By Comfort Obi
If Elisha Abbo, the Senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial Zone has any shame, at all, he should quit the Senate, or, temporarily, step aside until the scandalous incident involving him is thoroughly investigated by the Police.
If he is given a clean bill, let him go back to his seat at the Senate. If found culpable, he should be arrested, and made to face the full weight and wrath of the law.
If, however, he refuses to either quit, or step aside, there are, at least, five institutions and groups which must compel him to choose one of the two.
They are the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he is a member. The leadership of the Police. Great Nigerian youths. His constituents. Women groups.
It is an irony of sorts. On June 11, 2019, the day the National Assembly, NASS, was inaugurated, and Abbo sworn-in as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he walked tall, not just because he has become a Senator, but for also, making history.
At 41 years, Abbo is the youngest Senator in Nigeria. On being sworn in, he was celebrated. The youths were happy. We are coming, they chorused. So, Abba was not just representing his zone at the Senate, he was also representing the youths.But just look at this.
A couple of weeks after he was celebrated to high heavens, Abbo has descended to the gutter. And all those who celebrated him are covering their faces in shame. Crucify him, they now chorus.
The question is: how did the young Senator descend to this level?
Dear Readers, you must have read the story, and/or watched the video. Thanks to the Cable News which first broke the story, and released the video, it has gone viral. Yet for the purpose of this write-up, a brief re-cap is necessary.
One evening in May 2019, (The Senator says March), Abbo had gone to an adult shop in Abuja to buy sex toys. He went with three young girls. The younger generation call such company side-kicks. He couldn’t have gone with his wife (or wives?) to buy sex toys. And, definitely, not with his sisters, or nieces, or cousins.
He knew the owner of the shop, or the person who was attending to him. In the video, he kept referring to her as his friend. Meaning: he is a well known customer, a regular.
But I digress.
So, Senator Abbo went there with his girls to buy sex toys. As they were making their purchases, one of the girls allegedly threw up, several times.
The sales girl asked her why she threw-up inside the shop, instead of doing so outside. The question was insensitive of the sales girl. Nobody deliberately throws up, especially in public. Her first concern should have been the health of the young girl, not the mess on the floor.
But if the sale’s girl’s question was stupid, the Senator’s next pronouncement was even more stupid. He accused her of poisoning the air conditioner, which effectively, made his girl sick.
The sale’s girl refuted the allegation. If that was true, she reasoned, how come the other two girls were not also sick? Her reasoning made the Senator livid. An altercation ensued. According to the story, the Senator alleged the sale’s girl called him a drunk. Well, perhaps. Considering what followed next, who knows? He may have called the sale’s girl unprintable names before he was called a drunk. Obviously, the girl knew him as a customer that usually came in with side-kicks, not a Senator-elect as he then was.
While they were on that, the Senator’s anger boiled over. And the unbelievable happened. Embarrassed by the situation, a nursing mother intervened, and asked the Senator to calm down. Big mistake.
In the eyes of Abbo, the woman has committed a cardinal sin. So, he mercilessly, and shamelessly rained slaps on the nursing mother. As he did so, he called the policeman who obviously accompanied him and his side-kicks to arrest the woman. The sad thing: the policeman, who was watching the shameful scene, without a care, arrested the woman, instead of asking his ‘boss’ to let go, and move away from that disgraceful scene.
What kind of Policeman is he? What kind of a law enforcement agent? In any case, who attached a policeman to Abbo? At the time, he was not a Senator yet. He was a Senator-elect, and was not entitled to a Police Orderly, unless his life was in danger, and unless it was approved for him by the IGP.
Even then, the Policeman was not attached to him for illegal duties, illegal arrests, or to watch him molest people. This policeman has disgraced the NPF. He is one of those who hardly know their rights. Such policemen, while in their uniform, carry the luggage and bags of their principals, while also carrying their guns. In doing that, they disrespect their uniforms. They hardly know the powers that uniform confers on them.
But it does seem that Abbo is a law into himself. He has always been. One photo-journalist who worked for him in 2015 confirms. For asking for his pay, Abbo beat him blue and black, and locked him up. Now, for winning a Senatorial seat, he has become a tin god. Nobody should talk before him, especially, when he is talking.
When the young sale’s girl, in panic, made to call her father to tell him Abbo had asked the Police to arrest her, one could hear Abbo, like a wild dog, screaming at her, and asking her to drop the phone, not to even talk before the lord and master.
Dear Readers, how can this man be a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? How can he be in the Senate Chambers, making laws for us?
A man who would be that shameless outside, would be worse at home. His display of bad manners confirms he has no respect for women. If he could beat a woman publicly, there is nothing condescending and/or humiliating he wouldn’t do to a woman.
He is one of those who believe they can do anything to women, to young girls, to the girl-child, and get away with it. Such men abound. Isn’t that why we have an epidemic of rape in the country? They degrade women and girls and the girl-child with impunity. And, most times, they get away with it. Nobody cares. It’s all in a day’s job. To them, women are either sex toys, or pieces of furniture with no rights. That is why a number of them, animals, parading as men, rape and assault women with impunity.
Now, beginning with the alleged rape case involving Pastor Biodun Fatayinbo of COZA Church, Nigerians are saying enough is now enough.
The Pastor has stepped aside from the Pulpit. Senator Abbo should do the same. There is no way he would be at the Senate Chambers with this case hanging on his neck. If he does not step aside, he should be pressured to do so. And, that is where the institutions and groups mentioned earlier come in.
First, the Senate should suspend him from plenary. At the time of writing this, it has initiated its own investigation. A good start, but it ought to have followed with a suspension from Plenary.
Two: It is heart-warming that the IGP has ordered an investigation into the sordid incident. He should go the whole hog. If Senator Abbo is found culpable, the law should visit him with its full weight and wrath.
Three: His constituents who reposed confidence in him, and voted for him, should start a recall process. A woman-beater cannot be their representative.
Four: This man has disgraced the Youths. Their they are, impressing it on Nigerians that it is their turn, that they are not too young to run. Now this. They should treat him for what he is: an unfit youth ambassador.
Finally, the women. We should mount pressure on the Senate, on the Police, on Abbo’s constituents, on the Youths. This Senator has crossed the red line. He has humiliated one of us. He should be paid back in kind.
Mount pressure, until he does the needful – step aside.
This is without prejudice to his public apologies for what he did. He says he is deeply sorry. He says he is remorseful. He is asking for forgiveness. Apologies, accepted. But that should not stop his investigation. In more civilized countries, he would have, on his own, stepped aside.
Since he will not, let’s give him a helping hand. A number of groups are asking for signatures, to endorse Abbo’s prosecution. I have signed up. If you are born of a woman, I urge you to do same.
The battle cry is: Enough is enough!