It’s time to rediscover political forgiveness.
As enraged mudslinging is making the standards for our public officials too high—and our political representation is suffering. Inasmuch I don’t support violence against women as well I don’t support unforgiveness from the aggrieved concerns.
Public figures spontaneous meltdown, sexual scandals, exposure of bones inside your cardboard syndrome called political mudslinging has existed in one form or another for as long as politics has.
Recent years, though, have seen it devolve from the exaggerated “new lows” of some to something even worse and, used to defame political opponents. So it’s not a new game only that this one involved action against women and on the video, that’s trigger public sentiments and outrages on social media. Public are made to dwell on effect but not the cause as it involves violence against a vulnerable woman.
Although embarrassing gossip about public figures is no doubt entertaining, it’s time to ask whether we’re ready to accept the excavation of ancient Twitter posts, informal writings, and—for crying out loud—high school yearbooks as legitimate sources of criticism of political figures and celebrities. Yes, Senator Elisha Ishaku Abbo, representing Adamawa North at this present 9th assembly under PDP flag, went inside a sex toy shop. Yes he beat up a lady. Yes he went to an extreme. Yes he has broken the Nigeria law stipulated on violence against women. Yes he is a public figure. Yes he supposed to be held accountable as a public servant and distinguished member but he has repented, apologised privately to the lady, and, publicly to the public and, deserved to be forgiven.
“It is with a deep sense of remorse and responsibility that I, Senator Elisha Ishaku Abbo (SEIA) profoundly apologize to all Nigerians, the Senate, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), my family, friends as well as our mothers – the Nigerian women.
I personally apologize to Bibra and her family for my action towards her, which has brought immense discomfort in our body polity”
This is about meltdown he had before occupying a position of honour but was excavated by opponent to score a political swing on him. If so, we must accept an uncomfortable fact: the only people who will survive such thorough opposition research are either ill-socialized Boy Scouts or the utterly shameless. It’s an insane way to pick our leaders, and instead of becoming comfortable with it, we should focus on what actually matters: relevant qualifications. We should not let 5mins melt down define him.
All too often now, we witness someone’s career being ruined because of inane mudslinging. Opponents of certain politicians are at one time or the other dragged through the mud for comments made about some certain issues, meanwhile, there was endless speculation about Senator Abbo private lives going on, probably being sponsored by the same source , when the real concern should have been the reason why he committed the
assault(Inasmuch, here whatever reason, you don’t touch a woman). This phenomenon isn’t limited to politics either—not by a long shot.
Harping on about someone else’s mistakes will not make things better.
Abbo’s allegedly unruly actions before he contested and won an election should had nothing to do with the position he is now. What he did or didn’t do when he was mere a private individual cannot possibly be relevant to his duties as a Nigeria senator. And the drinking habits of a high schooler, no matter how scandalous, mean nothing with respect to a Nigeria President’s qualifications.
“I have never been known or associated with such actions in the past. Regardless of what transpired prior to my expression of anger, I am sincerely sorry and plead that all men and women of good conscience should have the heart to forgive me. To err is human, to forgive is divine.
To the Church of God everywhere in the world, I am sorry. As an Ambassador of Christ, much is expected of me.
Indeed, this episode has taught me a very great lesson both as a private citizen and a public officer, particularly as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria upon whom public confidence is bestowed”.
As Christians we should not forget the prodigal’s son bible teachings, on his part, the boy knew that he had done wrong. Long before he started the journey home, he thought of the apology he would give to his father for all the things he had done wrongly. He was also prepared to make amends.
The boy also expected to be placed in a lower position than he had been in. One of the lessons here is that of taking personal responsibility for our actions. Most people will look for excuses for their mistakes. It is crucial to carry out an honest self-evaluation and decide what went wrong and how you will make amends for it.
We should understand that politicians are people, and people are known to make mistakes. Some people are entrusted with huge responsibilities, and when they make a mistake, there are several people waiting to bring them down. We should challenge ourselves to look for the best in others, to anticipate that they will turn out alright and to accept not continue condemning when people try to make amends for the wrongs they have done.
It is in natiinal best interest to be represented by our peers: people with whom we share qualities, values, experiences, and ideas. The connection between those representatives and their constituents lies at the core of many theories on the legitimacy of government. If we dive so deeply and use a comb with teeth so fine that virtually everyone becomes ineligible to occupy some certain seats, what are we left with?
The 18th-century poet Alexander Pope made a venerable if trite observation when he wrote that “to err is human, to forgive is divine.” Real people—average people—make mistakes. It’s part of growing. If any adult can say, with confidence, that he thinks the same way he did when he was 16, then he’s either a bore or has failed to mature since high school. The fact that we treat long ago dirt as credible evidence of character is hypocritical at best.
For our democracy to function, it’s imperative that we look for leaders who represent us as a people. But as the pasts of our public officials are increasingly expected to be spotless, we’ve excluded more and more of those people from consideration. And as the pool we deem qualified continues to shrink, the chance that those representatives will truly represent us shrinks along with it.
Could it be that this mudslinging is just a byproduct of Nigeria’s ever-increasing political polarization? Still, no matter the cause, we’ve reached the point where any ammunition used against the opposing side is good ammunition—even if it’s been weakened by time.
As the standard for what is relevant to a person’s qualifications sinks ever lower, the double edge of deep-dive mudslinging becomes ever more obvious, to the point of taking on the characteristics of an incredibly dangerous form of modern McCarthyism. As former American senator Margaret Chase Smith said in her “Declaration of Conscience,” the right to hold unpopular beliefs was once a basic principle of democracy. Clearly, something has changed.
In order to restore proper standards of relevance to our national discourse, we need to accept that outrage farming, while good for entertainment actor’s ratings, is no good for Nigeria political actor. There is only one way to correct our course, and that is to reject irrelevant mudslinging. The perfect is the enemy of the good. We are a nation of people who have made mistakes and hopefully has been growing out of them. We owe it to ourselves, to our fragile democracy to accept that also from those in public office.
He pleads, “Finally, I assure Nigerians, especially the people of Adamawa North of my good conduct at all times.
Thank you and God bless.
Senator Ishaku Abbo (SIA)
Let’s us not let 5mins meltdown excavated by mudslingers defined him. it might be a good try from his political opponents, but yet irrelevant to what he is now and represents. That was not Senator Ishaku Abbo I know.