By Boluwaji Obihopo
WHAT caused the fallout between Senator Melaye and Governor Bello?
Senator Dino Melaye is a party faithful that will always want the progress of the party APC. It’s only the deaf and blind that will say he or she did not know the role Senator Dino Melaye played during the merger that led to the emergence of APC. Senator Dino and Yahaya Bello were not on the same page during the primaries, but he supported the emergence of Bello on some critical grounds as they affect the party. After the death of the party flag bearer in the governorship election, Late Prince Abubakar Audu, INEC demanded a replacement for the purpose of the outstanding election in some units. The party leadership, considering all variables favoured Yahaya Bello.
I know how Senator Dino raised fund for Yahaya Bello. This Yahaya Bello cannot stand before people like us to say that Senator Dino did not make him. We are more matured in act and deeds and will be mindful in our choice of words. Senator Dino started disagreeing with Yahaya Bello when he started working outside the party structure. Governor Yahaya Bello has no respect for the party that produced him, that accounts for the various appointments he made. It is so unfortunate for the state as 99 per cent of Governor Bello’s appointees are either illiterate or half-baked literate.
Concerning the claim by some people who are ignorant that Senator Dino was not happy with the appointment of Honourable Taofiq Isa as the administrator of Ijumu local Government, Melaye wouldn’t have consented to whatever will affect the existing peace and arrangements that have been laid down through gentleman understanding.
There are three axes in Ijumu, and by our rotational agreement, the next person to administer the affairs of the local government was expected to come from Ijumu Oke, simply because the immediate past chairman was from Ijumu Arin, and the one before him was from Gbede axis, and Honourable Taofiq is from Gbede, appointing him amounted to cheating on the good people of Ijumu Oke.
Senator Dino has no personal issue with Taofiq. In 2007 when he was unable to afford the money for nomination form to contest for the councilorship position, Dino then, paid N50,000 for him. At the emergence of APC, Senator Dino made Taofiq the APC Chairman of Ijumu local government after which he went after Honourable Sam Aro and worked against Senator Dino from becoming the Senator, but God on his side, he won, and today, he is the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District. The victory settled the case.
What danger does the quarrel between the governor and the senator portend for Kogi West in the next election?
The governor has control over the resources of the state but not over the conscience of the people. A governor that is not giving civil servants their due as at when due, a governor that is not bothered about the welfare of aged pensioners, schools are closed for months, yet the governor is not moved. So much hunger in town. They may own the money, but we have the people, and when it is time, the people will speak.
The State ALGON boss, Taofiq Isa is asking the EFCC to probe the senator over alleged diversion of IDPs materials. What is your reaction?
I have said it that they are noise makers. They know the way to the court, but they have been making noise through their paid newspaper comments.
What is the fact of the reported assassination attempt on Senator Melaye?
I am not a policeman, neither am I a security operative. We cannot play on the intelligence of our security operatives. As I speak with you, some suspects have been apprehended, and they are already making statements and giving evidence, so why not allow the police and the court handle the case?
It makes no sense to say that somebody will stage manage an attack on himself. What is he trying to achieve, what if he died in the process?
The APC in Kogi is practically divided. What happened?
I think it is a party issue and the party knows best how to handle the issue. I want to object to the claim that many caucuses are fighting the governor. Like my principal, for instance, he is only asking for good governance, payment of salaries and welfare of pensioners. The moment these issues are taken care of, we are satisfied. The welfare of the citizens is our priority. But if you as a journalist believe that caucuses are fighting the governor, it simply means that the governor needs to check himself.
What are the senators view of the Bello administration?
Failed! Are you not aware of the various impunities going on in the state? Don’t consider the Senator’s view, what is your view too and try to be sincere with yourself.