By Ebunoluawa Sessou & Luminous Jannamike
Women in Management, Business and Public Service, WIMBIZ, has deplored and condemned the actions displayed in the online viral video showing Senator Elisha Abbo, representing Adamawa North repeatedly verbally and physically assaulting a lady at a sex toy shop in Abuja.
Senator Abbo was caught on camera slapping the young lady multiple times for taking sides with the sex toy salesperson who, he claims, verbally abused him in the shop on May 11, 2019.
In a statement made avaliable to WW, WIMBIZ pointed that the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria do not support the untoward behavior and neither should it be tolerated from anyone, especially from people who occupy sensitive, national leadership positions representing our country in legislative capacities and therefore are held to higher standards of accountability.
“We note and applaud the actions of the different media platforms which brought this incident of abuse of power to the notice of the public. Having received reports of police involvement to properly investigate this incident, we urge that the rule of law should be followed to the letter in the dispensing of justice in this matter.
“We also encourage the Police Force and the relevant regulating committee within the Senate of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria to treat matters and issues like this with utmost sensitivity,
precision and expediency in order to deter those who flagrantly flout the laws of our beloved
Meanwhile, other civil society organisations that focused on gender equity and women empowerment have expressed disgust over the issue.
Reacting in separate interviews with WW, the women groups condemned the lawmaker’s actions as improper, uncivilised and unconstitutional.
They also back the moves by appropriate authorities including Senator Abbo’s political family – the Peoples Democratic Party – to have him arrested, investigated and prosecuted in line with the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015.
In her reaction, Lady Celine Okoro, the Executive Director of Center for Organization Development, said: “As a body in special consultative status with the United Nations,UN, on gender equity and women empowerment, we are collectively speaking against any form of violence against the female species.
“Therefore, because there is the 2015 Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, nobody is allowed to take laws into his own hands to the extent of physically assaulting another no matter the level of provocation. There is no excuse for crime.
“It’s time for Senator Abbo to answer to the allegation of physical assault on a young lady. We are unanimously insisting he should appear to answer for his actions.
“No one should be allowed to get away with impunity no matter how highly placed in the society.”
Similarly, the Coordinator of Concern for Women and Children Development Foundation (CWCD), Dauda Balami, said: “We are a civilised and constitutional federation. It is wrong of Senator Abbo to have assaulted the young lady. His actions as a serving federal lawmaker is a wrong step at a wrong time.
“He should be dealt with like every other Nigerian. The senator has gone against the law, he should face whatever the consequences of his actions are.
“His arrest, investigation and prosecution should serve as a deterrent to others who feel physically assaulting women is a light offence.”
On her part, Dr. Jennifer Braimoh, the President of Intensive Rescue Foundation International, IRFI, said the embattled senator should be made to bear the full responsibility for abusing the privilege and power his constituents bestowed on him.