Dino-Myelitis -By Ahmed Oluwasanjo

Filed under: Life And People |

I’m no medical doctor. However, after careful observation, I sense that there is a disease of great national nuisance effect that Nigerians must be aware of. For now, only a serving senator is showing the symptoms of the said disease – ‘Dino-myelitis’.

Dino Melaye


‘Dino-myelitis’ comes with the symptoms of sheer arrogance, unnecessary exuberance, loudness and crass showing off, as persistently manifested in the behaviour of Senator Dino Melaye, since we – the electorate of Kogi West senatorial district – sent him to the hallowed red chamber to represent us.

Of course, if ‘myelitis’ could be beaten out of Dino, I’m sure the shellacking he got on the floor of the House from his colleagues who got irritated with his arrogance and crass garrulity, a few years ago, would have healed him. However, if the disease – ‘Dino-myelitis’ – is beating resistant, then Dino needs to still be reminded that those he represents, and Nigerians at large, expect a certain degree of decorum and good comportment from him. Therefore, we would be glad if he could do a self-examination and seek necessary help.

A few months ago, when Dino shamelessly bodyguarded Madam Toyin Saraki to the headquarters of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), I asked if his duty as a serving senator and our representative in the red chamber was that of a bodyguard and handbag carrier of Madam Saraki.

On another occasion, when Dino’s garrulity and attitude irritated Uncle Eni B, he pen-lashed him in one of his articles, “Senate Probes: Between Duty and Hysteria”. It reads in part: “Senator Melaye ought to be embarrassed by the evident lack of rigour that went into the preparation of his motion. As a constituent of Kogi West that he represents in the Senate and more particularly an indigene of the same community he comes from, I’m embarrassed for him.”

Uncle Eni B was appalled and embarrassed by Dino’s gaffes, but sadly Dino never felt he needed to grow up and leave childish things. In fact, Dino seems not to understand that so many people – his constituents and non-constituents – are becoming highly irritated and embarrassed by his perpetual uncouthness and lack of comportment in public.

On Wednesday, Dino took the mess to another level when he discourteously cited Adams Oshiomhole’s marriage as an example in his ill-advice to Nigerians to “patronise made-in-Nigeria women” during a plenary session in the red chamber. This is no joke! Dino out-stepped moral boundaries in citing another’s private life to illustrate a debate, when this actually had no reasonable correlation to the issue being considered? I thought Dino ought to be wise enough to know that what Oshiomhole paid as bride price could not be in the league of what he spends in buying swanky luxury cars. But well, I do not expect Dino to be smart enough to know this since he could not even differentiate bride price from dowry, as he said “we must, as a people, stop paying dowries in dollars and pounds”(sic). To save him from future embarrassments, he must be told that men do not pay dowries, they pay bride prices.

Ironically, the same Dino, who impolitely dragged Oshiomhole’s marriage into a debate in a plenary session, once said his colleague, “Marafa is a clown and perhaps lives on cheap drugs”. Of course, the truth is obvious and we can now conclude who takes cheap drugs.

Made-in-Nigeria women?!

Reacting to Dino’s uncouth and asinine advice, my respected primary school teacher who hails from Ekirrin Adde in Kogi West, Uncle Dayo Babalola, had this to say on his Facebook page: “As Senator Dino Melaye advised Nigerian men to patronise made in Nigeria women, that is very thoughtful of him. We can as well ask him what he did to the made in Nigeria wife he married from Ekirrin Adde, Ijummu-Kogi State.” If my suspicion here is right, this statement speaks to the public on how Dino-Tyson turned his wife – the Ekirrin Adde made lady – into a punching bag as popularly bruited. Paradoxically, today he is marketing made-in-Nigeria women.

Please do not feel I’m taking it too far at this point, except you are one of the hypocrites who believes Dino could discourteously talk about some else’s private life and expect that people to ignore his. He is only required to tell Nigerians on the floor of the Assembly how many fights it took him to become the ‘great’ Dino-Tyson. The aphorism about those who live in glass houses and still throw stones applies here, I believe.

But I digress.

Frankly, I doubt if Dino realised that such comment was better discussed in a beer parlour and not on the floor of the red chamber where plenaries are beamed live to the public. However, he only revealed the content of his shallow character. Perhaps, he would still bring up the idea of who has the most beautiful wife between him and his ‘Oga at the top’ or who has the biggest “balls and phallus” amongst the Nigerian senators subsequently. We can only expect the worst from him now.

Dino’s infantile exuberance would make one ask if he knows what a senator is elected to do. Whenever he shows off with his swanky cars, I see an agbaya who has nothing more to his self-worth and integrity than toys. Even five-year olds on my street are more disciplined and refrain from flaunting their kites in the way he does his toys. And if I may ask, what would he do if he ever manages to buy a private jet? Or when will he launch his own private train? Even then, there are issues around how he manages to fund these his agbaya habits – on the private or public purse?

Each time I see pictures of his customised vehicle number plates, usually bearing his name, on social media, besides being sickened by the irritating flamboyance of such conspicuous display, I’m compelled to ask: when will Dino be thoughtful enough to write his name in the hearts of his constituents? Each time he shows off his cars as a senator, I’m forced to ask, what has he ever done as a constituency project? A few days ago, Senator Sehu Sani donated books worth the sum of $30,000 to the National Library and to medical students from his state. Is this sort of idea too sophisticated and noble for Dino to conceive or does he feels that the number of cars he buys has a better impact on his constituents?

Each time he flaunts his expensive cars, I often find myself wondering what the likes of Mama Ekundayo of Isanlu Mokutu in Kogi West – a rare gem who raised over 400 orphans with her meager resources – would have done with such money used in procuring these in bettering the lot of the needy. Or how much more could Regoe Alfredo Durugo, Mama Makoko – who for over 25 years has been providing children in the riverine Makoko area in Lagos free education out of her lean resources – do with such funds in assisting the poor. Or the president of the Brekete family, Ordinary Ahmed Isah – who has committed his life, time and resources to humanitarian services. Yet, all these people and their ilk never earned a kobo from public coffers, still they spend their hard earned resources in making the lives of people around them better. Can Dino or any of his type boast of any similar achievement?

After pondering on all of these, I feel very sorry for Dino and wish my fellow constituents and Nigerians at large could be kind enough to contribute in kind and on other levels towards his treatment, just to save Dino from himself.

This is my one kobo.

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja and can be reached at [email protected]