By Solomon Kummanger
To pick up a fight with a Governor by any political office holder from same state in Nigeria’s greasy politics is not for the fainthearted. It’s like riding a tiger. You must have to keep on riding or be swallowed. Senator Ishaku Abbo, the senator representing Adamawa north in the Nigerian senate should tell better. For him, since he was sworn into office as senator must have been his longest, toughest and gravest political experience. Whether he admits it or not, it has been a nervous, testy, bitter, harrowing, and indeed, unforgettable time. Genuine friends are becoming increasingly hard for him to find.
Few days to his inauguration as Senator, he was thrown out of the bus like an irascible urchin by members of his constituency when he was caught red handed assaulting a lady in an adult toy shop in Abuja, one year after he assumed that coveted office in pomp and circumstance. It was long in coming. And when it came it packed a wallop. The nemesis of fighting a Governor beckons on him like an eagle that prey a bird, first Abbo was all over Nigerian media for the wrong reason by assaulting a lady in an adult toy shop, few months after the dust raised by the senator was about to settle, he again engaged his state Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri in a bitter battle due to selection of local council chairmen in Adamawa
Some party faithful have alleged that Ishaku Abbo almost ruined his political career by picking unnecessary fight with the Governor over council polls in Adamawa, in most state of Nigeria hardly can you find a Governor that allows senators from his state to have a say in deciding who occupy a local council seats his state, been a political neophyte and intoxicated by power, Abbo will never allow even his social media friends makes any contributions contrary to his opinion on any issues, he either block you or rain insults on your father.
His adversaries say he will leave Adamawa north senatorial district worse than he met it. His final days and eventual fall in 2023 will be a lesson in history. I knew Ishaku Abbo wasn’t going to survive the nemesis he plots against himself. I said so in this column way back in January. Nobody should weep for him. Do you remember the story of Icarus in Greek mythology? His father, Daedalus, a master craftsman, fashioned wings for him out of feathers and wax to help him escape from the Crete. Icarus was dutifully warned by his father not to fly too close to the sea or the sun. Like Ishaku Abbo, like Icarus who started off well.
Then, hubris got the better of him, and he flew too close to the sun contrary to his father’s warnings. The wax melted and he plunged to his death in the Aegean Sea. Hubris, we need to understand, is that all-consuming pride that leads a person to think he’s better than anyone else, making him feel the rules don’t apply to him. This leads to ultimate downfall. According to LiteraryDevice.net, hubris is a typical flaw in the personality of a character who enjoys a powerful position, as a result of which, he overestimates his capacities to such an idiotic extent that he loses contact with reality. In fact, a character suffering from hubris, as Ishaku Abbo, tries “to cross normal human limits and violates normal codes”.
As his predecessor in that office, Senator Binta, should tell Abbo that “bad temper” ruined any politician that is arrogant in office. But more than that, for the past one year that he was sworn into the senate, Ishaku Abbo behaved and acted as if he was the sun around which other planets must revolove. The sun may be associated with God, and in that case, Ishaku Abbo tempted fate and abused power.
How sad and ironic even with his limited intellectual ability and political accomplishments. Ishaku Abbo thinks that the office of the Senator of the federal republic is a prize to be won. He fails to see the office as a duty to be done. His knowledge of the way politics works is at best, superficial. Any man who uses force to get things done is afraid of reasoning. Ishaku Abbo, it bears repeating, does not understand the levers of power. How power is used in politics is different from activism. When you are in a hole, wisdom demands that you stop digging. Not Ishaku Abbo. Rather, he continued to dig deeper and got himself consumed in the hole he dug for others. That accounts for his repeated gaffes and slips. And that resulted in fatal battle with his party leaders in Adamawa.
The truth is that responsibilities abandoned today will return as more acute crises tomorrow. His verbal insult to the lady at the adult toy shop, his allege assault on a photo journalist that work with him then and his unceremonious ousting from the Naval school in Port Harcourt in 2004. That’s the height of meaness, if not absolute wickedness coming from a top public official who should give hope to the hopeless.
Examples of men who were consumed by hubris abound. Shakespeare and Macbeth were among them. As literary students know, Macbeth had over-inflated ego that eventually destroyed him and almost everyone around him. As Shakespeare wrote in one of his works, “let not light see my back and deep desires”… Men and women of hubris can do anything to serve their ambitions. Take the case of Mel Gibson, a former Hollywood star after his night of drunken racial slurs. His abhorrent conduct led to his fall from greatness. Such was his temper and tantrums on set that what became of him later was a case study in hubris.
You see, sometimes, the media love to see giants fall, especially when they don’t play by the rules. Remember that Gibson was once the Academy Award winning Best Director. His fall from greatness was so hard to bear that he was forced to take a role in “The Expendable” movie(2012), a franchise devoted to former action heroes whose careers are in steep decline. Such characters may rise again like one of the world’s greatest golfers Tiger Woods has done, but their hubris would not be forgotten.
Honesty and humility became casualties in Ishaku Abbo’s approach to politics. For him, it’s all power, fame and arrogance. He likes defining truth downwards, and very often, he gets away with it. He doesn’t live by example, an essential virtue of a leader. No surprise, those who wanted him out of Adamawa politics in 2023, saw him as a virus that a cure must be found quickly or it will infect a multitude.
For now, it will take time for Adamawa PDP to recover from the damage inflicted on it by Ishaku by his action and inaction since he was sworn into the senate.
Abbo’s lack of accomplishment as a senator is what you get when narcissistic personalities represent you in the national assembly. As psychologists and mental health experts say, narcissists harbour mountain of delusions about their own capabilities. They exaggerate their accomplishments and focus obsessively on getting power at all cost.
Beneath all of this is extreme fragility and exaggerated ego as delicate as foam. I heard these traits become in people that lack exposure or a political neophyte.