OPINION: What The Press Won't Tell You About Senator Elisha Abbo, By Michael Onjewu
Before his journey into mainstream politics, Elisha Ishaku Abbo was the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Saice & Wright Group, a multinational political consultancy firm based in Abuja. The Mubi North visionary also served as Senior Special Assistant to former Governor Murtala Nyako and was the former Executive Secretary of the Adamawa State Sports & Youths Council.
When Elisha Abbo was elected to the 9th senate as the youngest lawmaker in the history of the upper legislative chamber, most Nigerians especially the youths looked forward to a leadership driven by fresh ideas that is urgently needed in a nation lacking in visionary leadership.
The Adamawa North Senator did not disappoint his constituents in his first six months in office. His achievements in the areas of bills, motions, oversights, and constituency projects has become a reference point of what pragmatic representation is all about.
On 20th August 2019, Senator Abbo wrote to the Hon. Minister for water resources applying for the construction of two medium-size Dams in Kwaja ward of Mubi South and Muchalla Ward of Mubi North.
Knowing fully well that he cannot get more than 2 Projects, he invited his colleague in the House of Representatives Representing Mubi North, Mubi South and Maiha Hon. Jafar Magaji who also applied for dams to be constructed in Digil Ward, Mubi North, Gella Ward Mubi South and Manjekin Ward of Maiha LGA. The two requests were granted and Manjekin Ward was picked from Hon. Jafar’s Letter to the Minister.
The Dams would each provide treated water to over 250,000 households in the constituency, also improve irrigation for farming purpose, water body for fishing and Animal use for the communities and its environs.
Senator Abbo demonstrated his desire to put smiles on the faces of his constituents especially the vulnerable when he paid the medical bills of a boy who fractured his hand while escaping from Boko Haram attack in Michika LGA. It is instructive to note that the boy was with the injury for over three years before God sent Senator Abbo to his aid. The vibrant lawmaker also visited and settled the medical bills of Sandra Teru of the Cliff Campus Network who had an accident along the Song road axis. While at the hospital, the compassionate lawmaker went round three wards and donated a huge amount of money to offset the medical bills of patients who cannot afford one. This is based on his belief that humanity comes before political, religious or ethnic sentiments.
In his bid to provide the dividends of democracy and to bring government closer to the people, Senator Abbo commissioned the Minkisi Development Association Town Hall to serve as a medium of reaching the people of his constituents directly. Regular meetings will be held at the town hall and solutions to the needs and aspirations of the people will be provided on a daily basis. This is based on the lawmakers belief that he was elected to serve and not to be served.
In the spirit of the new year, Senator Abbo paid a surprise visit to the Nigerian Correctional Service in Yola where he celebrated 2020 with hundreds of inmates. The passionate lawmaker served and ate with inmates reminding them that all hope is not lost. He also offered to pay the bills of those in custody inline with with the constitution of Nigeria so that they can be freed.
Little wonder the vibrant lawmaker in just just six months has received several awards for his outstanding leadership qualities.
Sen Abbo was honored with the "Beacon of Hope" award during the 4th edition of the Adamawa Celebrities and Achievers Awards (ACAA) which took place on the 21st of December, 2019.
He also received the "ICON at Democracy" award by the Intercommunity Awareness for Change and Development Initiative (IACDI) and the "Africa’s Patriotic Legislative Personality" awards from the League of African Development Students (LEADS). The management of the Royal Academy, Numan also presented Senator Abbo with the Award of Excellence in Leadership for his outstanding qualities in the upper legislative chamber.
One thing is sure, Senator Abbo has within these few months demonstrated that the Nigerian youths have the capacity of providing vibrant and dynamic leadership urgently needed to stimulate growth and development in Nigeria.
Michael Onjewu is a writer and journalist. Twitter: @MichaelOnjewu