There was a mild drama at the premises of the Federal High Court in the Maitama District of Abuja Tuesday as a middle-aged man, simply identified as Musa Suleiman, climbed to the top of a telecom mast and threatened to commit suicide.
After climbing to the top of the mast, Mr. Suleiman, eyewitnesses said, began shouting that he would jump down and take his own life unless former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, came personally to beg him to come down.
The witnesses said that was after shouting himself hoarse that he had a case at the Federal High Court which suffered several adjournments, and that he would “end it all” by committing suicide.
Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) rushed to the scene immediately and started negotiating with the man, who at a point claimed former Vice President Abubakar owed him N15 million.
NEMA officials thereafter made emergency arrangements by placing some mattresses around the foot of the mast before climbing up to rescue him and at the same time pleading with him to come down.
Not wanting to take chances, NEMA also evacuated nearby buildings asking staff to come out into the open even as people began to scamper for safety thinking the man was a suicide bomber.
After about 30 minutes of dramatic exchanges, the man was eventually brought down and handed over to the police who took him away for questioning.
But in a swift reaction, Mr. Abubakar said he does owe no one and that Mr. Suleiman might be unstable. “We honestly suspect that this man is mental,” the former vice president said through his media consultant, Garba Shehu. “If there is one Nigerian who pays all his bills, that person is Atiku Abubakar.
“If the idea of this pole-climber is to get N2m from the Turaki, this certainly is not the best way to go about it. Were it left to me, I will say that the man should simply be ignored. He will climb down when he gets tired of staying up.”