Last week, Dino Melaye, the delinquent senator from Kogi West, traveled to the farthest possible extreme of the continuum of sycophancy. He sketched his own obituary in lieu of fealty to his tarnished idol. He vowed that he would sooner die than live to see Bukola Saraki, the career thief standing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, ejected from the office of the senate president.
Melaye wrote on his Facebook page: ‘’My brother and friend Sen. Bukola Saraki, if you have one trillion supporters, I’m one. If you have one billion, I’m one. If you have one million, I’m one. If you have one thousand, I’m one. If you have ten, I’m one. If you have only one supporter, I’m one. And if you have no single supporter, it means I’m dead. No shaking. Four years too sure.’’
For starters, Dino has mostly been one liability of a citizen and a ubiquitous irritation as a politician. He would not be missed when he is gone. If he forces his own expiration today, the Nigerian senate would lose a man without values, his constituents will lose a narcissistic wastrel, and the country would be poorer by one exuberant buffoon!
And he will be survived by his collection of exotic cars and the valid question that provokes his feet to flight – what source of livelihood supplied him his countless automobiles!
Dino’s declaration of his readiness to sacrifice himself for Saraki is downright shameful. It’s an overreach in obsequiousness. A gesture of admiration for the other that purports to validate itself with the claim of self-derision.
It is appalling that Melaye trivialized his life in cyberspace, a place where a quick click on a search engine enables séances with all specters of the past. His display of his personal devaluation of his soul on social media with the same level of flippancy with which he exhibits his cars on the streets of Abuja is the coming out of the closet of a hedonist who has lost himself.
The scriptures conceive of healthy love as the balance of self-love and love of the other. Dino projects his love for the man he is in bromance with as the equivalent of his own dislike for himself. He says he has bankrupted himself in loving Saraki: His breast contains only the lucre of self-hate!
Melaye wished himself dead for a strategic reason. He had sought to earn recognition as the most ardent ‘supporter’ in Sarakiworld. He played a trump card that bested the watery promise of loyalty of other ‘supporters.’
The lyrics of his I-will-die-for-you love song says: Don’t count me as one of the senators who accompany you to your court trials. I am more than your fan. I am your devotee. I would volunteer to serve your own jail term. I would offer my neck to spare yours from the hangman’s noose!
This suicidal fawning is abominable. But it is not pathetic because Melaye prized his life far below the piece of furniture Saraki sits and farts on. The vow is dismal because it represents the oath of allegiance of a supposed parliamentarian to a richly laurelled thief!
That oath of allegiance, a paraphrase of the marriage vow of ‘till death do us part’, is radically different from the oath of allegiance he took on June 9, 2015. On that day he was swore to ‘’be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’
Melaye is oblivious to the irony that he publicly renounced his covenant with his constituents and introduced himself as the bond-slave of a disgraced politician. He did not figure that he had disqualified himself by publishing that he had transferred his allegiance to the country to an individual.
His brazen declaration buttresses a fact of life in Nigerian politics: Those who campaign to represent the people have no bond with the people. They have no disregard for the suffering or the sensibilities of the people. They condescend to glad-hand on the stump because they must garner votes to secure power. They constrain themselves to interact with the people because it’s the only path to victory.
But once declared winner, they sever their tenuous link with the community and preoccupy themselves with advancing the political industrial complex.
The tragedy of Melaye is that his abandonment of the pretension that he was in Abuja to serve the Nigerian people is unprecedented. The Nigerian political class traditionally maintains the charade that they are in government to better the lives of the folks at the grassroots. But Dino Melaye, a passenger in the vehicle of his own exhibitionist instinct, cannot regulate himself. He would vent his stream of consciousness shticks to convince everybody… that he is a fool!
That the braggart parades as a ‘’distinguished senator’’ is symptomatic of a prostitute political system that lends itself to be ravished by any individual that proves his desperate desire to penetrate it!
