There was confusion and drama at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, as the sacked Inspector-General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, stalled the formal handover to his successor, Mr Solomon Arase, until he was compelled to do so by the Presidency.
This came as some former Inspectors-General of Police expressed reservations over the manner Abba was removed while other leaders were divided over the sack.
The handover ceremony which was earlier slated for 8 a.m. with invitations sent to journalists for coverage from the office of the Force Public Relations Officer, did not take place until almost 4pm following the absence of the ex-Police boss at the headquarters.
Abba was said to have removed all his personal belongings before leaving the office around 11.20 p.m. after the announcement, Tuesday. According to his aides, when they visited his official residence at Maitama early yesterday, Abba said he was yet to receive any official letter informing him to hand over as he heard the news of his sack on radio and television like other Nigerians.
It was learnt that reporters who converged in their numbers early in the morning for the handover, were disappointed as they were not allowed access to Force Headquarters. No reasons, according to sources, were given for the delay in the handing over ceremony.
Meanwhile, uncertainty continued to pervade Force Headquarters after it was reliably gathered that three of the serving Deputy Inspectors-General of Police were holding an emergency secret meeting in one of the offices on the 6th floor of the headquarters building.
Feelers from the meeting indicated that they resolved to strongly protest the appointment of their contemporary, Arase, DIG Intelligence, as acting Police boss on the grounds that they were all promoted same day on February 20, 2014.
The three DIGs were also said to have sworn to contest the appointment of Arase to the highest level because they were not well treated by his appointment. While palpable tension generated by the ugly development threw Force Headquarters into confusion, other top officers and the rank and file were seen in different moods.
Many of them stood in groups discussing the development in hushed tones. Some officers were also seen in jubilant mood, praising President Goodluck Jonathan for taking the decisive action.
They alleged that they were not well treated by the former IGP during the elections as they were not paid their due allowances. Many of the officers, however, commended the appointment of Arase, noting that he is well suited for the job.
While the situation continued to generate tension, relief came at last after the Presidency reportedly directed that the ceremony must be completed without fail before end of the working day.