By Emmanuel Afonne
A Civil Society Organisation, Civil Society Network for Good Governance, has urged the Nigeria Senate to be cautious and circumspect in handling the allegation of assault levelled against Sen. Elisha Abbo.
The group in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by its National Secretary, Mr Suleiman Musa, stated that the appeal became necessary since the senator apologised over his actions, and the fact that the matter is in court.
Musa said although the incident was regrettable, emphasis should not be lost on the issue seeking to be corrected, as the horde of attacks on the person of Abbo seem to suggest.
The group also appealed to individuals, groups and organisations that rose in condemnation of the assault on the nursing mother to sheath their sword noting that the essence was to correct and not to kill.
“We feel that the needed lessons have been learnt.
“The action of Sen. Abbo is without equivocation condemnable, however, it reveals a problem that is much more deeper than that singular act and we must not keep piling condemnation on the young senator even after expressing sobriety without being mindful of the personal challenges he grapples with and the factors that might have prompted his reaction.
“We must all rise against all forms of violence against women. The take away for us as a group is the level of remorse shown by Sen. Abbo and the extent to which he has gone to in this regard.
“He has shown a willingness to revert to being an advocate for women, which he was known for in the past and we should give him the needed support in this respect,” the statement quoted Musa as saying.
According to Musa, it is unfortunate that the senator who has raised so many young men and women from his hometown and state from grass to grace has found himself in this awkward position.
“From our findings, Abbo is a typical example of a detribalised and a religiously unbiased Christian known for his unconditional interactions with the entire Christian and Muslim communities that constitute majority of his constituents.
“We must not forget that Elisha Abbo traversed against the tides to the hallowed red chambers of the 9th Assembly, having emerged as an opposition in a state governed by APC.
“We urge the senate to give the young senator the opportunity and support to settle down and give his best as a representative of his constituents who overwhelmingly voted him.”
Continuing, Musa said, “We are more disturbed by the fact that some persons are painting Sen. Elisha Abbo in such a bad light as though nothing good can be found in him, even as none of these persons have come out to say he lacks the competence to be in the senate.
“No one has come out to say he is a stooge to one politician or the other.”
The group also called on the senate to find out what led to the senator’s reaction in the video rather than reprimanding him after he has sufficiently shown remorse through his public apology to the affected victim, his colleagues in the senate and indeed all Nigerians.
It further urged the senate not to seek the downfall of their colleague, while calling on the senator to remain steadfast in fostering the aspiration of his constituents in the senate.