SENATOR Smart Adeyemi has asked the people of Kogi West Senatorial District to forgive his predecessor Dino Melaye pointing out that this eccentric character was not a genuine reflection of the Okun people’s character.
Last Saturday, voters in Kogi West held a supplementary election after the Independent National Electoral commission (Inec) declared the original re-run held on November 16 inconclusive. After the final tally of votes cast, Inec declared Senator Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner with of 88,373 votes, compared with the 62,133 votes Senator Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) received.
Highly controversial, Senator Melaye has been involved in an ongoing battle with the government, marked as a political enemy since 2015 when he defied the APC and supported his friend Senator Bukola Saraki for senate president. Since then, he has been fighting running battles with the government, many of which have been dramatic, involving him jumping from police vehicles and sleeping out in the open to prove a point.
In his victory speech, Senator Adeyemi said: “I want to plead with Nigerians, especially our leaders such as President Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinubu, our governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and everyone whom Dino had insulted one time or the other, to please forgive him. His behaviour does not represent the culture and value of Okun people and this has been demonstrated by Saturday’s verdict when he was unanimously rejected.”
Senator Adeyemi said he had not been comfortable with the way Senator Melaye turned himself and the people of the area into objects of ridicule. He described the senate as a place meant for experienced persons who will bring their wealth of experience to bear in providing leadership for the people.
Kogi State’s Governor Bello described Senator Adeyemi’s victory as the restoration of the people’s mandate, saying it was a collective manifestation of intellectual, moral and cultural virtues, and mandate given by the good people of Kogi West. He stressed that the victory was a testament to the decision of the people of the area to move away from ineffective and rascal representation of the immediate past for a progressive and development-oriented one.
Before Saturday’s re-run, Senator Melaye has asked Inec to cancel the polls as they were marred by irregularities and violence. It is believed he will challenge the result at the election tribunal.