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APC’s show of shame in the Senate


Commentary on the Dino Melaye, Oluremi Tinubu face-off

dino melaye

By Anthony Opara


Senators Oluremi Tinubu and Dino Melaye are both of the All Progressives Congress fold in the 8th Senate. What began as a mere joke between them days ago is however now turning into a major political embarrassment for the party and the Senate.

The media reported that Senator Melaye who is fast gaining a reputation as an enfant terrible for the Senate was said to have threatened to beat up Senator Tinubu, the wife of the APC Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is also a former Governor of Lagos State.

For good measure, he is also credited as adding that nothing will happen and that he would also impregnate her.  It was reported that Senator Melaye’s outburst followed Senator Tinubu’s comment that as representatives of the people, the senator should stop threatening everybody at the slightest whim adding that he was fond of behaving like a thug.

Senator Melaye in his defence, said the former Lagos first lady also called him a dog.

As the story made the rounds drawing media condemnation from a cross section of people, the senators in the eye of the storm kept mum, fuelling speculations that there was more to the story than met the eyes.

However, the peace would later be breached when Senator Melaye who went to the senate as an activist, drew ‘first blood’ when he called a press conference to give his own side of the story.

He affirmed that he was irked by Senator Tinubu referring to him as a mad dog as well as thug.  The Okun, Kogi-born  Senator who had defeated the former President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Senator Smart Adeyemi, and who had ridden into the Senate on the wings of activism is however now turning to be the face of all that is bad with Nigerian politics. He is a rabid supporter of the Senate President, Dr Olusola Saraki, and rather than concentrate on his duties to his constituents, continues to escort the Senate President to all of his court appearances and also to the Code of Conduct Tribunal where Saraki is standing trial for non declaration of assets at the time when he was Governor of Kwara State.

Indeed, Senator Melaye threw caution to the wings when he shouted that nobody can control the Senate adding that: ‘ I mean nobody can control this Senate.’ By this, pundits say he was probably referring to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has been accused of trying to control the Senate.

Since his ascension to office, Dr Bukola Saraki has been fighting to hold the Senate together and this stems from the way he emerged as President.

He was not the candidate of his party for the position but used political chicanery to emerge with the support of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wherein Senator Ekweremadu also emerged as Deputy Senate President in an unprecedented political development.

Ever since then, it has been one fight or the other to the extent that the Senate has not achieved anything worthy of note.

Political commentators have said that Senator Dino Melaiye’s conduct is a disgrace to the Senate.  Asiwaju Tinubu, the Jagaban Borgu and the man referred to as the Lion of Bourdillion also said as much when he reportedly opined that the conduct of Senator Dino Melaye was a disgrace to the Senate adding that the action wouldn’t go without consequences.

The media also painted a picture that seemed to say that the Kogi State Senator had been declared persona non grata in the Lagos State stronghold of the Tinubus. But in what appeared to be a show of power, the senator flew all the way from Abuja to the Bourdillion Road abode of Senator Tinubu to suggest that he can do nothing to him.

He took photographs and posted same on social media, an action many considered as very childish. As one commentator put it, ‘was he expecting Tinubu to send thugs after him?’ To make matters more laughable, some women staged a protest in Lagos in support Senatuor Oluremi Tinubu and gave an ultimatum to Senator Melaye to apologise to her or face their wrath. What wrath, many queried, since the Lagos heckler lack the legitimacy and power to even initiate the recall of the Kogi-born Senator from the Senate?

To follow up on this political shenanigan, Senator Oluremi Tinubu penned a long letter to the Inspector General of Police requesting for Police protection claiming her life was under threat.

Many consider this as unnecessary since the Senator already has a police detail with her twenty four hours daily as a Senator of the Federal Republic. Many also said that the letter to the IGP was also insensitive given that the Senator representing Lagos Central did not do or say anything when a member of her church , the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) was killed in Abuja allegedly by Moslem youths for preaching in the morning near their Mosque.

Many are watching how this drama will end given Senator Melaye’s known penchant for disgraceful conduct.  He has been involved in physical skirmishes on the floor of the National Assembly before and was also reportedly embroiled with a lady who accused him of being the father of her child, which he denied.

Not a few have also forgotten his occasional wanton display of wealth, and this from a man who claims to be an activist.  He is also said to be a front liner among those seeking for immunity for the Senate leadership.


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