For Dino Melaye, Senator representing Kogi West senatorial district and the rambunctious alter ego of tainted Senate President, Bukola Saraki, these are not the best of times. Melaye, noted for his high octane parody. He is a famed comedian that seeks to reduce serious issues of state to spates of comedy. He is a self-fangled masker and reveler that would have made an A-grade listing in a hilarious comedy. But as it is now, he has no time for comedy.
When last did you see Dino Melaye prancing in distasteful amusement on the national space as he was wont to do? Seemingly, Melaye has no time for jokes and pranks for now. He is afflicted by a nagging headache. The situation he has in his hands provides him an intractable handful. He has been struck down by migraine. He has lost his reveling instinct. He no longer has time to loiter and lay about on social media, posting raunchy pictures of his questionable opulence, even when he had not been known to have any other profitable vocation in life apart from politics.
The source of Dino Melaye’s present affliction is not Saharareporters, the medium that has trolled and comprehensively dragged him to the lowest ground, especially in his dubious academic claims. Sure, Dino was thoroughly humbled as the Saharareporters inquest lasted. It was one cup he prayed fervently should pass him. He threatened, blew hot air and issued impotent moratorium but these didn’t stop the fiery medium from ensuring that he was dragged down the high horse he has built for himself, especially since he formed illicit cahoots with Saraki. Melaye cut a very pitiable picture as he cobbled very riotous facts together to explain away his indecorous academic qualifications. He has no real answer to the vacuous claim of earning chains of degrees from world renowned institutions like London School of Economics and Harvard University. Even his claim of basic degree from Ahmadu Bello University was puckered by so many loopholes that even the harried effort of the Vice Chancellor of the University to bail him threw up more questions than when the inquest started. The entire issue exposed a well-patched, insecure and fidgety persona that Dino must have thrown a party when the issue naturally ebbed down.
But today, Dino Melaye is facing a different problem. This one looks so potent that it requires no arrangee Vice Chancellor to deal with. It is so serious that Dino Melaye has suddenly been afflicted with an unusual bout of sobriety that is alien to his noisy self. His present cup of hemlock is that his people in Kogi West have threatened to rusticate him from the Senate and drag him home like a prodigal son. Those he claim to have elected him to represent them in the Senate (only for him to serve Saraki and his corrupt interests) are so piqued with him that they have threatened to go the whole hog in sacking him from the Senate where they claim he has represented everything but them. His people have sworn to put an end to the vicarious liability he has become to them, to the APC on whose back he rode to power and the Nigerian nation. The people of Kogi West have already promised a nation that has tolerated the many indiscretions of Melaye that they are ready to undo the embarrassment they caused the country by sending Melaye to the Senate. They have fallen just short of offering a national apologia for the rude shock Melaye has happily been to the present resolution to break away from the sordid and decrepit past.
Why should Melaye be worried by the threat of his people to call him back when such similar efforts in the past, involving other legislators have fallen short of their targets? Why should Melaye lose any sleep over a constitutional matter that was deliberately made inoperable by the same constitution that provided for it by throwing such hefty roadblocks on the way to its implementation? At first, there was no doubt that Melaye must have in his quaint manner, laughed off the threat to recall him from the Senate. He must have been assured of the impracticability of the recall process by his emergency admirers and soulmates who lick up his nuisance value to the system and deign it as a way of reaching back to the order that has deepened their political woes. There was no doubt that initially, Melaye must have waved off the threat of his recall in another bout of parody for which he is gaining unchallenged notoriety. There was no doubt that at the early stages of this recall process, Melaye must have sourced strength from the cumbersome process involved in recalling legislators, which makes it almost impossible to practicalise. He must have spiced up his contempt for his recall efforts with regular tales of doubtful assassination attempts, which many people believe was stage-managed to whip cheap sentiments in his favor.
