Dino Melaye, a Democratic Prophet at 473 min read
Born 7th January 1974, Dino Melaye, a former Nigerian Senator is widely reputed for his daring standpoint on Governance issues.
The opposition People’s Democratic Party member in 2015 he defected to All Progressives Congress (APC) but returned to PDP shortly before the country’s 2019 General elections, after months of political clashes with the then Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.
Until his return to PDP, Dino openly criticized the leadership styles of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kogi State Governor. His return to the PDP and eventual reelection in 2019 saw him more daringly confronting the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Thus, Dino was hunted and detained several times till be was sacked by the courts after his main challenger in the election, Smart Adeyemi of the APC approached Election Petitions Tribunal seeking to annul the election of Melaye. On 23 August 2019 the tribunal sacked Melaye and ordered a re-run election.
After several confrontations with the Federal Government and his State Government, Senator Dino Melaye lost his Appeal and a re-run election was immediately ordered to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC however moved for the election to be conducted on a later date from the State governorship election slated for 16 November 2019.
Senator Dino Melaye petitioned INEC for his rerun election to be conducted on same day as the state governorship election. He claimed the state Governor, Yahaya Bello, was perfecting plans to rig the election in favor of his favorite candidate, Senator Smart Adeyemi. The petition was however ignored, and the election held as slated.
Dino with a margin of over 20,000 votes, lost to his political rival, Smart Adeyemi in an election that was later declared inconclusive by INEC due to violence and electoral irregularities in over 50 Polling Units in the senatorial district. A make-up Election was however fixed for 30 November 2019.
The supplementary election suffered a low turn out largely due to insecurity – harassment, killings, and intimidation faced by voters during the main election.
Senator Smart Adeyemi was declared winner of the polls, maintaining almost the same margin as the general election.
The results of the election was however believed to have been tampered with by the State Government in favor of Smart Adeyemi. Smart Adeyemi has since been sworn in as a replacement for Senator Dino Melaye by the Senate President, but Dino has maintained influence and popularity, supposedly more than the serving Senator.
Dino has attempted a Governorship race, but lost at the Primaries. His legacies during his Parliamentary representation, however, still make him a potential Governor and likely President.
Dino became more endeared to the Nigerian electorates during the EndSARS protests when old videos of him warning the Nigerian Senate against a pending revolution by youths surfaced online.
He has maintained a low political profile, but still criticises the government without fear or favour.
Dino turned 47 on January 7, and in less than 5hours, his social media handles were littered with thousands of eulogies, some of which were from his political opponents.
Many pray for his return to government, but Dino has not made any move in that direction yet. It is however hoped that when he returns to Government on whatever platform, he would maintain his stance for the people.