This is not the best of time for the accidental governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and by extension, his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), who were roundly defeated in a recall exercise against the ebbulient Senator Dino Melaya, even as the man was lying unconscious in a hospital bed, sorrunded by the police.
In his self delusion, Yahaya Belo had thought himself so powerful that hé could easily recall from the upper legislative chamber, the flamboyant and outspoken senator from his state, Dino Melaye, who he considers to be a thorn in his flesh, the Presidency, as well as the ruling APC.
By the way, Senator Dini Melaye himself is also a member of APC.
Of course, Yahaya Bello had all the federal might behind him – the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Civil Défence Corps and other plethora of security agencies, which he hoped would enable him achieve his desire.
Accordingly, he proceeded to compile fictitious names and signatures, whether the people are existing or not, dead or alive, as petitioners from Kogi West Senatorial District who would want Dino Melaye to vacate his seat from the Senate. Thereafter, he hired several lorries, loaded the documents inside these vehicles and off to the INEC office, where he deposited them, as evidence that Melaye’s constituents no longer want him in the Senate.
Having received the documents, INEC jumped into the process of recalling Senator Dino Melaye. Every effort made by Melaye to stop INEC from going ahead with the recall exercise was turned down by the courts.
In the midst of the recall controversy, the police on its part, came up with the allégation that Melaye was involved in a murder case and unlawful possession of firearms, and asked him turn himself to the police for prosécution. Melaye denied the allegation and refused to honour the police invitation, claiming that he heard it on good authority that the police had planned to take him to Kogi State for trial, where he would be poisoned by his adversary, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
For weeks, Melaye and the Nigeria Police Force were engaged in hide and seek game, until finally Melaye surrendered himself to the police. But while being taken by the police to Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, to be arraigned in court, Melaye allegedly escaped.
The police claimed that Melaye had jumped out from the window of a speeding police vehicle while being taken to Lokoja, but Melaye’s supporters said the Senator was actually dragged out from the police vehicle following a barricade mounted by some sympathisers who were attracted by some distress calls from an occupant of a moving police vehicle.
The next place that Melaye was found was in a private hospital from where he was later transfered by the police to the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital, Abuja.
The next day, while Melaye was still lying critical in the intensive care unit of the hospital, INEC proceeded with the verification of petitioners’ signature excersise in Kogi State, which if successful, would mark the exit of Senator Dino Melaye from the Senate.
But the excersise turned very disastrous for Yahaya Bello. Out of 351,140 registered voters in Kogi West Senatorial District, only 18,743 voters were verified, which represents about 5.34 per cent of the registered voters, while out of 189,870 so-called petitioners to INEC, only 20,868 voters were accreditated, which means that over 169,000 petitioners were either fictitious, or did not turn up for accreditation.
This, therefore, turned out to be a failed exercise, which means that Dino Melaye remains Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District. The Kogi State government was said to have spent a whopping N5 billion to ensure that Melaye was recalled from the Senate.
But who really is Yahaya Bello other than that he came second in the governorship primaries of the All Peoples Congress? And if not for the sudden death of the man who actually ran the governorship election, Alhaji Abubakar Audu, and the oddity of the APC, Yahaya Bello would not have smelt the position he presently occupies. But rather than become humble and grateful to God for His benevolence, Yahaya Bello became haughty, pompous and arrogant.
Not that we wholly endorse everything about Melaye’s style of politics, but that we do not think that it would be proper for any human being to begin to play God.