned the recent appointment of a former Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, as the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), made the appointment recently.
Clark said in a statement on Saturday titled, ‘President Buhari’s re-appointment of Suleiman Abba, a sacked Inspector-General of Police by former President Goodluck Jonathan for disloyalty: A compensation for betrayal,’ argued that by the appointment, the principle of federal character had again been thrown under the bus by the Commander-in-Chief.
Quoting relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), accused the President of failing to look beyond his geopolitical zone to fill the position.
He said, “Federal character principle is a doctrine which was introduced by the Nigerian government to ensure equitable representation as well prevent the dominance of persons from a few states, religions or particular ethnic groups in the governance of the country and the sphere of the public sector.
“It is pertinent to state that the prerogative of ensuring that this aspect of the laws of the land is implemented and or executed lies squarely on the shoulders of the President of the country, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd). However, it is quite disturbing that the same man who swore to uphold the laws of the land is flagrantly breaching them.
“A case in point is the recent reappointment of Suleiman Abba as Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nigeria Police Trust Fund, on 5th May, 2023. Suleiman Abba is from Jigawa State, in the North-Western geo-political zone.”
According to Clark, the previous Secretary of the Fund, Mr Abdullahi Bala, is from Sokoto State in the North-West while the previous secretary who resigned his post to contest governorship election is also from Sokoto State.
He added, “One expected that if the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Police Fund is from the northern part of the country, the secretary should come from the South and vice versa, because this is one of the ways of keeping Nigeria’s unity.
“In appointing people to the board, President Muhammadu Buhari disregarded the provisions of the federal character as enshrined in the country’s constitution. President Buhari has a penchant for doing this and it is very unfortunate.” he said.
Concluding, he said, “The re-appointment of Suleiman Abba as Chairman of the Police Trust Fund appears to some of us as a continuous compensation or reward for a job well done for the roles he played during the 2015 general elections.
“One cannot also forget the disloyal action of Suleiman Abba, when as IGP, he went to the airport to receive Muhammadu Buhari without the knowledge and or authorisation of his principal, Goodluck Jonathan, who was the President at the time, and which led to his sacking from the Police Force.”