2019 has turned out to be a bad year for Nigerian politician, Dino Melaye after losing out on many fronts.
For Dino Melaye, erstwhile Senator, representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, 2019 is a year that will linger in his memory. It is a year where almost all things failed to work for him, in fact, he met several Waterloos and debacles and crowns a calamitous year, as he was dumped out of the Senate.
He had begun 2019 on a promising note, winning the Senatorial election that made him eligible for a second term in the upper chamber of the National Assembly. But since then, things began to degenerate for him. Despite his social media prowess and his garrulousness, he could not salvage anything for himself in 2019.
Six things shaped Melaye’s 2019 episode, crowning a bad year for him.
1. Loss of his mother
The lawmaker was visibly shaken by the loss of his beloved mother. He took to Instagram on Friday, May 3, 2019 to announce the death of his mother, Deaconess Comfort Melaye. According to Melaye, “With total submission to the will of the Almighty God, I on behalf of the Melayes announce the passing into glory of our beloved mother, Deaconess Comfort Melaye.
“We thank God for godly life she lived. I love you my mother and Friend. We shall surely meet again. You are still alive because you live in me. I know you will never leave me my dependable mother, sister and best friend. You were more than just a mother. You gave your tomorrow for my today. Mummy the cloud is without form, but I take solace in the fact that we shall see again and we will recognize ourselves. We will hold each other again and laugh. Good mother hen goodnight.”
All through the period, Melaye was never himself. He later buried his mother amidst pomp and ceremony. He even built a church in his mother’s name. The rash senator wept as his mother was being lowered into the grave.
2. Tribunal nullified his election
Shortly after burying his mother in July, the Election Tribunal in Lokoja, Kogi State, nullified Melaye’s election on August 23, 2019. The tribunal ordered a fresh election to be conducted in the senatorial district. Melaye’s closest rival, Smart Adeyemi of the APC, had challenged his victory at the tribunal.
It never dawned on him that his Waterloo was near. The lawmaker was still beaming with hope that the verdict would be upturned at the Appeal Court, as he described the ruling as robbery. He did file an appeal against the Tribunal’s ruling at the Appeal Court, hoping that judgment would be in his favour.
3. Loss of Kogi PDP governorship ticket
In quick succession, Melaye’s woes were compounded. He had in June vowed to vie for the governorship seat of Kogi State as he saw himself as the man to dethrone Governor Yahaya Bello. He had boasted that nothing would stop his coronation on November 16 as he would be governor. But Melaye had a hurdle to cross, he must first of all emerge the candidate of the PDP at the primary election before thinking of unseating Bello.
On September 4, 2019, Melaye lost the PDP primary election woefully. He emerged emerged a distant fourth in the result declared by the election committee headed by Adamawa governor, Ahmadu Fintiri. Melaye polled 70 votes, while the winner, Engr Musa Wada got 748 votes.
Wada’s victory was a huge upset as he beat all the 11 contestants, including the former governor, Idris Wada, who came third with 345 votes. Abubakar Ibrahim, was the one who gave Wada a big chase as he got 710 votes to come second.
Melaye cried foul, saying he was robbed, but that was the end of the story as he succumbed to party supremacy.
4. Loss at Appeal Court
With his debacle at the PDP Kogi governorship primary election, Melaye’s only hope was to ensure that his seat at the senate did not slip. He had to win the Appeal to remain relevant. But the sad news came on October 11, 2019, when the Appeal Court affirmed the decision of the Kogi Election Petition Tribunal nullifying his election.
The court ordered the conduct of a fresh election in the zone. Melaye was dragged to the tribunal by Adeyemi. In the now annulled election, Melaye polled 85,395 votes, while Adeyemi scored 66,902 votes. But Adeyemi challenged Melaye’s victory on three grounds of irregularities, over-voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act. In a split judgment, the tribunal annulled the election and ordered another election in the senatorial district.
5. Loss of re-run election
Before the re-run election, Melaye had boasted that he would defeat Adeyemi again, describing him as his political wife. “Smart Adeyemi is my political wife, I was in APC, I contested against him in PDP, I defeated him. I came to PDP and he went to APC, I defeated him, that is two zero and going back for the third time, it will be hat-trick. I will score the third goal,” Melaye had written on his Instagram page.
In the re-run election held on November 16, 2019, Adeyemi was leading with a convincing over 20,000 votes when the election was declared inconclusive and a supplementary election fixed for November 30. At the end of the election, Melaye’s fate was sealed.
The Returning Officer of the election, Professor Olajide Lawal, said Adeyemi, who represented the district from 2007-2015, polled 88,373 votes to beat Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 62,133 votes. His supposed political wife had thrashed him convincingly, even though he rubbished the election over alleged electoral malpractice and vowed to challenged the outcome in curt.
6. Loss of nephew
During the election on November 16, Melaye confirmed the death of his nephew, identified as Olorunjuwon. According to Melaye, he was shot at his polling unit during the election. He alleged that his nephew was killed by thugs hired by the All Progressive Congress (APC).
He said in a statement on Sunday: “My nephew Olorunjuwon who was shot at my pooling unit yesterday died this morning. My brother your death is a Supreme sacrifice in the struggle for the liberation of our people. Rest in peace aburo… So sad. My nephew, Juwon good night. A boy who never knew his mum, did not have the luxury of being breastfed. Yet God took care of him. Now APC thugs killed him. Avenge your death brother.”
It was in deed an infamous year for Melaye. He can’t forget 2019 in a hurry. With the frustration of losing, his next line of action is certainly Nollywood. He had said he would venture into the movie industry and boasted that he was born as an actor.
His teeming fans are waiting to see what would become of the former controversial senator in the coming years.