Dino Melaye and his shameful public tantrums, By Umar Mohammed
I remember with nostalgia my first contact with Hon Dino Melaye. It was circa 2000 or 2001 then I was a capt serving in Bauchi. It was wen I came to Kaduna for a weekend while relaxing and watching TV in my living room wen my house guard informed me that somebody wanted to see me. I directed the guard to usher him in.
A tall, ebullient, neat youngman of about 30 years with a short beard came into my living room. He was courteous, respectful and vivacious. He greeted with respect and introduced himself as Dino Melaye. I directed him to seat on one of the chairs in the living room. He reluctantly agreed and sat. After he sat down I requested him to tell me the purpose of his visit. He retorted that he heard I was ADC to Gen Marwa, that he graduated from ABU Zaria and was then unemployed that he just wanted to meet the retired General. That he came to see me so that I could introduce him to the general.
We discussed at length. He said he liked my house. Thereafter I promised to introduce him to the retired general. I directed him to check on me in 2 weeks time. I returned to Bauchi the following day n returned to KD after 2 weeks. To my surprise, a few minutes after I arrived KD my guard told me that the visitor who came 2 weeks ago was around to see me. I directed him to send him in. He came in and greeted me. He welcomed me from my trip and reminded me of my promise to introduce him to the general. I agreed to that but told him to give me till tomorrow. He then requested that he wanted me to see his house. I was surprised and dithered for a while. I subsequently agreed and we went to his house.
The trip to his house was uneventful. He took me to the suburb in Makera at Kaduna south. He was then staying in a one room apartment in a slum. There was stagnant water in front of their ramshackle buildings. His room was small but neat. After the visit we exchanged pleasantly and I departed with a promise to see him the next day.
He came the next day and I told him I had informed the General and he has agreed to see him. I told him to go to the house and tell them he was from me.
About a month after that incident I went to Gen Marwa’s house. I was surprised wen I saw Dino seating in the lobby. I asked him if he has not met the general since, he retorted he has. One of the stewards in the house told me that Dino was now part of the house. That he usually comes to the house every day and stays around from morning to night. I was shocked. However, whenever we meet he usually greet me with respect and reverence.
In 2006 Gen Marwa joined active politics and contested for the presidency. It was Dino that purchased the form for the expression of interest for him. Dino was part of his campaign team . They toured the entire country together. Gen Marwa eventually failed to secure the ticket of his party. Dino on his own got a ticket to contest for the house of representatives and he was successful in the polls. I spoke to Dino on phone on few occasions while he was in the House of Representatives. After he finished his tour of duty in House of Representatives we met once at Garki Hospital where we both went to greet people that were sick. Initially he wanted to avoid me, but wen I shouted his name he turned and greeted me casually by saying officer I hope you are fine. Since then we have met twice or thrice in which he pretended not to recognise me. That is Dino for u.
When I saw pictures of Dino in his mansion in Abuja, displaying ostentatious lifestyle I use to wonder considering his humble beginning. I saw the array of expensive cars, costly and sophisticated wrist watches, expensive perfumes and shoes on display on social media. I continue to ask myself all his drive for good governance, for social justice are they for the upliftment of the society or for personal aggrandizement .
Dino has served in the House of Representatives and the senate. He was a federal law maker. So I expected him to behave with decorum, discipline and dignity. I thought his years in the National Assembly has moulded his character, shaped his attitude, refined his temperament and turned him into a gentleman or a nobility. I was thinking he has gone through a tutelage in the National Assembly and the ethics and ethos of the institution has entered him. I was indeed greatly disappointed and angered by his actions during the collation of results. He behaved more like an area boy or a political thug than a former distinguished member of our revered National Assembly. His actions during the collation could have resulted in higgledy and piggledy or a topsy turvy scenario in the country. His actions are tantamount to political terrorism which must be condemned
- Umar Mohammed is a retired Major General of the Nigerian Army