Govs Bello, Udom at each other’s throat over Melaye

The Governor Yahaya Bello-led government of Kogi State has described as unfortunate Akwa Ibom State Governor Emmanuel Udom’s defense of Senator Dino Melaye against the move by the Kogi West senatorial district to recall the senator.

Bello lamented how that Governor Udom could have labeled Melaye, ‘General’ out of all the serving senators in the country.

Udom had last week at an empowerment program organised by the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, declared support for Melaye and cautioned against his recall while also describing him as a “performing” senator.

He had added, “If you take back the general, is it the recruit that will go and fight for you in politics?”

But unhappy with those remarks, Kogi government in a statement released and signed by the Director-Generall on Media and Publicity to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo, frowned at Udom’s defense of Melaye.

The statement read in part, “The Kogi State government is appalled by a viral video depicting the unfortunate and very public intervention of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, in the very justified and constitutionally unimpeachable move by constituents of Kogi West senatorial district to recall Senator Dino. “We believe that Governor Udom’s unveiled disdain for a long-suffering people trudging the booby-trapped path to recall of their senator in a bid to recover their dignity is uncalled for.

“Governor Udom’s scathing rebuke for Kogi West people who are engaged in legal pursuit of their legitimate aspiration to terminate irresponsible representation goes against all democratic norms. It also does gratuitous violence to the customary esprit de corps which ordinarily ought to actuate the conduct of brother Governors and States towards one another in the Nigerian polity.

“What is even more appalling is Governor Udom Emmanuel’s decoration of Dino Melaye with the rank and privileges of ‘general’ among all the distinguished senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while consigning others to ‘recruit’. Dino Melaye is a general in the Senate of the 8th Assembly where even Governor Udom Emmanuel’s accomplished predecessor sits? This is unprecedented.

“The irony is that Governor Emmanuel made these comments at an event where Senator Godswill Akpabio, one of Dino Melaye’s contemporaries in the Senate, empowered his own people with four tractors, over 800 power-generating sets, 100 computer sets and printers, as well as sewing machines, grain-grinding machines, block molding machines and tricycles. He also announced scholarships and grants to hundreds of students from his constituency.”

Read also: PDP, Kogi govt bicker over Gov Bello’s alleged lies, reckless spending

“The Kogi West senator attended his colleague’s briefing and constituency empowerment event, not to learn how to represent well, but obviously as Comedian of the Day. He told false stories of unpaid salaries in his state (proving his long disconnect with current events, even in his own constituency).

“On cue he thrilled the crowd with his Aje Kun Iya Ni’Oje signature ballad and capered along with his usual inebriated gusto before preaching his false message of death being reward for both lying and telling the truth.

“He truly proved himself the ‘performing senator’ Governor Udom Emmanuel called him that day. Governor Udom Emmanuel’s later remarks in praise of his guest were just the pepper Kogi people needed sprinkled on their wounds while people whose senator actually knows his job carted their dividends of democracy home”.

The process to recall Melaye has worsened the already intense face-off between Melaye and Bello who have taken turns to attack and accuse each other of damaging allegations, including the senator’s claim that Bello masterminded an assassination attempt on his life.

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