|By Jeremiah Ajayi|
As usual, I switched off the airplane mode on my smartphone around 6pm to check out my Twitter timeline, after a hectic day. Typical of a Twitter user, I quickly swiped to the trends section to see what is currently buzzing in my beloved country.
Surprisingly, I saw Remi Tinubu (the one and only female senator who has been in the Nigerian senate for as long as I can remember) on the top of the trends. There were 20.8 thousand tweets interaction about her! “What could be happening?” a curious me asked. Immediately, like a crime detective keen on investigating a crime scene, I started scrolling the trend timeline to check what could have made the beloved wife of Jagaban and a “pastor” at one of the leading churches in Nigeria trend. It was when I viewed a video posted by Channels Television that everything demystified before my eyes.
SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO: Senator Remi Tinubu was in charge of the disciplinary committee against Senator Elisha, and in the course of questioning Mr Elisha, Senator Remi made a “threat” of suspending Mr Elisha. This threat seemed to have gotten on the nerve of our infamous woman-beating senator as he began what looked like words exchange with Senator Remi.
Since the video surfaced, it has sparked a lot of comments from Nigerians. As I type down these words, Remi currently has 37.3 thousand tweets talking about the incidence between herself and Senator Elisha Abbo. This will not be the first time Nigerians will be voicing out their opinions on trending issues. In fact, in recent times, it seems like Nigerians are becoming more self-aware and opinionated than ever before. For once, the social media is a powerful tool that has brought down even the so called powerful people in the society who have abused power. From the infamous COZA’s Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo’s case, to RUGA, to the Islamic cleric who abused a minor, online justice appears to be gaining momentum than ever. This explains the new norm of Nigerians lending their voices to any issue that trends in the country.
For every trending issue, there are divergent comments about it – from the intellectual ones to the not so common-sensical ones. If there is anything trending issues like the one about the heated argument between Remi Tinubu and Elisha Abbo reveals; it’s that people don’t often pay attention to the details of an issue before they give their comment on it. Especially in a generation where freedom of speech is guaranteed, people have abused this freedom as they frequently give comments that are usually non-consequential, benighted and shallow at best.
Ever since this video went viral yesterday, I have watched it close to twenty times as I try to compare with the comments which people have been giving. One of the trending comments on the video was whether or not Remi should have spoken to Elisha Abbo the manner in which she spoke to him. In a country that values respect as a virtue to a fault (remember the case of Wole Soyinka and the young man in the plane earlier last month?), it was not surprising that many people were particular about the manner in which Remi talked to Elisha. For instance, most of the pro-respect school condemned the use of words such as “turn off the mic, let me finish speaking.” by Senator Remi. In their collective voice, senator Remi was unnecessarily condescending and rude to her colleague; she should have talked with more respect. Another school of thought were of the view that the Remi was merely playing her part as a member of the disciplinary committee and there was no way she could have been more respectful in her tone. There have also been other comments on the issue, praising the senator and painting her as a supposed heroine. Other people went as far as referring to the senator’s shady past which involved harassing a male senator on the floor of the senate.
Yes, the foregoing was the entire summary of the most of the tweets trend about the Elisha Abbo versus Remi Tinubu showdown. In the midst of all the overwhelming comments on this issue on all social media platforms, there is something which almost no one is talking about.
After watching the video for the umpteen time some hours ago, paying conscientious attention to every word uttered by the two parties. There was an established issue that should be of pressing concern for Nigerians. There were two issues in the first place namely, the part of the statement where the Senator Remi indirectly offered protection for Elisha Abbo, and a part where she made comments about the age of the senator.
Instead of channelling unnecessary energy into the issue of choice of words, or continually issuing derogatory statements on Senator Elisha Abbo, Nigerians should channel such amount of energy into these two crucial issues which I made mention of.
For one, what is the senate trying to protect Senator Elisha from? The evidence against him is glaring. Is the integrity of the senators superior than the law?
Also, the comment of Mrs Remi Tinubu concerning Mr Elisha’s age simply established the position of the leading political figures in Nigeria concerning the youths of the country. If the present leaders think lowly of the youths, is there any chance that Nigerian youths will be becoming leaders of tomorrow anytime soon?
In my opinion, these are what we should be talking about, and not dragging unnecessarily over irrelevancies.
What other crucial opinions do you also think Nigerians are missing concerning the Elisha Abbo versus Remi Tinubu’s showdown?
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