Kogi West Senator Dino Melaye came under attack yesterday for charging at Senator Oluremi Tinubu during the executive session of the Senate on Tuesday. Senators were meeting over the forgery case filed against Senate President Bukola Saraki and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu when Melaye seized the floor and poured invectives on his colleagues and the Executive for their perceived role in the matter. thenationonlineng report
Sources at the meeting said Senator Tinubu (Lagos Central), who was speaking, continued with her speech against indecorous acts by senators. Melaye was angry, it was learnt. He reportedly used unprintable words to describe her. He was said to have attempted to physically attack.
The other Lagos State Senators – Bareehu Olugbenga Ashafa (Lagos East) and Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (Lagos West)- yesterday condemned Melaye’s unwarranted outburst against Senator Tinubu.
The lawmakers dissociated themselves from Melaye’s comments and behaviour.
Ashafa and Adeola, in a joint statement, said: “We the two Senators representing Lagos East and Lagos West, having reviewed the recent happenings in the hallowed Chamber of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly at the executive session of 12th July, 2016, which dwelt on the running of the Senate and now in the public domain without any denial from the affected parties, feel compelled to state as follows:
“We deplore in very strong terms the use of abusive, threatening, uncouth, vulgar and un-parliamentary language by any senator against any other senator, particularly our female colleagues.
“As distinguished members of the Red Chamber, we are strongly in favour of resolving any conflict that has arisen in course of our representation and national duty through dialogue and due process and we will not be part of any solution obtained through any form of coercion, threat, intimidation and ungentlemanly conduct of the distinguished office of a senator.
“We dissociate ourselves from the comments and behaviour of Senator Dino Melaye (APC – Kogi West) at the Executive Session of 12th July 2016 as we represent people known for finer character and noble culture of social interaction.
“We equally state that we will be part of efforts to instill and enshrine decorum and gentlemanly conduct associated with the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“While condemning the use of any vulgar and un-senatorial language in all ramifications, we particularly take offence to the use of such abusive and denigrating words against the person of Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC- Lagos Central).
“As such words greatly demeaned the female gender and the hallowed chamber of the Senate.
“Finally, pursuant to the threat of physical abuse against Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC- Lagos Central) by Senator Dino Melaye (APC- Kogi West), we state that we are not lily-livered and cannot be intimidated or deterred from our primary assignment of representing the good people of Lagos State and carrying out our national duties of law making, even if it entails testifying in court on the side of the truth as part of the resolution of any conflict in the upper chamber.
Senator Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North) also condemned the attack on Senator Tinubu:
He said last night: “In actual sense, the unsenatorial utterances of Senator Melaye constitute threat to the life of a fellow senator. It is not only condemnable, it is also criminal.
“At a time when Nigeria is faced with rising cases of violence against women, it is utterly unfortunate that a senator threatened to beat up a fellow senator. To say the least, that nature of threat should not be associated with the Nigerian Senate. “
He however added that “it is comforting that Senator Tinubu has forgiven Senator Melaye and has decided to move on.”
Former Deputy Senate Minority Leader Olorunnimbe Mamora also condemned Melaye’s unruly behaviour.
Senator Mamora said for Melaye “to have threatened to beat up Senator Oluremi Tinubu, a fellow senator for that matter, he has gone too far”. “There is minimum standard of modicum expected of a senator; Melaye fell short of that modicum.”
“I had expected the Senate President Bukola Saraki to caution him but there was no report that he did. Melaye should apologise in his own interest; whatever respect people have for him must have dropped; he should apologise and redeem his image.”
Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, Chairman Monday Ubani condemned the un-parliamentary behaviour and language used by Melaye in addressing his colleagues.
“I have said it many times that this eighth National Assembly may be the worst in the history of this country’s democracy. The leadership of the Senate has lost respect of the people; they think of themselves and not the people that they are representing. It i s unfortunate we have found ourselves in this mess,” he said.