Dino on Kogi Situation: Indifference Is Unforgivable, Threat Is Laughable- Sam Elere

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‘The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference, and the opposite of life is not death but indifference – Eliel Wiesel

Consequent upon their quest to do the needful and present their detail documents to the appeal committee set up by Governor Yahaya Bello to seal the screening exercise in Kogi State, four dear ones to me were kidnapped en-route Lokoja to get bank Statements. Just as I mentioned in my last piece a few days ago on GYB’s one year anniversary, this screening is a burden to the souls of both this government and our people. To the government it is a dent for lasting this long despite the very critical need for it to the health of our State and to my people it has been tortuous and costly.

Considering the thought of Eliel Wiesel as quoted above, indifference is the opposite of all forms of nobility, and exhibition of such by any well meaning citizen of Kogi talk less of an incumbent Senator in this critical period is unforgivable. In this light I dignify Sen. Dino Melaiye’s attempt at drawing the attention of Kogi’s Governor to the needful; however in the same vein I consider laughable the Senator’s threat to make the State ungovernable for GYB. I have read some vitriolic articles against Dino since he issued the press statement and also seen also some of his responses mostly on social media.

By all standards, Dino is a stakeholder in Kogi and Nigeria’s politics today. Just as a refresher, is there any politically conscious person in Nigeria today who doesn’t know Sen. Dino Melaiye? I doubt it. He is a master of his game, fearless, articulate, classy, dogged, cunning, comic and strategic. As a former House of Representative member, Dino strategized and became one of the most relevant parliamentarians in Nigeria. He argued, he wrestled, he got his cloth torn, he got suspended and denied, I learnt the man that fought him died shortly after and the Speaker that humiliated him has gone to political obscurity.

Since then, Dino strategically has stepped ahead, now a Senator, not just ordinary one but a very powerful one at that. Today he is Senate Chair on FCT and arguably the closest ally to the Senate President Bukola Saraki. He has been tagged a body guard to Saraki’s wife and a boy to the Senate President himself. How does that change anything? To Dino the strategist he and Bukola are colleagues in the luxurious chamber and he is prepared to sacrifice his life for him.

No doubt Dino is embittered by more reasons than the interest of the masses; were it for the latter reason alone, one year is too long a time to wait. But for a man with this sort of political credential to be treated like a lazar in the scheme of things in his own State is a very bitter pill to swallow. I have read many of his supporters on social media castigating GYB as an ingrate. Some theorized that ‘how could he feed the finger that fed him’? I felt so too until Dino himself wrote in another burst of anger that he did not help GYB to power but the northern power blocs did. Honestly Senator Dino Melaye ought to know better than drawing battle lines the way he is doing now. The reason is not farfetched, the masses do not see him anymore as their kind, he is too sophisticated for them, the Ayetoro Gbede swift response rally as led by Ijumu Administrator against him is a pointer to this. As I write this, the State House of Assembly has passed a vote of confidence on Governor Yahaya Bello. What this portends is that the local structure which matters most stands by their Governor.

No doubt, Dino is an orator but by talking too much he is demystifying and exposing himself to derision. I read his position on the coming of Sultan and the Emir of Zazzau to Lokoja too, valid points are raised but it could be done in more subtle manners that will not be incisive just as Cmdr. Omodara the Special Adviser on Security opined, topic for another day anyway. When you compare Dino’s approach to that of Hon James Faleke on same issue you will discover a gulf in his activism and Faleke’s statesmanship on this matter.    You will recall that recently, Faleke visited the Presidency to brief Osinbanjo about the situation of Kogi, calling for intervention and all inclusiveness so that the party can maintain its leadership stance. That was pretty cool to me. Every politician has his tactics and in politics every head counts. I am still of the opinion that Governor Yahaya Bello may still need Senator Dino Melaye and his group across the State when the chips are down but that is not to say as Chief Executive of the State he should surrender his agenda to another’s whims and caprices, it is not done anywhere, the Governor is the number one citizen of the State and must be respected so.

I will conclude with the wise words of our dear Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, he said “the greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism”. Not to criticize a government is an act of indifference and indifference is an enemy of everything noble. As you will find from America to Europe and other ideal democracies, criticism is a tool of collective defense and common advancement but when it tend towards ambition it becomes a parochial tool of division and hatred. This has already been displayed in recent face off of threat and counter threat, of abuses and gross denigration. It is good for me anyway, because as for me and my kind the camp that gives us more actions than words wins our heart.

One more issue

I was well pleased on hearing of the release of two out of the three workers from Mopamuro that were kidnapped earlier this week. I was reliably informed that the Administrator of the Local Government took it upon himself to see to their release. There were risky tales of his bold moves I wouldn’t want in print but in honesty I think this is a commendable display of courage under pressure and love. However, concerning the third person that is yet to be released, I do hope intelligence gathering could be intensified on time to know the true position of things for there is no limit to the amount of sacrifice that is beyond the human life.

– Elere Samuel


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