But, as it is today, Melaye knows more than anybody else that he is in soup. He knows that his political eclipse is nigh and this has forced a drastic reduction in his clowning values. His penchant to subject Nigerians to mocking shows of disdains must have been seriously threatened by his present travails. He knows that those that want to see his back from the Senate are not smiling. He knows that those that want to force him home, like the errant child are not joking. He knows indeed that there is real fire on the mountain and he lacks the idea to quench it. Melaye knows that his recall process is no longer a child’s play. He knows that his traducers are dead serious and he is seeing quite a possibility that his political foes may well walk through the many booby-traps that dog the recall process to get him sacked ingeniously from the Senate. Melaye must have seen as real the visage of a rusticated loafer which Nigerians will term him should his recall process sail through. Fear of an uncertain future, from what he took was an assured present in Saraki’s senate, must be forming hideous circles in his head at present. What a pity!
Melaye’s political opponents claim he does not represent them but his selfish interests which can be gleaned by his many annoying theatrical maledictions in the senate. They claim they have been under-represented while his corrupt interests have been over-represented. They claim, most importantly, that through his petulance and quite disgusting tendency to cozy up to embarrassing theatrics, that Dino Melya has brought disgrace, shame and opprobrium to them as people of Kogi West senatorial district. They claim his actions have exposed them to ridicule and have brought many questions of their capacity to make right representational choice to the country’s highest legislative chamber. They make a legion of many other claims for why they why they want Dino rusticated in the senate. Give it to them. Melaye’s afflicters are well schooled, measured and methodical in the task of recalling him and that is enough to drive the fear of Satan from Melaye.
But then, in the midst of these claims, which are quite rife in Nigeria today against members of Saraki’s senate, considering the quality of representatives that people the country’s legislature at present, the people of Kogi West, as well as Melaye, knew they face a very herculean task in withdrawing him from the senate. They were quite aware that the present constitution we are operating erected impregnable bulwarks on the way of constituents to take back their errant legislators. Particularly, the provision in the constitution that demands aggrieved constituents to mobilize the signature of 50% of all registered voters in a particular constituency before a recall process could happen, almost makes it impossible to recall legislators. This accounts for why supposedly elected representatives of the people spit on the faces of their constituents today. They feel quite secure that their people will find it impossible to mobilize half of the registered voters in their constituencies to bring them back. Dino must have reveled in this realisal and those that urge him on in his masking art must have woven a cloth of impregnability for him as the recall axe dangled.
The Kogi West people knew this fortress but their disgust for the embarrassment that Melaye’s representation heaped on them must have made them to attempt to walk through the mine-laden terrain. It is apparent that the people of Kogi West were very determined to break this fortress and yank Melaye off the senate. They did, urged on by Nigerian masses, who see Dino Melaye as a loud, boastful and empty bombast that has whittled down the value of the Nigerian senate. The people of Kogi West,, as well as Melaye, know that with this settled, Melaye will not survive a recall referendum. But he never believed we will get to that stage.
Just few days ago, the representatives of the people of Kogi State went to the INEC headquarters in Abuja with several sacks containing the signatures of over 188,000 registered voters in Kogi West. This is 8,000 more than the 50% threshold required by the constitution, of the 300,000 registered voters in Kogi West! By that visit, the process of the recall of Dino Melaye from the senate has gained full traction and Dino has become a marked man; a really troubled man. The pun master has lost his vibe. The stunt chieftain has been out-stunned. His political enemies hold the longer end of the stick and Dino Melaye’s political head is placed on the chopping block; ready for a brutal severing.
From all seeming indices, there is no stopping the recall of Melaye from the senate. Infact, he has exhausted his pranks to get a reprieve. His regular street shows and those of his rain-soaked supporters bespeak of a troubled soul that has lately realized that he has burned all his candles on the wrong side of history. He lacks redemptive grace and it is arguable if his people could be appeased by a late show of remorse. Of course, they must be guided by a greater sense of service to Nigeria to displace the nuisance Dino Melaye has become in the senate. As he stutters in seeking fitting adjectives to dismiss his looming woes, Melaye cuts a picture of disrobed monk, grappling with an unclad life in the cold. He has destroyed his bridges, burned his aces and Nigerians are hoping that Kogi West people should recall this anomie to serve warming to his legions of misguided colleagues that it is possible to shred them of the cloak that has made them seemingly invincible in the face of bitter protestation of their conducts by Nigerians. Dino Melaye’s recall will be an apt way of saying; good riddance to bad rubbish. Expect a floodgate of potent recall processes of the many errant legislators should Melaye’s recall process sail through. Nigeria needs this timely sledgehammer to chisel its exuberant legislature in line.