Why Dino Melaye Is At War With Gov Bello
By Sola Sadiq
The real reason behind the open criticism of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State by Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West, has emerged.
Beside Melaye’s moves to compel the governor to defer to him as the “APC leader in the state”, the lawmaker, according to sources, may have got wind of alleged plans by the governor not to support him for a second term in the Senate.
Until things fell apart, Bello and Melaye were known to be close. The senator, it would be recalled, strongly backed the governor against Hon. Abiodun Faleke for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), following the death of the party’s candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu in December 2014.
The battle which sharply polarised the party in the state, finally culminated in Bello securing the ticket and subsequently emerged as Governor.
During Bello’s inauguration at the Lokoja Township Stadium, the Senator was the master of ceremonies, an indication of his open support for the new governor.
In compensation for his role in Bello’s victory, sources revealed that it was Melaye who nominated the Secretary to the State Government, Folasade Ayoade.
While Melaye claims the governor ‘s alleged poor performance is responsible for parting ways with him, the governor’s supporters claim Melaye is worried that the former has allegedly given his word to an unnamed politician from Kogi West to replace him in the Senate come 2019.
A source said: “Melaye believes the governor should defer to him but that is not possible. He is not the APC leader in Kogi State.”
On insinuations that it was the Atiku Abubakar/Saraki/Melaye group that ensured Bello’s victory for the APC ticket, the source responded, “Nothing can be farther away from the truth. On the contrary, it was the President’s (Muhammadu Buhari) group that made it happen. The first lady, Aisha Buhari also played a prominent role, as she is said to have known Bello right from their days at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.”