How Senator Dino Melaye got into INEC recall mess (Part 1)

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The pressure on the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district, Dino Melaye over his recall from the Upper Chamber is now undisputable. Like the dangling sword of Damocles, the fate of the embattled Kogi lawmaker remains unpredictable as it is distracting in ominous level of the recall saga.

Political bellicose occasioning moves by 188,000 constituents of Kogi West Senatorial district who signed to recall him, was widening day by day. Though, his colleagues who were sympathetic to him have alleged that they were seeing the ‘hands of Esau’, but hearing the ‘voice of Jacob’.

The upper legislative Chamber has assured Dino that he would be shielded from the savages that were hell bent on recalling him. Their decision was clearly sounded in Abuja, and re-echoed in Akwa Ibom state, South-South Nigeria. Governor Udom Emmanuel had at a ceremony in his state, described Dino Melaye as a ‘general’ in obvious combative nature of his.

All these while, Dino’s travail was not without propaganda from all fronts as the media was awashed with all forms of ‘sponsored advertorials’ in defense of Dino. Some groups either phony or genuine as well as some individuals were lately in his favour.

Lately, Kogi state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has approached Justice Tsoho led Federal High Court, Abuja, where it asked the court to stop Dino’s recall. The Electoral body on its side citing that the recall was 90 days time bound, petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, saying that the earlier injunction halting the recall process was against the Constitution.

Obviously, the brouhaha was not only allowing Senator Dino Melaye to have the best of his time, but it was also negatively affecting his legislative performance as he was not been seen most of the times during plenary and Committee sittings these days.

To those asserting that Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was behind the recall because of the no love lost relationship with Dino, if latter’s travails were devoid of misdeeds on his own part over time, I don’t think the Bello factor would suffice.

Before now, Dino’s perfidies were nostalgic as well as there were tragic, unbecoming of a member of the highest lawmaking citadel anywhere in the world. Those conversant with legislative activities in the last two years, could attest to his boundless overzealousness.

Dino has always been in the news for wrongs for almost ‘one week, one headache’. Talking about a man who loves exotic cars with serial numbers customised in his name – Dino 1, Dino 2, Dino 3……… who lives in a choice mansion with spacious garage filled with cars in their numbers somewhere in a high brow area of Maitama in the Federal Capital Territory.

Back home to his immediate neighbours in the village, Ayetoro-Gbede in Ijumu local government area of Kogi state, his own kith and kins and those of his constituents are living in squalor and abject poverty.

His constituents were of the view that each time the lawmaker drives home in Rolls Royce with convoy and retinue of aides, they were reminded of his campaign promises which were not fulfilled. Their expectations have always been an illusion.

Dino stoutly supported Kogi governor at the formative stage of his administration. On the 27th January, 2016, when Bello was being sworn into office at the Lokoja Township stadium, as the MC of the occasion, he taunted the Igala people while on the podium saying that, “people voted for late Abubakar Audu, but God chose Bello.” He further rained praises on Bello.

Dino was doing what he has always been known for, so that at the end of the day, his political fiefdom would be approved and probably become the godfather. Once that interest was not served as it were, hell would be let loosed and so, nobody flabbergast at the frosty relationship between Dino and Yahaya Bello. Being a very smart person most often, he had picked up the loopholes of the non payment of Kogi worker’s salaries and endless screening as canon fodders to elicit sympathy from the public. Much as I stand to disapprove the rationale behind non payment of Kogi worker’s salaries and endless screening that has brought pains and agony on the citizens, the person of Dino cannot be seen to be genuinely committed to the welfare of Kogi citizens, if his political interest was not built into his agitations. Not Senator Dino Melaye with due respect!

In the red Chambers where Dino Melaye sits atop as a lawmaker, arrogance is his lot. Attacks and counter attacks has been part of him. On policy issues, Dino was always available for nauseating statements.

The role he played when the Senate President’s wife was summoned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) last year was irritating to his constituents. He was said to have accompanied the woman while ‘holding her bag’ to EFCC’s office.

The embattled Dino was said to be derelict in his constituency empowerment, though there were statutory provisions for him to do so.

His constituents expressed utmost concern that sometime last year, there were herdsmen clashes that devastated some communities his Senatorial district, but he allegedly cornered relief materials sent by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and misrepresented them as if he provided them.

His action further incurred the wrath of Kogi state government which ordered him to hands off anything that has to do with the relief materials.

While Dino was farcical, his arch rival and governor of his home state, Yahaya Bello was a fascist and like Benito Mussolini (1883-1944), his regime on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was totalitarian that has brought pains and penury in the last 17 months of his administration to the people of the state.

Very ridiculous, therefore, was Bello’s inability to pay workers’ salaries and pension of retirees due to endless screening of Kogi state’s workforce. The exercise was as punitive as it was evil given the fact that billions of naira was released for the state in the last 17 months.

Tertiary institutions in the state were shut down for seven months and lecturers sympathetic to students called off strike last week.

Bello has been a brute on his perceived political opponents with allegations that he runs detention cells in government house. The situation calls to question if he understands what democracy was all about. Kogi was really in a damning moment!

As it were, the battle has been titanic. As it stands, it takes two to tango, but at the nick of time, the Kogites would decide.

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