Boluwaji Obahopo, Lokoja
Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West, yesterday, escaped what appeared to be an assassination attempt, made by unknown gunmen.
The attempt was carried out at his country home in Aiyetoro Gbede, of Ijumu Local Government Area of the state.
Narrating his ordeal, Senator Malaye said the assailants came in some minutes after 12 midnight, and started shooting sporadically into his building.
He said the shooting went on for more than one hours. He claimed two of his vehicles (a security car and a caravan) were destroyed in the process.
The walls of his house were riddled and perforated with bullets.
The Senator told newsmen that he suspected the chairman of his local government, Taofiq Isa, of instigating or being involved in the attack.
He also alleged that the attack was carried out because of his criticism of the state government.
“I got a rousing welcome from Kabba to my home town yesterday (Friday) and I know it angered the powers that be in the state which mobilised for this assassination attempt on my life.
“At about midnight we started hearing gunshots. They fired more than 200 rounds of bullet into the house. This attempt to kill me will not stop me from speaking the truth because if I speak the truth I will die, if I lie I will die. Me, I’ve decided to speak the truth and die. I’m not afraid of death. I only respect men I don’t fear them.
“This attempt is being championed by the chairman of my local government. He had said it many times that he will do everything to stop me from coming home and its on records. Besides, those assailants, when leaving were chanting ‘We will know if its Taofiq that owns the land or you’.
“I am championing an administrative course. I will continue to speak and be voice to the voiceless. I’m not deterred, I remain resolute to make Kogi better. Noting will stop me from coming home.”
He also alleged that the Police division of Aiyetoro Gbede, did not live up to expectation as men of the force did not arrive the scene of the crime until after three hours, stressing that even the area command in Kabba was not notified until I called the Commissioner of Police.
But in a swift reaction, the Ijumu LG Chairman, Isa, who doubles as the State ALGON chairman, denied being involved in or being party to the assassination attempt, and made it clear that he had been busy attending to his sick wife.
The LG Chairman urged the Senator to prove his allegation against him: “I’ve never been a violent man. My running battle with Dino, if any, is because I have asked him to stop vilifying the state governor, Yahaya Bello.
“Let him (Dino) prove it. I lost my uncle a week ago; I’m still attending to my sick wife and busy supervising the APC re-registration programs. I’m a democrat and law abiding. I challenge Dino to prove his case.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, William Aya, who confirmed the story, said the DCP Crime is already mandated to investigate the matter.