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SENATOR DINO MELAYE: THE UNSILENCED VOICE OF RESILIENCE.

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Deji Olumide Oke

This is the story of a voice that many bullets have not silenced. It is the story of the proverbial cat whose nine lives seem to have doubled. This is the story of a legendary legislator who has invested good governance to reap the dividends of loyalty from his people.

This piece will appraise the activities of Senator Dino Melaye (SDM) and unravel ways through which his practice of political integrity has translated into good governance for his constituents and constituency. It is an inspirational that brings hope to the fact that soon, this impactful voice will be heard roaring through the four walls of the red chamber once again.

The Senator that represented the good people of Kogi West worked hard to put his people on the top of mind of Nigerians. He achieved this through his eloquence, vociferousness against societal ills, hard work, consistent and meaningful contributions on the floor of the red chambers.

The people of Kogi West Senatorial District have showed Senator Dino Melaye uncommon love through their consistent show of support for him at every election. They usually would vote for him massively in a show of solidarity with his commitment to deliver good governance to the people.
Nigeria’s political history is one that is replete with tales and realties of a very challenging democratic journey.

Successive regimes and political administrations have only always left much more to be desired over the years. The strength of any democracy can be tested by the quality of its legislature. The principles of representative democracy are such that seek to establish mechanisms and channels through which good and impactful governance can be transported in reality to members of the polity.

The essence of the representative model of democracy is to push government and governance closer to the people. However, democracy to some may not be the best model of governance because they as citizens may not have benefited in real and measurable terms from it because of the way it has been practiced in our part of the world over the years.

The experience and testimonies of the people of Kogi West Senatorial District shows that they were on the flip side of that coin when Senator Melaye represented them in the red chamber. They are a people that were blessed immensely by the ‘god of democracy’ with purposeful, productive, resilient, vociferous, beneficial and developmental representation at the National Assembly as championed by Senator Dino Melaye.

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Senator Dino has enjoyed unalloyed love and support (from his people) during his sojourn in the National Assembly and all through his many political travails. It was a Senator Dino Melaye that was politically incarcerated and confined to a hospital bed who defeated political principalities and powers by making a public show of them by his people at the (recall) polls.

As if this was not enough, the great people of Kogi West against all odds voted for and ensured that their amiable son and Senator walloped his opponent at the 2019 legislative polls. The people of Kogi West Senatorial District which comprises of Lokoja, Kogi/KotonKarfe, Kabba/Bunu, Ijumu, Yagba West made sure that Dino won six out of seven Local Governments during the senatorial elections.

This was a clear case of the people reacting to the cause of good governance, political integrity and effective representation by Senator Dino; the ‘effect’ was giving the Senator another chance through overwhelming votes to represent them in the ninth assembly.
The mandate of the people of Kogi west may have been stolen by the bullets, it is however sure that the people will reclaim their mandate the impartial and just Nigerian judiciary. There is no doubt that Dino is loved by his people, just as he enjoys as much love from Nigerians. The reasons for this are not farfetched.

WHY THE RED CHAMBER NEEDS DINO AGAIN:
Senator Dino Melaye (SDM) can be best described as a fearless, courageous, indefatiqueable, rugged, dogged and passionate fighter. He is an all time winner, an anti oppression and anti corruption fighter.

He is a supporter of the masses, a rescuer of the oppressed and a loud voice for the voiceless. He is also a practical leader who has shown capacity to be a fearless and just leader. There are practical reasons why SDM fits the saddle in the Senate. Let us take a look at some of these qualities:

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A VOICE OF REASON:
SDM may have been temporarily and callously deprived of a seat in the Red chamber, his voice however seems to have just been amplified. It was a concerned SDM that called the attention of Nigerians to the draconian infectious diseases health bill that was going to be foisted on Nigerian at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic frenzy. But really, why is his seat empty in the red chamber?

CAPACITY, ABILITY AND POLITICAL INTEGRITY:
SDM has fulfilled the fundamental requirements of delivering Good Governance. He respects the tenets of the Social Contract and possesses Political Integrity. A look at just a little part of his achievements as a first time Senator validates this claim. Apart from the fact that SDM has endeared himself to his people through accessible physical presence, emotional connection and support, some of the projects he initiated and has completed give credence to the fact that he deserves to return to the red chamber.

Senator Melaye attracted and ensured the execution and completion of a minimum of 200 developmental projects to his constituency. Some of these projects include but are not limited to the construction of 4 blocks of class Rooms at Sarkin noma, construction of Ogidi Ayede-Agbajogun-Amuro township road, Okebukun-Ayanga road, installation of Solar Powered motorized water project at Felele.

In addition to the aforementioned, the construction of AyetoroKiri-Eggan road, AyetoroGbede township road, Ejiba Township road, Kabba-Ogidi Road, Agbudu-Gbarada road, the installation of Solar powered borehole water and installation of (300KVA) at Ogale-Ayedeare are some of the many projects the Senator attracted to his constituency.

It is important to note that the spread of the projects mentioned shows Melaye as a man that is open minded, magnanimous and sacrificial in his judgment; it shows the Senator as a man who is committed to achieving sustainable development for his constituency.

This is in addition to the fact that he was so active in the 8th Senate that (even as a first time senator) he has to his kitty the fact that he sponsored the highest number of bills in that assembly.

INTEGRITY:
It may interest you to note that SDM has never been found wanting, indicted or convicted for any act of corruption. SDM has unraveled and blown several whistles on acts of corruption and bad governance as they were being perpetrated under successive regimes. Nigeria indeed needs this politician of rare political integrity who has fought the forces of poverty, limitation to become an icon of good governance.

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PHILANTROPHY:
It is worthy of note at this juncture that SDM has been a philanthropic leader who through his many programmes has impacted on the lives of indigent constituents. Part of his commitment to supporting his people is the recent launch of the Deaconess Comfort Melaye Foundation which under the chairmanship of former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon seeks to support thousands of indigent children across Kogi State. It is worthy of note to mention that Senator Melaye was at the forefront of providing palliatives for his people in spite of the fact that he is not currently at the National Assembly.

EMPARTHY:
There is a popular parlance that “he who has been tested can be trusted”. This cliché holds true for SDM. Beyond the glam and glamour of a passion for luxurious cars is a tender heart filled with love and empathy for people. Far above his love for humor is a heart of steel, welded with a conviction that fighting for the truth is the purpose of leadership. He believes that “if you speak the truth, you die, if you don’t speak the truth, you die, and so I’ll (he’ll) speak the truth and die”. No wonder, he has severally had his life in the valley of the shadow of death, where he has feared no evil but triumphed for the sake of the masses.

What Kogi West and indeed Nigeria needs at this time of its development is a leader who will lead purposefully and fight for the people conscientiously rather than politicians who will only abuse power while pontificating on their megalomaniac whims and caprices. The people need a fearless leader who has been tested; a creative, ingenious and an incorruptible personality who will always ensure that good governance is delivered to his people.

Olumide Deji Oke-Olawuyi writes in from Maitama District in Abuja.
(olumidegabriel@gmail.com)

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