The Return Of ‘Shina Rambo’ – By Phrank Shaibu
When I wrote last month about Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, I was accused in certain quarters of nursing a king size grudge against the Okun born politician.
Some people suggested that the write up smirked of belicosity if not out right hyperbolism. Indeed, the effluents imbued in that piece, according to one of his rabid supporters, was laced with evidence that I was paid by the Kogi State Government, to do a dirty job on the embattled Senator.
The article, entitled, “At Last, Dino Melaye Meets His Nemesis” has turned out to be prophetic. I could as well be called a marabout with uncommon gift of clairvoyance. Indeed, events of the last one or two weeks have confirmed that I was spot on in my description and prediction of the man.
No, I don’t want anyone to surmise that this follow-up piece is about gloating over the misfortunes of Dino, as the senator is better known. On the contrary, this is about reminding us that I saw the events of the past one or two weeks coming and tried, albeit failingly, to warn that he could meet his waterloo if he did not check his excesses and the predilection of always seeking to play to the gallery.
Unfortunately, Dino, like a dog destined for abyss failed to hearken to the hunter’s whistle and suddenly found himself encircled in a trajectory beyond his wildest imagination.
Today, he is fighting the battle of his life, caged like a common rat. He suddenly finds that the law is no respecter of persons and that once you have become a fugitive on the run, you put yourself up to be treated like a common criminal.
Definitely, I am not one of those in sympathy with the Kogi West Senator for what has become his lot. After all, when a man decides to stand in front of a moving train, you can only imagine that he would eventually be crushed. Likewise, a man who dips his fingers in a pond of snakes should not be surprised that the poisonous venom of the reptile would soon takeover the blood in his veins.
Truth is, I never believed that the embattled Senator would try to play “Rambo” by allegedly jumping out of a moving police pickup van. Neither could anyone have convinced me that he would employ alleged thugs to help shield him from the police. But that’s what the man reportedly did to the consternation of all.
Thrice, he was reportedly accosted by security agencies and on all accounts, he had hirelings who blocked his arrest. I stand to be corrected if it was just a coincidence that the thugs did what they did without being induced to do so. Neither would anyone convince me that it was the first time Dino was employing them to do a dirty job. But that is a debate for another day.
Ordinarily I would have questioned the propriety of his trial in a magistrate court while on a stretcher by the police instead of waiting for him to get well but I am constrained because, Dino was NEVER ill at the time of his invitation by the police. Even after he was declared wanted by the police, he repeatedly refused to turn himself in for prosecution, on the ground that it was a plot to kill him, resulting in last weekends face off with men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
My pain is that, Dino Melaye as a lawmaker ought to have known that he was fugitive before the law. He ought to also have known that Lokoja, is the city where the alleged crimes or charges against him were pending. The only way to clear his name was to challenge the prosecution in the court in Lokoja like younger activists like Austine Okai and Johnson Musa.
Infact, the former Governor, His Excellency Prince Abubakar Audu, arguably one of the fathers of Kogi State turned himself in for prosecution in 2009 when the EFCC charged him to court. Although the case was still pending when he died, it is remarkable that he respected the law until his death. Dino Melaye is not bigger than Abubakar Audu.
As for his trial on a stretcher , his lawyers and other public commentators should be patient enough to answer these salient questions: Did Dino jump from a moving police van ? If the answer is in the affirmative, then does that action amount to an offense in the eyes of the law?
Isn’t the reported action of ‘jumping from a moving police van’ suicidal? If the answer is also in the affirmative,then I ask again if ‘attempted suicide’ is an offense? Then the viral video where Dino Melaye openly threatened to kill himself and put the Police in trouble. ..so, who will treat a Rambo with kids gloves ?
Anyway, while he cools his head on the hospital bed and or police custody or the prison , he may use this moment to reflect on what has become of the life of a Senator; a youth who was supposed to be a role model, now a fugitive from the law. He should reminisce on how high he has tried to climb on the political ladder of Nigeria only to use his hand to pull down the lever.
Irrespective of whether the recall process initiated by his so called constituents or ‘sponsors’ succeeded or not, Dino by now should be thinking of the puppeteer behind the high wire intrigue surrounding the entire process.
Most definitely, his thoughts must also revolve round how he became a fugitive, with policemen guarding him round the clock even on the hospital bed. Could this be real or a virtual fantasy created by a puppet master trained to conjure world class tragi-comedies?
But, as I pointed out in the earlier article, the Okun politician brought the many troubles on himself. After all, if a man goes to the market and buys faeces, he can only expect flies to perch. Dino has directly or indirectly bought trouble on many fronts and he should live with the consequences.
Above, he must tell himself some hard truths about lifestyle change. Because he must know by now that living like a thug does not pay. And that every small alec has his day, just like the medicine man who finds out to his chagrin that sometimes, charms against gunshot fails.
But, a chameleon does not change its spots. A thug will always be a thug. Likewise, Dino will always be Dino. So, I do not expect any significant change. Instead, Nigerians should be prepared to see a more brash and brazen personality.
When he fought and his clothes were torn in the House of Representatives, did he learn anything? Did he become a better person? Compare that with jumping from a moving police van to evade arrest. Which is worse?
That is why as I wake up every morning, I thank God that the embattled Senator does not represent me in the upper legislative chamber, notwithstanding that we are both from Kogi State and I have a sleeping Senator from my own constituency.
A man with no sense of decency,has no scruples fighting in public, who abuses his elders without any remorse, who can jump from a moving van like a tout on the streets of Egbe cannot be my representative. The Senate is not made for brigands. And the earlier we exorcise such characters from our body politic, the saner our society, nay, Kogi State would be.
A stich in time saves nine.
*Phrank Shaibu ,a Public Communication Expert writes from Abuja .
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