Embattled lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye, has lauded the people of his constituency for “rising to his defence” by shunning the verification exercise held on April 28 to recall him from the Senate.
He also thanked the political leaders, elders and traditional rulers in Kogi West for “rescuing him from his political enemies”.
While stressing that the exercise has clearly shown that power truly belongs to the people, Melaye urged the proponents of his recall to accept the results in good faith and face the task of providing the elusive democratic dividends to the people.
This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the lawmaker’s media assistant, Gideon Ayodele, who maintained that all allegations against Melaye were politically motivated.
The statement reads, “The chain of events from last Monday to this day are enough for one to be grateful to God Almighty and all Kogi people both at home and in diaspora, including friends of Senator Dino Melaye outside the Confluence State and all over the world, for standing behind the Senator in this trying times.
“Needless to say that all allegations against him by the Police are politically-motivated and the timing of his maltreatment and harassment was carefully planned to prevent him from mobilising support against the purported recall of his representation of Kogi West from the Senate, God manifested Himself by using the good people of Kogi West senatorial zone to stem the tide against him by making the cup to pass over the Senator even in his absence.
“Despite his current travails, his inability to mobilise his constituents and also deploy agents to monitor the signature verification exercise, countless number of supporters volunteered to do it without minding the associated risks posed by the Kogi state government. It is therefore important for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to act truly independent by announcing a result that truly reflects the wishes of the majority electorate of Kogi West as demonstrated today”.
While admitting that to recall a representative is guaranteed by the 1999 constitution (as amended) as the right of the electorate, the statement added that “what the good people of Kogi West and other lovers of democracy outside the state, who are praying for Senator Dino Melaye, have done is to stop an instigated and purported recall against him because it is undemocratic, self serving and beneficial to only a few”.
Ayodele noted that the safety of his outspoken principal and those arrested alongside with him, was of great concern to the people at the moment.
“Though the battle for the recall has been won and lost, the safety of Senator Dino Melaye in the hospital as heavily guarded by the Police since Tuesday is a cause for concern even as we decry the arrest, continued detention and trial of his brothers, aides, friends and lawyers on trumped-up charges by the police.
“We appeal to all Nigerians of good conscience to continue to help us pray for the safety and immediate freedom of Senator Dino Melaye so that he can return to his family and duty post,” he said.
The statement however feared that, “the victory over the purported recall today will certainly spite his traducers and they may devise new ways of rubbishing him for no just cause”.