The two major players in the upcoming Kogi West Senatorial Election: Senator Smart Adeyemi and Senator Dino Melaye vowed to outshine each other at the rescheduled election.
Melaye is contesting under the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) while Adeyemi is the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), the ruling party.
Recall that the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal had answered parts of the prayers of the APC candidate that election which returned Melaye was marred with violence and other electoral anomalies, the dogged Melaye approached an Appeal Court, the Appellate court affirmed the decision of the lower court.
Melaye looks more rugged and saleable than Adeyemi
The 2019 National Assembly election made it the second time the controversial Melaye who aspired to become the governor of the state defeated the well-grounded journalist.
After the appeal court ruling, the former President of the Nigeria Union of Journalist told newsmen and his supporters that he would beat Melaye “arms down”.
Replying, Melaye said he would beat him over and over and over again, nothing could be cockier than that.
Both men showed so much confidence as if a soothsayer whispered it into their ears. The rescheduled election provides another opportunity for Adeyemi to fight back.
Melaye unseats him from the Senate in 2015, beat him again in 2019, if he achieved the feat again, it would make it the third time and twice in 2019, if the election is held before the year runs out.
The rugged Melaye has what it takes to beat Adeyemi again considering his ruggedness.
The former NUJ President was unable to play it roughly the way Melaye did in the last two previous elections at the poll.
Again, some of the people of the senatorial district say Melaye, despite his lavish lifestyle, did far better than Adeyemi within four years in terms of projects in the area than Adeyemi’s 8-year reign at the Senate.
Due Process VS Playing it Dirty
While Smart Adeyemi seemingly looks like someone who believes in due process, Melaye is not, he had gone to the polls in 2015 and 2019 “playing it dirty”.
Is playing it dirty typical of Nigerian politician?
Justifying why he lost previous elections to Melaye, he said “Dino has never won any election, it’s all manipulations,” saying it was ridiculous to compare him with Melaye.
The unperturbed PDP candidate on his part went rather Evangelical saying, “Court judgment is human judgment, I believe in the divine I mean God’s judgment.”
Forces that may work against Melaye
Melaye is surrounded with political forces, unfortunately, to his disadvantage. Ordinarily, the forces shouldn’t be the determinant, the will of the people and independence of Nigeria’s electoral umpire should play a major role.
However, we may see a different ball game in the politically volatile confluence state. He may have stepped on toes or bite the finger that fed him or close to the enemies of the ruling party.
In 2018 during the budget presentation, he was among over 10 Senators that booed Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari laughed it off if nothing happened.
The ruling APC saw it as a national embarrassment, but the Senate President during the incidence Bukola Saraki who failed to sanction the “culprits” at the time was a PDP member in APC clothing.
All the Senators that booed Retired Major General Alhaji President Buhari at the time failed to make it back to the Senate, only Melaye did.
Will it be the time to deal with Melaye?
Melaye seems to know this as Buhari visited the National Assembly again for 2020 Budget Presentation. He sang the praises of the man he humiliated a year earlier. He “rankadede” the gentle Baba Go Slow.
Aside from that, the person he helped in clinching governorship seat incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello is working against him.
It wasn’t a huge surprise, political observers wouldn’t be shocked either when Buhari’s political godson hails the last judgement against Melaye as if it was between him and his former colleague.
”For upholding the petition by Senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and ordering that a fresh election be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the constituency, the tribunal, led by Justice A.O. Chijioke and the Appeal Court have jointly proved to the world that the people’s mandate was stolen in the last Kogi West Senatorial Election,” he had said.
Role of INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has a big role to play in either conducting a free and fair election, but that may not be if he follows the order of “who pays the piper.”
Melaye through all gimmicks had been lucky in escaping the political traps of the federal government in the past.
Will Melaye escape this time?
He has a day with Smart Adeyemi at the poll, INEC, and electorates in Kogi West Senatorial District.
Between Melaye and Adeyemi, who do you think will win Kogi West election again?
Share your thoughts with us.