Saturday, 10th of June witnessed the commencement of steps to recall the senator representing the Kogi West Senatorial District of Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye in all the seven local government areas of the district with hundreds of constituents queuing to sign the referendum on his recall from the Nigerian Senate.
While the instrument of recall is a legitimate means for the electorate to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives, the current recall attempt smacks of the Biblical “hand of Esau and voice of Jacob” as it would appear that the effort to get Senator Melaye out of the Red Chamber of the National Assembly is a fallout of the ongoing political impasse between the Senator and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
The outspoken Senator didn’t mince words when he said to newsmen; “Quote me, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has released N200 million for each of the seven local government areas in my senatorial district to facilitate my recall from the Senate”
For some weeks now, there has been a bitter war of words and exchanges both on social and mainstream media between the two Kogi political heavyweights with foul-mouthed invectives being freely traded, a situation which has seen governance and development relegated to the background in the state’s political discourse.
The recent ugly development in this classic “battle of the titans” is the killing of five youths in a clash resulting from a pro-Dino Melaye support rally in Lokoja a few days ago. It was also reported that several youths were injured in the mayhem. This is highly regrettable and even more so because it was completely avoidable.
The volatile political situation makes this ugly incident highly reprehensible and unwholesome.
Kogi is a state that is so central to the unity of Nigeria in many ways; for one, it is the point where our two great Rivers, Niger and Benue meet hence the moniker ‘the confluence State’. Being bounded on all sides by a total of eleven states across four geopolitical zones, Kogi really epitomises the need for National unity and we opine that the cessation of hostilities between the duo will send positive signals especially at this time when the need for emphasis on National unity and cohesion is at its peak.
It is thus unfortunate that things have degenerated so badly resulting in loss of lives and destruction of property in what may at best be considered a meaningless ‘ego trip’.
Kogi state is in dire need of infrastructural and human capital development and it is only fitting that rather than spending enormous resources on unnecessary bickering, fighting and political mudslinging, these two illustrious Kogi sons should close ranks and work together to address the developmental challenges that confront the state and her long-suffering people.
As the Latin maxim says, “Salus Populi Est Suprema Lex” (The welfare of the people is the supreme law) hence Governor Bello and Senator Melaye should end this needless strife and work for the wellbeing of the people at whose goodwill they hold the positions they presently occupy their highly exalted offices.