Using Elisha  Abbo As Example


Trying to state the obvious, the   former Vice President and presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, said “ the law is clear and leaders must lead by example”.
Atiku relived those words as his own way of expressing disaffection over the recent alleged ungodly  attitude of a serving senator,  Elisha Abbo,  as demonstrated in a video circulating in the social media.
A video of Senator  Abbo assaulting a woman in an adult shop in Abuja had gone viral, causing outrage.The lawmaker representing Adamawa north senatorial district has consequently admitted his fault and apologised for his action.
However, report from Premium Times indicates that the lawmaker,  elected on the platform of the PDP,  appeared on Monday, July 8, at the chief magistrate’s court, Zuba.
Therefore, it is  now evident that  the police have filed charges against him.  No doubt, the charges may have been  sequel to  examination into the conduct of the senator  in the viral video according to the explanations  of Anjuguri Manzah,   the spokesperson of the police.
Reactions on air suggest that the former vice president isn’t the sole hurt in this apparent display of animalistic tendency by a personality purported to be equal to the nation ‘s ambassador by virtue of his status as a senator.
Many Nigerians are of the view that the insult is not only on the assaulted woman but on the nation as a whole given the status of the personality involved in the act.   They have continuously called on the law to prevail on the culprit.
Perhaps, other exalted individuals in the country may have indulged in similar  misdemeanor in the past  unnoticed,   such act of lawlessness and callousness as exhibited in the video, coming on the hills of the commencement of the 9th Assembly, is actually a test for the capability of the senate to take the country to the next level.
I see the integrity of the Nigerian legislature about to be tested. Meanwhile,  we must not forget that the public is aware that legislators,  along with their public employees counterparts, are billed to face severe consequences for violating the public trust.
The  penalties, however, range from  censure, removal from office, permanent disqualification from holding any state position, restitution, to decades in prison, and fines up into  hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Although not all ethics violations are treated equally.Punishments correspond to how bad an instance of misconduct is viewed in the eyes of a state and in consideration of the harm a violation may cause.
But  if the truth be told, like  the Chairperson/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa tweeted, “the footage is enough evidence. He deserves to be in prison”.
Such violence as displayed by the Senator  is recognized as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women, reflecting the pervasive imbalance of power between women and men.This experience of violence  affects  women in a myriad of ways that are often  difficult to quantify.
Categorically, the 1999 constitutional amendment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provided and mainly focused on triumphing the basic human rights to all citizens, and thus, allotted no place for gender discrimination within the country’s spheres.
The action of Senator Abbo as shown in the said video doesn’t depict him as a first timer in women’s rights violation issues. This calls for the expediency of thoroughly scrutinizing our would-be leaders,  to ensure that they are not only worthy in learning, but in character as well.
However,  I don’t think that the Nigerian Senate has a place for women’s right violators in an era when the world is calling for an absolute protection of the rights of women.
I rather  suggest a  corresponding punishment on the erring senator as a way of absorbing the 9th Assembly of such character assassination smear.


Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi