By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The ordeal of the senator representing Kogi South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye has been described by many as politically motivated. His ordeal which started with his arrest by the Nigerian Immigration Service, (NIS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja enroute morocco has been largely criticized by pundits who believe it cannot be divorced from his vocal disposition on issues brought before the red chamber.
It is believed that his verbose critique of some of the wrong doings emanating from the ruling party which he helped to enthrone are viewed in some quarters as more devastating as that coming from the opposition as that of the latter can be easily deflated by reminding gullible Nigerian of the made believe locust years of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Recall that the Senator Dino Melaye was accused of supplying arms to some murder suspects by the police and subsequently declared wanted by the police after a gang of suspected criminals numbering about four implicated him. Following the declaration, the Nigerian Immigration Service, (NIS) spokesman, Sunday James informed newsmen that the arrest by the service was a daily routine assignment.
Some analysts say that the Dino’s suspected role in the removal of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum and the suspension of Senator Omo-Agege by the senate for 90 legislative days are contributory factors to why the Kogi West senator is being hunted.
Further recall that the letter that removed the Senator Abdullahi Adamu as Chairman of the Northern Forum which was read at the floor of the senate was signed by Senator Dino Melayo in his capacity as the Public Relations Officer of the forum. Adamu was removed for alleged “financial mismanagement and other related matters.” It is also believed that it is also the power play that saw the removal of the Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the forum’s chairman that is also playing out in Senator Dino’s case but in different way and with different people.
Prior to his removal, Senator Abdullahi Adamu has led nine others to oppose the Senate passage of the amendment to the Electoral Act. Adamu (Nasarawa-APC) questioned the conduct of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in the passage process.
According to him, “We are part of the whole body of senators who oppose the process by which the so-called conference report was laid and considered as rushed. I had the opportunity (to speak), I was heard but the Senate President said my observation was being noted,” Adamu said. The lawmaker questioned the Senate’s amendment of the election sequence for 2019. The amendment, if signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, would see the National Assembly election coming up first in 2019, followed by state assemblies and governorship, with the presidential election coming last.
Similarly, it was based on the petition by Senator Melaye that made senate to resolve to query the lawmaker representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege for his comment that reordering the poll schedule was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari. This led to the referral of the matter to the senate’s Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
Though Senator Omo-Agege apologized for his offensive comments, but his apology did not remedy the damage. Hear Him:
“Yesterday (Tuesday), I wasn’t here. My colleague and brother, Senator Dino Melaye moved a motion. That motion arose as a consequence of the debate on the sequence of elections in the Electoral Act amendment, which was passed by the Senate on Wednesday.
“In the course of that debate, and subsequent to that debate and passage, I did address the press at the Press Centre. There were certain remarks that I made in the course of that press interview which my attention have been drawn to, to be offensive not just to Senator Dino Melaye but to the entire Senate. “I rise today to apologise to the leadership and the entire Senate for that remark. Indeed, I take it back.”
Notwithstanding the apology, the senate proceeded and suspended him for 90 legislative date.
Also without fear of contradictions, the Senate’s amendment of the election sequence for 2019 did not go down well with the executive which also reflected in the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to give his presidential assent to it and whoever is against the sequence amendment is also on the same side with the executive.
Senator Dino Melaye may be getting a dose of the intrigues and power play that characterize political office but why the ruling All Progressives Congress is playing the politics of “dog eats dog” is the puzzle the party should solve as 2019 general election beckons.