Senator Dino Melaye, who has been described as a cat with many lives, has survived the attempt to recall him from the Nigerian Senate as the Saturday recall exercise at Kogi West failed due to low turn-out for the signature the verification.
Results announced by INEC at the end of the exercise showed that only 18,742 signatories to the recall petition were verified out of the 189,870 signatories on the petition.
The verified signatories fell well below the requirement of the law that 50 per cent and one of the signatories must be verified before the recall process can continue.
Consequently, the embattled Senator Melaye who is in the hospital after he was allegedly brutalized by police operatives after his arrest last week, has survived the recall attempt.
The senator has always said that his political enemy, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, was the one plotting and funding the bogus attempt to recall him from the senate with Kogi money. Mr. Melaye had boasted that the attempt to recall him will fail because he enjoys grassroots support, contrary to what his detractors would want people to believe.
And now the results have proved him right.
Here is how the verification exercise turned out in the seven local government areas in the senatorial district, which has 351,146 registered voters.
KOTON KARFE LGA
TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 46,727.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITIONS – 24,459.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 2,566.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES VERIFIED – 2, 335.
KABBA BUNU LGA
TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 59,319
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITIONS – 27,910
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATORIES AT VERIFICATION – 2,151
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNAT7S VERIFIED – 2,085.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 46,810.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURE ON THE PETITION – 24,389.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 2,811.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES VERIFIED – 2,664.
TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 35,329.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURE ON THE PETITION – 18,229.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 3,580.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES VERIFIED – 3,506.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 18, 350
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION – 9,173.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 729.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATARIES VERIFIED – 710.
There was violence in Mopa Amuro towards the end of the exercise. Six polling units were reportedly affected. As a result, the exercise in six out of the 10 wards in the LGA were cancelled.
YAGBA WEST LGA
TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 35,506
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION – 19,444
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 4,221
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATORIES VERIFIED – 3,729.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 109,105
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION – 66,266.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 4,810.
TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATARIES VERIFIED – 3,763.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier assured the people that it was only concerned with transparency in the exercise and could not be held responsible for the poor turnout of petitioners.
The INEC Federal Commissioner in-charge of Kogi, Kwara and Nasarawa states, Alhaji Mohammed Haruna, made the statement in Lokoja shortly after the end of the exercise.
Haruna said that the main concern of INEC was to ensure transparency in the process, insisting that the organisation was neutral in the bid to recall Melaye from the Senate.
“Turnout is not our problem; turnout is the problem of parties concerned, ours is to ensure transparency,” Haruna said.
Melaye, who is still in the Intensive Care Unit at the National Hospital Abuja, reacted to the failed attempt to recall him from the senate by thanking Nigerians, especially his constituents for standing by him.
Gideon Ayodele, Media Aide to the embattled senator in a statement on Sunday, called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the lawmaker, who is currently bedridden.
His statement reads below…
“The chain of events from last Monday to this day are enough for one to be grateful to God Almighty and all Kogi people both at home and in the Diaspora, including friends of Senator Dino Melaye outside the Confluence State and all over the world, for standing behind the Senator in this trying times.
“Needless to say that all allegations against him by the Police are politically-motivated and the timing of his maltreatment and harassment was carefully planned to prevent him from mobilising support against the purported recall of his representation of Kogi West from the Senate, GOD manifested Himself by using the good people of Kogi West senatorial zone to stem the tide against him by making the cup to pass over the Senator even in his absence.
“Despite his current travails, his inability to mobilise his constituents and also deploy agents to monitor the signature verification exercise, countless number of supporters volunteered to do it without minding the associated risks posed by the Kogi State Government. It is therefore important for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to act truly independent by announcing a result that truly reflects the wishes of the majority electorate of Kogi West as demonstrated today.
“No doubt, to recall a representative is guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as the right of the electorate, what the good people of Kogi West and other lovers of democracy outside the state, who are praying for Senator Dino Melaye, have done is to stop an instigated and purported recall against him because it is undemocratic, self serving and beneficial to only a few.
“It is pertinent to say here, that though the battle for the recall has been won and lost, the safety of Senator Dino Melaye in the hospital as heavily guarded by the Police since Tuesday is a cause for concern even as we decry the arrest, continued detention and trial of his brothers, aides, friends and lawyers on trumped-up charges by the police.
“We appeal to all Nigerians of good conscience to continue to help us pray for the safety and immediate freedom of Senator Dino Melaye so that he can return to his family and duty post – responsive representation of his people in the Senate – because his victory over the purported recall today will certainly spite his traducers and they may devise new ways of rubbishing him for no just cause.”