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Who does not know the exuberant Senator Dino Melaye?  Many Abuja residents do. I do and I guess you too do.  He is one of the most outspoken, controversial and energetic Senators in the current Nigeria Senate who knows how to stir the dust of controversy.  One thing enthusing about the man I always describe as Hon. Senator Dino Melaye is the physical strength he exudes in whatever he does or says.  It is very easy to see in him that boisterous physical ability and domineering attitude.  Dino has been at the centre of most legislative controversies.  Once, Hon Senator Dino got physical with a colleague and a stretch of that fist resulted in a chaotic situation.  He is full of life and his exuberance could not be hidden behind those shinning white beards of his.

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Dino {as he is popularly called} remains the man to watch when issues get too controversial.  He does not hide his position on any issue.  Most times, it looks as if he simply wants to be heard on issues of controversy.  He does not fail his fans.  Helplessly, I was one of them.  Although, our antecedents, our concepts of activism and our social affiliations and ideologies may differ in some ways, yet I have not failed to stick my eyes to the screen each time Dino’s voice roar on TV, either to tongue-lash the past President Jonathan’s led administration on subsidy issue or to point accusing finger to the current President Buhari-led administration on the ‘missing budget’.

For those who know Hon. Senator Dino well, they say he’s a jolly good fellow.  His choice of everything shows a man who lives his life to the full.  He could be described like the fearsome lion that sets the bison on a chase and dominate the jungle for a feast.  His choice of everything shows he is an unrepentant political adventurer who knows how to cash in on issues of controversy and create name for himself or possibly opportunity therefrom.  Give and take, Dino has garnered lots of popularity or notoriety, depending on how each and every one of us wants to see it. Dino’s Anti-corruption Network organisation either aided in uprooting the menace of corruption or incorporating it on the already morally-moribund polity which the current administration is striving to reposition. However, whether President Buhari succeeds in uprooting corruption which has grown like a static oak in the polity or not depends largely on his personal commitment and sincerity towards it.

Hon. Senator Dino’s critics believe that Dino is a man that shouts wolf when none is around the corner thereby attracting public attention to a particular situation and thus whip public sentiments for personal gain.  No blames goes to him whether he is on the side of the masses or not.  Nigeria is a country where activism has become a source of personal enrichment; where sentiments of tribe, religion, region, political affiliations have continued to play indignant role in the polity.  Activism has become synonymous with cashivism in Nigeria. An average politician’s activism in Nigeria is either to score political points or to market himself for political gains.

The masses have continued to be at the receiving side, precisely the rungs through which the elites climb to the top.  The elites’ {I mean the political elites} humility and empathy end as soon as they find their way to the top.  The man who could afford to campaign in a market square will suddenly cite insecurity as reason to keep off from those that legitimize the power he wields. The same man who gives insecurity as reason to sever ties with the electorates may have fanned the ember of violence in his utterances and actions during campaigns.  In some cases, the elites equip the hapless electorates with arms to haul down their real and perceived enemies or fellow contestants.  In the words of William Shakespeare in describing Caesar’s ambition:

 

‘BRUTUS ‘Tis a common proof,
That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
/By which he did ascend.

Yes, the masses have been the base degrees by which the elites attain the upmost round and level of their ambitions.  Dino is not different from those that have climbed on our shoulders to the top.  I do not know how many youths from his constituency who may have enjoyed his scholarship.  I do not know how many children who have had their ‘terms’ school fees paid by the man who represented them in the Federal House of Assembly and now represents them in the exalted Nigeria Senate.  Whether the numbers of those feeding from his pockets are many or few, Hon. Senator Dino’s fight and agitations seem to have favoured his personal pocket perhaps more than they have favoured any man or woman from his constituency.

The Dynamic Dino is at it again.  This time, as the Senate Committee Chairman on FCT, he seems to be at the top of his game again.  Dino has launched a probe on how FCT lands were allotted with or without due process or approved plan.  Dino’s critics say the probe is mischievous and may end up not producing any results.  After all, this is not the masses’ fight.  How many civil servants own plots of land in Abuja and how many more will retire with roof over their heads?  So, it is obvious that Dino’s fight this time is pure elitist.  It is a way of paving his way to either hit at those that denied him what he held so dear or it could be a way of cowing those that may be a threat to his ambitions and expectations.  Dino does not scream for nothing.  This is a point an average Abuja resident who knows the man’s antecedents can validate.

Whether Dino is on a just fight or is venting out his frustration over policies, actions or exhibitions that did not favour him as an individual, the masses, the poor Abuja residents and indigenes are not obviously behind him.  He cannot mobilize us to the Eagle Square for any agitation easily.  He cannot convince us further that all the fight has been pro-people’s fight.  Nay he cannot get our solidarity easily.  Reasons?  Hon. Senator Dino Melaye has not proved to be the messiah we are yearning for.  He does not seem to know where it pains us more as a people.  His ‘specie’ of activism seems to have enriched him more than it fed us.  We are gradually waking to the realities of the time.  We are becoming wary of those who field us before the powers that be and hide behind our tears to feed their pockets.  Dino was among those that pressed for the repealing of the law that enables us to say how we feel; the only voice left of us.  He consented to the abolition of the only right we have through which we express how deep we hurt and console brothers and sisters who may be in distant places suffering the same fate – The Social Media Platform.  Dino’s not our messiah.