Dino Melaye, don’t you have a Nepa Bill?


Nigeria, Nigerians, our hypocrisy, but majorly, our episodes of misdirected anger, will never cease to bemuse. The reaction(s) to this latest episode involving Dino Melaye and a certificate scandal is actually even more bemusing. Why are we acting all surprised that a Dino is being related to a scandal like this? A Dino oh? Why do we love to help these people fan the flame of drama, and thus forget to focus on the real things? Why is our knack fro drama seem so congenital? I don’t get it anymore oh….

For example now, at every presented opportunity, Dino Melaye has proven beyond doubt, to be a lout, a tout, one without courteous clout, he has never denied that, yet, we, the populace, want to act surprised and get unnecessarily dramatic, shocked even, so much that a matter that should guide us into introspection and a sober reflection, has been reduced to a topic fit for our superfluous social media wars.

That the Dino Melaye described above is a serving senator in the Federal Republic is enough dent and indictment on our democracy. This fact is enough to put us into a think-drive. This should make us rethink our collective role(s) about how such democratic travesty happened right before our eyes; we shouldn’t be seen acting surprised and shocked that Dino, like many public office holders before him till now, are either stark, or quack, or ‘wack’ literates, judging both by a chunk of their actions and inaction.

Right now, this Dino debacle should be a cogent reminder for us, directing us towards our lack and urgent need for strong institutions. You think Dino and a lot of these politicians care about academic correctness? Well, I’m sure you know they don’t. To Dino right now, na him enemies and Satan that are at work to pull him down and he’ll be cock-sure to sing #NaGodWin soon. I can bet that I’d Dino is ‘wise’ enough to publicly pull a “Nepa Bill” stunt tomorrow (ref; Buharists), sides would be taken again, ‘fors’ and #StandWiths will war ‘againsts’, and the drama will continue until we are given another gum to chew; and then, we forget and move on to the next one.

This is the reason why Dino Melaye can choose to be a Me-liar for life, why Sahara Reporters can report and expose him to high heavens and still not care, I mean, this is why the average dose of Dinomism in each of these public officials will make them give us drama at the expense of dividend. They know, yes, they know what we love.

If we knew better, we’d know this situation can be used to reconsider our failings and yield strength for our institutions, especially the ones that are civic and citizen-based. In this case for example, instead of waxing lyrical about Dino’s lineage and his supposed Alma “matters” (sic), this is an opportunity to strengthen the institution that supports recalling a sinning senator or representative. In saner climes, public officials honorably resign at the ‘slightest’ sight of a scandal, but, while we aren’t at that level yet, why can’t we just recall and give life to a civic duty, thereby reversing our resolve at fatalism for once?

As Professor Pius Adesanmi aptly put it, the process of recalling a democratic mistake in the mold of an errant Senator can be duly achieved. He wrote thus:

“You need to start with a signature drive. Half of those registered to vote in his constituency must sign a recall petition for it to be activated. There are other steps. Here they are:

1 More than half of the registered voters in the Senator’s senatorial district write sign and send a petition to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC alleging their loss of confidence in the senatorial 

2 The petition must be signed, and arranged according to polling units, wards, Local Government Areas, and constituency. 

3 INEC notifies the Senator sought to be recalled, stating that it has received a petition for his or her recall, if the petition is valid.

4 INEC issues a public notice or announcement stating the date, time and location of the verification of signatures to the petition.

5 INEC verifies the signatures to the petition at the designation. The signatories must be individuals who appear on the voters’ register. 

6 INEC conducts a referendum if more than one half (50% + 1) of the signatories are verified.

7 INEC writes to the petitioners stating that the minimum requirements for a referendum were not met, if the number verified is less than one half of the registered voters in that constituency. The petition will therefore be dismissed. 

8 INEC conducts a referendum within 90 days of receipt of the petition if the minimum requirements for a referendum are met. The referendum will be a simple yes or no vote on whether the Senator should be recalled, and will be decided by simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that Senator’s constituency. 

9 If majority of the voters in the constituency vote ‘yes’ the Chairman of the INEC will send a Certificate of Recall to the Senate President to effect the recall. 

10 The Senate President will show affected senator the way out of the Senate”.

So, when are we going to push ourselves to work? Or should we just maintain our resolve to fatalism and ask Dino to produce a Nepa bill and go-on-s’oun?

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  1. We need a nation that transcends ethnic and religious divides, that appreciates the concept of federalism, Justice and equity #newNigeria

    Sadly, when you read most comments on the social media, we are far from there.

    Infact, we might never get there!!!

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