‘Senator’ Melaye in his earlier incarnation was ‘Honorable’ Melaye. While in the House of Representatives, he achieved notoriety by doing the selfsame infamous thing he is doing now. He fought for the continuation of the tenure of the scandal-tarred Speaker Patricia Etteh. He fought physically to obstruct her impeachment: He got beaten and stripped half-naked for it!
His pathetic representation lost him his re-election. The defeat rendered him jobless.
But it wasn’t too long before the need to pay his bills inspired him to start some ‘NGO’ and transfigure into an ‘anti-corruption activist.’
That makeover and the associated hustles fetched him the money he invested in a comeback political bid. He won Smart Adeyemi, a far more reasonable adult. The tide of popular hunger for ‘change’ swept him into the senate.
But his membership of the senate has added value only to himself and his idol. He has made zero compelling contribution during debates. All the times he has spoken in the senate, his words were either forgettable for their banality or quotable for their crass ridiculousness!
During a debate on the need to promote domestic patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods, it was Dino Melaye who strayed from the point of the economics of the issue to counseling Nigerians to ‘’patronize made-in-Nigeria women.’’ He humored himself by mocking Edo Governor, Adams Oshiomole, for marrying a non-Nigerian.
Melaye, the windbag, had not reflected on whether his marital history qualified him to offer people unsolicited advice on what kind of woman to marry. He had married two ‘‘made-in-Nigeria women’’ and was divorced twice. Both ladies left for the same reason: His assault and battery regime threatened their lives!
But the misogynist turned chivalrous when EFCC invited Saraki’s wife for interrogation. He ‘escorted’ her to the premises. He explained that he became her knight because he was ‘’a private investigator and anti-corruption crusader.’’ He was interested in discovering ‘’the extent of the culpability of my sister and friend.’’
The 13 count charges against Bukola show the scope of his culpability. His trial is throwing up incontrovertible evidence of his thievery. The 70 cash deposits made by Bukola’s aides into his private bank account confirm that Bukola is the rogue he was cracked up to be. But Melaye continues to fight for Saraki to complete ”four years” as senate president.
It’s noteworthy that Melaye rationalized his bodyguard parade for Toyin as his fulfillment of his responsibility to chaperone ‘’my sister and friend.’’ In swearing to die for Bukola, he used the terms ‘’my brother and friend.’’ The foregoing implies that he counts himself an adopted member of Saraki family and a partaker of their fortune.
If a Saraki teen was arrested and prosecuted for pilfering, Melaye would feel duty-bound to ‘escort’ the chap to court. Melaye would assert that he was under obligation to accompany ‘’my nephew and friend’’ to the inquisition!
Melaye’s unflinching support for the Sarakis is not altruistic, though. It’s a product of selfish calculation. Melaye is cognizant that he is liable to Bukola’s fate. He knows that someday anti-graft agencies would spotlight his incredible possessions. His defense of Saraki is an insurance against that eventuality. It would make Saraki return the favor.
But Melaye is a self-deluded man. The text of his death wish betrays his stupidity. He starts on the impossible hypothesis that Saraki might have one trillion supporters!
World population is 7 billion. Nigerian population is about 175 million: In that number are Kwarans, Saraki’s own constituents, who would seize any opportunity to boo him and stone him!
In plotting the graph of the exponential reduction of that fictive one trillion supporters, Melaye divulges that even if the entire human race reached a unanimous guilty opinion on Saraki, he –Melaye –would not discontinue supporting Saraki. Melaye undertakes to keep ‘supporting’ Saraki even if Saraki quits supporting himself!
Someone had opined that Nigeria was infested with lunatic ‘leaders’. Dino Melaye competently dramatizes the correctness of that notion.
His disappearance, by and large, would be a national relief. So he should be encouraged to rid this country of his demented self.
He should drive to River Lokoja at midnight. Tie a millstone around his neck. And leap into the waters!
He would find one trillion fishes ready to ‘support’ him!
You can reach Emmanuel at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @EmmaUgwuTheMan.