Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who once represented Kogi west senatorial district in the National Assembly has been defeated in the just concluded supplementary poll in his senatorial zone.
Melaye was defeated by Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to become the senator-elect of the Kogi west senatorial district.
The supplementary poll was held after the November 16 election in the district was declared inconclusive by INEC.
Smart Adeyemi was leading by 80,118, while Dino Melaye was trailing with 59,548 votes. The final result after the Saturday, November 30, supplementary election showed that Adeyemi defeated Melaye by a total of 88,373 votes to 62,133.
This report highlights the role some key politicians played in ensuring that Dino Melaye suffered a convincing defeat in the election at the Kogi west senatorial district.
1. The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole marked Dino Melaye for defeat
Adams Oshiomhole, is one of the politicians that played a significant role in ensuring the defeat of Dino Melaye in the Kogi west senatorial election.
Shortly after Oshiomhole became the chairman of the ruling party on June 23, 2018, a crisis engulfed the APC which led to Dino Melaye and 15 senators defecting to the PDP.
The defections in addition to making the newly election APC national chairman seem incompetent also greatly reduced the APC’s influence in the Senate.
Oshiomhole and the APC accused Melaye and other defectors of frustrating the Muhammadu Buhari administration and were determined to ensure that Melaye and the other defectors pay for their actions.
The APC chairman likely played a role in ensuring that those senators who defected along with Bukola Saraki from APC to PDP were punished by their constituencies for their perceived disloyalty.
In a recent report, Oshiomhole said the electoral losses suffered by the defectors is a lesson for those thinking of dumping the party.
“All the 16 senators who decamped along with Senator Bukola Saraki from APC to PDP, hard as they have tried to come back, the Nigerian people in their respective constituencies have insisted on punishing them for being disloyal.
“I think the only one who is still struggling now is Dino Melaye, but as you can see from the result so far, Senator Smart Adeyemi is leading by over 20,000 votes,” the APC chairman was quoted as saying in a report in the Nation dated November 28, 2019.
The above statement showed that Oshiomhole played a role in sinking Dino Melaye’s senatorial dream.
2. Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state was determined to teach Melaye a lesson
Another prominent individual who is reported to have contributed to Melaye’s defeat in the Kogi west senatorial election is Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state.
The Kogi state governor and the former lawmaker fell apart shortly after Melaye defected to the PDP.
But the disagreement between both politicians escalated when Melaye consistently accused Yahaya Bello of running a militia group in Kogi.
The former lawmaker many times during plenary in the Senate lamented that the Kogi state governor had impoverished the people of the state by failing to pay salaries and mismanaging the state’s resource.
However, Melaye’s constant attacks on the Kogi state governor had serious consequences for his stay in the Senate as a move to recall him from the National Assembly was launched from his constituency.
Kogi West senatorial district to recall senator Dino Melaye from the Nigerian Senate
Fortunately for Melaye, the plot to recall him from the Senate failed after INEC discovered that the petitions to recall him from the National Assembly were not from his constituents. But unverified reports claimed that Yahaya Bello was behind the move to recall Melaye from the Senate.
There were also allegations that Governor Yahaya Bello held meetings days to the supplementary election aimed at ensuring that Melaye suffers defeat in the Kogi supplementary election. While those allegations are yet to be proven, there is a strong chance that the Kogi state governor played a role in Dino Melaye’s ouster from the Senate.
3. Senator-elect Smart Adeyemi strategised to defeat his political rival
Another politician who plotted Dino Melaye’s defeat at the poll is Smart Adeyemi, the candidate of the APC in the Kogi west senatorial election.
The senator-elect represented the Kogi west senatorial district in the 6th and 7th Senate before he was defeated by Dino Melaye in 2015.
Adeyemi again suffered a temporary defeat at the hands of Melaye in February 2019 before the election was annulled by the Court of Appeal in October 2019.
But despite the past loses he suffered, Adeyemi was in a better position to plan Melaye’s defeat in the recent election with the backing of the APC national chairman and that of the Kogi State governor.
Adeyemi, who served as the director-general of the APC campaign council in the Kogi governorship election, was reported to have used his influential position in strategising for the election in which Melaye lost.
Uncle Dino as he is also fondly called had boasted that he was going to record a hat-trick of wins against Adeyemi, but the APC candidate was reported to have marshalled the APC political influence in Kogi state in burying Melaye’s ambitions this time.