It was Elisha Abbo, the caterwauling Senator from Adamawa North who echoed, following his intense grilling and probing by the Senate Disciplinary Committee led by the former Senator of Lagos Central, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu (now The First Lady) that, “To err is human; to forgive is divine”.
Abbo had just been slammed with a fine of 50 million naira for his brazen and inhumane treatment of a nursing woman she met at a sex toy store in Abuja. One may be tempted to look at his youthful exuberance, but a closer look would suggest that it is rather one of his unedifying idiosyncrasies to be rebellious, recalcitrant, and desperate.
Abbo may have committed a mistake with the sex toy store saga, which could be overlooked as a first-time non-criminal offender. After all, no one is infallible. But he proved Nigerians wrong when various people started coming out of the woodwork to reveal more of his sex toy store escapades and how he mal-treated, ridiculed, and bullied them, especially women.
One journalist from Ekiti State recounted how Abbo not only rendered him helpless but also supervised how his equipment and tools were destroyed at Mubi by his miscreants who would later not pay him for all his services. I am sure several people have their ordeal with Abbo but may be scared to voice out for fear of victimization and harassment.
Abbo’s politics undergirds lack of decency and decorum, anchored on his desperation to surreptitiously hijack what is never meant for him. This trait became very clear when he led some recalcitrant Senators in the just concluded National Assembly election to upset the consensus of Godswill Akpabio’s candidacy as the Senate President. He made himself the poster boy for Abdulaziz Yari and some selfish Northern Oligarchs even when many people had already agreed that someone from the Southern extraction should of necessity, fairness, and equity become the Senate President of the 10th Senate.
Abbo’s admittance of wrongdoing during his sex toy escapade has not genuinely translated into a guiding principle or template that should stir one’s subconsciousness to accept defeat and seek negotiation and realignment. Though defeated, the last National Assembly election of the Principal Officers was a reflection of how political gladiators should handle electioneering failure in the interest of the country. You do not have to do ”Gbajue”, a new lexicon of the renowned Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka that was introduced last week to describe the Obidients who allegedly claimed to have won the 2023 presidential election, but without the evidence to prove it when they had the opportunity in court.
Having failed to sail Yari through the storm of the tense contest, what is now new in Abbo’s chess game and calculation is to lead Senator Godswill Akpabio’s laughable impeachment even when the Senate President has not deviated one bit from the ambit of the laws that guide the Red Chamber and its Standing Orders. While this remains a colossal affront to the sensibility of many Nigerians, one should caution Abbo that the Senate under the leadership of Akpabio is NOT a rubber stamp to the executive arm of government the same way he genuflected before Abdulaziz Yari and his co-travelers before, during and after the contest for the senate headship.
Pray, how could a rubber stamp senate of Godswill Akpabio have declined a request of President Tinubu and head ECOWAS Heads of State for a military option to settle the impasse in the Niger Republic? Rather, Akpabio’s senate advised the president to look in the direction of politics and diplomacy for a solution to the imbroglio with a resolution.
But Abbo, like the Ostrich that hides its head in the sand, never saw this happen on the Senate floor or perhaps because he was away to the sex toy store again on that day. One wonders why Abbo was fixated on the appointments made by the President who has the prerogative, if not the constitutional mandate to appoint anyone he considers best fit for a particular job. What Abbo and his co-travelers termed the ‘Yorubanization’ of the financial and economic system of the country is nothing but an attempt to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it as not a few analysts and economic experts have described the president’s appointments as a shot in the arm that would reactivate and rejuvenate the seriously ailing economy of the country.
Even President Bola Tinubu himself has reiterated severally that his government would be anchored on “national competence”. Otherwise, the nation would be risking grievous consequences by putting men and women of low substance to superintend the financial sector of the country.
A closer look at the appointments made so far reveals that not just the Yorubas, but other regions are getting the best deals from the president, starting from the security which is headed by a Northern General to the Petroleum (the mainstay of the economy) headed by ministers from the Northeast/South-South extraction.
This is not even the time to retrospect into the immediate past government of Muhamadu Buhari where every key sector of the economy was unapologetically and unfeelingly restricted to the North by him. It is a time to advocate for and elevate national political appointments that will entrench national competency above ethnic and religious considerations.
What Abbo and his goons in the Senate seem to be hatching is nothing but a dangerous political game that could snowball into an unmanageable political situation for the polity. They are therefore bound to fail. One wonders why Abbo and his musketeers are trying to scapegoat the Senate president for appointments made by President Tinubu. When did Akpabio transition into the position of Special Adviser to the President on Appointment Affairs?
While Abbo and his small coterie of renegades in the senate may be fighting their last battle, it remains to be seen how they would handle the repercussions and reprisals when they finally manifest. And they will in due time.