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By: LuRae Iwenofu
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An introduction to Dino Melaye…

There is something to be said about Dino Melaye. Love, hate or loathe him, his meteoric rise in the Nigerian political arena has seen him leave an aroma that is either admired or viewed as foolhardy… he simply cannot be ignored.

Dino’s leadership acumen sprouted from an early age. He was the head boy both in primary and secondary school, and most notably whilst in university and on seat as the President of the student union, he actually took the university to court!  An action that is so far removed from the norm in Nigeria, as the majority just toe the line and refuse (presumably out of fear) to question the status-quo. Daniel 'Dino' Melaye slowly and methodically, as if ordained by fate, was becoming the voice of the voiceless, but this was no accident. According to the man himself he had a straight cut ambition to become the president of Nigeria - as he felt that corruption was the bane that held back development in the country. "Come, if man could suffer because of his tenacious belief in doing the right thing, then we need a revival as a country." According to him, in an unjust society silence is a crime.

His views and stance on corruption when juxtaposed to his lifestyle could appear contrary.. Ostentatious displays of wealth by a politician is often deemed as a clear cut indication of a leader who likes to grease his/her palms and milk the nation’s wealth to add to their personal coffers. Yes, Melaye, has been a member of the House of Representatives, taken the leadership and the House of Reps to court and won his (corruption) case against them, passed and won a multitude of anti-corruption motions (at least 90% of them), chairs an NGO (Anti-Corruption Network), is now in the Senate after a landslide victory in his State of Kogi. He now has a beautiful new mansion in Abuja, but does his good fortune and millionaire status interfere with his abilities as a good leader? Not really.  With his humble beginnings to consider, his rise could well be an inspiration to the ambitious youth, and create a role model mystique for young hopefuls of the future. And does that imbibe faith in potential voters for when he eventually runs for office? Simply answered…'No'.  This is Nigeria after all.

But what stands him in good stead is the fact that to date, he could be said to have been the most investigated politician in Nigeria and not one blemish has been found on him. He has tread on so many powerful toes, that it defies logic that with the number of enemies he has garnered, surely, something should have been uncovered? According to Melaye the investigations are nothing short of harassment, “I am one of the most investigated Nigerians in the country, have been investigated in and out”, but contradictorily he is also welcoming of these probes as he believes the lack of findings vindicates him. He also finds humour in them as he adds that whatever is been looked for is probably “where my placenta was buried!”

He also addresses rumours of blackmailing the government… “These rumours that I blackmail government by disruption and protests and take money from them in order to stop are unfounded. Anyway if I've been doing things like that, then by now I would not be so outspoken, because I believe in the saying: "He who must come to equity, must come with clean hands".

A charismatic enigma, a radical, an activist, a shoot-from-the-hips kind of fella…does Dino Melaye have what it takes to lead one of the most corrupt countries in the world, the so-called giant of Africa and breed good governance? Probably so, he speaks the language of the people, the oppressed and misaligned, and for all intents and purposes he shows transparency and potentially our IMOLADE - ("light has come") and "umu parada" –("Darkness disappears") is not so far away.

 

'My State Governor is Corrupt' Dino Melaye

 

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