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For Dino Melaye, the voluble senator of Kogi West and an acolyte of the tainted Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the cup of recall which his people unleashed against him has stubbornly refused to pass him. The recall effort has trailed him like a stubborn shadow and try as he and his soulmates in the Senate have done, the dangling threat sticks like a recalcitrant Abiku in its thinly disguised intent to rusticate Dino from the Senate where many feels, he has added more of jesting value than serve his Kogi people and Nigerians. Dino and his mates have boasted, threatened and laughed off the recall effort as posing no threat to him but deep in their hearts, they fervently wish that this cup will pass Dino by.
In their private moments, they have emitted worrying sweats of discomfort and fear because if Melaye is successfully recalled, they know that their stay in the Senate and their feeling of invincibility would be punctured. They know that if the people of Kogi West succeed in yanking Melaye off the Senate, they themselves are not safe in the hallowed chamber which they have reduced to theaters of masking and reveling especially since Saraki usurped the leadership of the Senate in cahoots with PDP senators. So they see in the stubborn effort to recall Melaye a threat to their feeling of assumed invincibility in the Senate. They are right to feel so.
But it could safely be said that Melaye invited this cup to himself. Apparently overwhelmed by the amity he enjoys from Saraki, Melaye had turned the Senate into a theater of the absurd where his many annoying indiscretions find full ventilation. At a stage, Melaye made the Senate look like a huge circuit show where a daily display of flippancy and petulance was staged. Melaye riled not a few Nigerians with his daily-in-your-face celebration of vanity and cheekiness.
When he was not displaying incredible questionably acquired wealth, he was competing to undo the most astute comedians on the floor of the Senate. When he was not taunting Nigerians on their helplessness to deal with the nuisance which the Senate became, he was launching unending tirades and abuses against President Buhari for not patronizing Saraki’s senate and rather watched uninterested as Saraki alternates between the Senate Presidency and the dock where he is standing trial for corrupt acts. Nigerians helplessly endured Melaye’s unending nuisance when it was in full bloom.
So annoying was Melaye’s nuisance that the indefatigable Sahara Reporters took him up on his loud and boastful claims to academic attainment. The battle raged and exposed a heavily patched and thickly powdered academic history that trails a man who was improving spurious academic claims to mask an empty and unfulfilled life. The incident so humbled Melaye that he temporarily capped his jesting pastime in the Senate and the Nigerian public space. He has recently resurrected his nuisance value and once again, has turned the Senate into an endless ground for vain grandstanding, indecorous puffing and noisome revelry.
Aso soon as Melaye was beaten to cower in shame following his brush with Sahara Reporters, his people in Kogi West quickly followed in piling up his woes by the declaration of the intent to recall him from the Senate because he had pursued other base missions than effective representation for them in the Senate. They claimed they have not gotten any value for their votes for him in the last election and expressed their desire to exploit their constitutionally-guaranteed power to recall him. At first, Melaye and his fellow soulmates in the Senate derided this effort as not realizable, and as Ekweremadu put it, a waste of money and efforts. .
They laughed it off and boasted that nothing will see Melaye out of the Senate where his jesting was designed a class act by Saraki and his loyalists. In deploying this scorn and attendant boast, Melaye and his friends in the Senate were thinking that crossing the constitutional threshold of mobilizing two-thirds of electorates in any of their constituencies to sign for their recall was an impregnable bulwark against any effort to recall them, as had been the case before now.
As has been shown by events thus far, Melaye and his cohorts really underestimated the resolve of the people of Kogi West to send their errant senator home. By the time those that want to send him home had mobilised voters in excess of the constitutionally-prescribed threshold for his recall, he and his backers knew that there was real fire on the mountain. This set Melaye and his friends on a scampered battle that saw him rush to the courts to stop the process of his recall. When the courts ruled against him, Melaye escaped from his favourite theater of comic, the Senate, for weeks and went into undignified hiding so as to evade INEC service of the recall papers while window-shopping for favorite judicial orders that will stave off the recall cup. At this period, his cohorts in the Senate were issuing fatwa against Kogi West people for exercising their constitutional rights to recall their senator and on INEC for carrying out its legal roles backed by the laws of the land. In one of the senate ’s troubled sessions to save Melaye, Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy senate president vowed that no one could recall Melaye and that the entire recall exercise amounted to an exercise in futility.
So sure that Melaye had escaped through judicial delay of the process, Ekweremadu was to penultimate week boast that Melaye’s recall ended just the way he described it. He said this while making his infamous coup-baiting contribution on the floor of the Senate. But like a restless ennui, Ekweremadu, was to wake the spirits chasing Melaye by that lousy boast as the Court of Appeal, where Dino rushed to after the Federal High Court ruled against his suit to stop the recall, ruled just last week that the recall of Dino Melaye should continue as there is no ground for stoppage of what is clearly a constitutional process. This not only shuts up Ekweremadu and his fellow backers of Dino Melaye but soured Melaye and his friends’ feeling that the worst is over. Sure and predictably, Melaye has rushed to the Supreme Court in an effort to buy time as a reprieve from the burgeoning recall effort, it is certain that sooner or later, Melaye will have just no option than showing cause why he would not be sent home from the Senate.
As it stands today, the cup of recall trailing Dino Melaye has stuck to him like a second skin. When he thought the whole trauma was over, and infact, he must have been reassured by Ekweremadu’s boast the week before, the cup has resurfaced with more threatening force. From all seeming indications, Melaye will be stuck with this cup until he is called back by his people. He had hoped to use judicial strategy to escape this cup but by the ruling of the Appeal Court, which reaffirmed that of the high court, it is obvious that Melaye’s escape routes have been narrowed to one and from all seeming indication, this one too will be sealed against him. Like a cornered rat, Melaye has no option than to surrender himself to the constitutional process of recall and other Nigerians who have watched in barely disguised anger as the present senate trifle with their fates, are offered the hope that they can also recall those senators who were purportedly elected by the people but who pursue their selfish interests instead. Melaye must be terribly downcast at the prospects that his recall may not be shelved by the tricks he had adopted so he has to be a man and face this cup that has refused to pass by him. He has to brace up to having his senatorial commission cut short mainly by his vaunting acts and learn good lessons that will serve him well in the life he will embrace after the Senate.
Peter Claver Oparah
E-mail: [email protected]