Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
Worried by the act of violence against woman, the ActionAid Nigeria, a human rights and social justice non-governmental organization working to combat poverty and all forms of injustice has called for prosecution of Senator Elisha Abbo, representing Adamawa North Senatorial District for beating up a woman in an adult toy shop in Abuja.
While reacting to the release of a CCTV footage showing the lawmaker perpetuating the act by slapping a woman, the Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi has described the action of the lawmaker as barbaric for beating a woman.
“ActionAid Nigeria received with shock the news of the incomprehensible act of a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Elisha Abbo whose act can be described as criminal, unacceptable and repugnant to natural justice and order.
“Violence against women and girls is unacceptable, they have rights to be treated with dignity and respect and this should be upheld by everyone irrespective of their social status. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes the equal rights of all persons and states that no one should be discriminated against based on gender and other social classifications.
” In addition, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015 also prohibits violence against persons in all forms. Ironically, Senator Elisha Abbo who should be leading in the upholding of the constitution and other legislations, is the one contravening the law. He therefore should be held accountable for his ignoble act.
“While we appreciate the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the leadership of the National Assembly for prevailing on Senator Abbo to publicly apologize and set up a panel to investigate the matter respectively, we call on the Nigerian Police to arrest and prosecute Senator Abbo which is what the law states for such an offence.
“We commend the Nigeria Police on some of the actions taken so far and we will also like to use this medium to remind the Nigerian Police of the numerous cases of rape and other forms of gender-based violence that has been reported and are yet to be investigated.
ActionAid Nigeria commends Nigerians, particularly the media for using their various platforms to speak up and encourage more Nigerians not to keep silent any more especially on issues that bothers on governance, justice and human rights. Assault of a citizen is an assault of the state and serving justice to whom justice is due irrespective of social status of the persons involved should be core of Nigeria’s justice system.
The world is watching, Nigerians are watching, the Civil Society is watching, and ActionAid Nigeria will be watching, for this opportunity to seek justice for a vulnerable Nigerian is too important to miss.