Only A Fisticuffs Will End the Face-off Between Dino Melaye And Kogi Governor

The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on Wednesday described the senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, as a social defiant that should be checked by the Senate.

He said the federal lawmakers needed to carry out the exercise urgently before they would be adjudged birds of the same feather with Melaye.

Bello spoke with State House correspondents after he met with the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The governor and Melaye have been at loggerheads with the senator accusing Bello of being behind the current move by his constituents to recall him from the National Assembly.

But the Independent National Electoral Commission has said that it will conduct referendum on the plan to recall Melaye from the Senate by his constituents if over 50 per cent of voters in his senatorial district signed a petition for his sacking from the Senate.

Bello said he was at the Presidential Villa to brief Osinbajo of development in his state, saying the Acting President was pleased with the development in the state.

When asked about the crisis in the state, he initially feigned ignorance when he said there was no crisis and the people were living in peace.

But when asked to comment specifically on the crisis between him and Melaye, the governor said when a child lacked proper parental care and home upbringing, he would constitute social menace to the society.

He added that if the society did not take steps to check and correct such a child, he or she could take into criminality.

At that stage, he said it would be left to the government to check such criminality.

The governor also said if government failed to do so, such a child could cause a serious embarrassment.

That, he said, was what was happening in Kogi State.

He said, “Talking of the Senate, let me rather admonish the Senate that, that is an institution that is held in a very high esteem and I think the Senate and indeed the National Assembly is made up of men of high calibre and of high integrity and good character.

“I think it is necessary that that wonderful house should, as a matter of urgency, and as a matter of fact, check any social deviant that exists within them before they could be adjudged birds of the same feather. I know they are not of the same feather.

“But sincerely speaking, Kogi State is living in peace, projects are ongoing, we are all happy over there. Salaries are being paid as and when due and we are making serious progress.”

Bello also described Melaye’s claim that he (the governor) earmarked N1bn for his recall as a figment of his imagination.

“The good people of Okunland and indeed West Senatorial District have learnt from a bitter mistake of not taming and curbing that social deviant (Melaye) and they have decided to take lawful steps in recalling him,” he said.

But INEC said that it would expect those behind the plan to recall Melaye to present the outcome of the signatories aimed at recalling the former member of the House of Representatives to it later.

But for now, the commission said it had yet to be informed about the move to recall the senator from the Senate.

The commission’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, who spoke with one of our correspondents on Wednesday, said that the commission would remain neutral in the matter.

Osaze-Uzzi said that there was no way Melaye would be removed from the upper legislate chamber without INEC’s knowledge.

Osaze- Uzzi said, “We are not yet aware of the plan to remove Senator Dino Melaye from office and we are not monitoring the ongoing collection of signatories for that purpose.

“Those who are doing that will have to present their petition to us after the exercise and back it up with the signatories they have collected for the purpose.

“We will then go and verify the signatories and make sure that they are genuine and, they must be more than 50 per cent of the voters in the senatorial district.

“But if we don’t have up to that percentage, we won’t even try to look at the petition.”

He said that after the petition must have been presented, with the required percentage of the electorate, the commission would then invite witnesses from the two parties involved to witness the referendum.”

Osaze-Uzzi said, “It is after the referendum must have been verified that its outcome would be presented to the Senate President.”

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