FOLLOWING THE RULES OF NIGERIA'S POLITICAL JUNGLE: BETWEEN REMI TINUBU AND DINO MELAYE

Politics in Nigeria is not for the faint-hearted. Over here, the political field is a jungle, where only the strong survive. But while the terrain does bring out beastly instincts in certain politicians, it is pertinent to recognize hierarchy at all times, and be careful not to stray into the Lions' Den.

Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi State is a man whose reputation precedes him…and not always in a good way. The dark, tall Kogi man has come to be known by a large section of Nigerians, more for his thuggish instincts, than for his political achievements. In
the battle field of the fight to protect Senate President, Bukola Saraki, from any (and all) criminal conviction(s), Melaye stands in the frontline. One sometimes wonders what he hopes to gain from such stoic defense of Saraki; but make no mistakes, in politics, there are no free meals- there is always a game plan. But this Kogi man- just like another politician who comes from the state of Ekiti- does not always know how to stay within boundaries.

At a rancorous session of the Senate not too long ago, Senator Melaye called for the suspension of the members of the Senate Unity Forum who had written the petition against Senators Saraki and Ekweremadu, which led to their arraignment by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, at a high court, on forgery charges. As if that was not enough, Melaye went further, calling for Senators to close ranks and fight the presidency to a standstill, for its perceived intrusion into the affairs of the Upper Legislative Chamber. Melaye allegedly went further again, to issue threats against the President himself!

At this point, Senator Oluremi Tinubu reportedly asked the Kogi man why he would utter such threats and call for the suspension of his fellow Senators. The female Senator warned her colleagues to guard against acting like they were in a kindergarten court, and instead, seek reconciliation amongst themselves.

All hell suddenly broke loose!

Melaye, like a masquerade during a New Yam Festival, began ‘huffing and puffing.’ “You can’t talk to me the way you talk to other people; you must respect yourself,” he said.
Now, there are quite a few variations to the story. Some say Melaye threatened to beat up Senator Tinubu, some say he used the “f-word” on her, some even say he said he would impregnate her and nothing would happen! Ahhh our ears shall not hear evil!

At this point, it is highly important that I ask you to pause for a bit- and note very carefully,  what I say next. Are you still there? You are. Good! Now, under NO circumstance should a man use this sort of language on a woman...no circumstance whatsoever! Otunba Melaye, that's a red card right there! Let's proceed.

You see, I started this article by likening the Nigerian political terrain to a jungle. But in the jungle, every animal knows that the Lion is King.

In Nigerian politics, there are kings, and there are kingmakers. The kingmakers are the unseen (and sometimes seen) hands behind the Nigerian political and governmental system. When one thinks of a Nigerian kingmaker, one could very well think of men like the witty OBJ, the cunning IBB (AKA Maradonna), the reserved Abdulsalami Abubakar, the dashing TY Danjuma; and then, you cannot leave out the calculating (even manipulating) and highly revered Jagaban of Borgu himself, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Incidentally, Bola Tinubu happens to be the husband of Senator Remi Tinubu, who was insulted by Dino Melaye! See wahala!

True to form, an aide to the savvy Jagaban fired off tweets to Melaye, daring him to try and beat up another Senator (we know he was referring to Tinubu's wife, the APC First Lady), and see what happens. But then, he said something else that caught my attention i.e. “from here, it is downhill for Melaye.  Hmmm in the field of diplomacy, there is something referred to as a "loaded statement". This was one of them.

Anybody familiar with the ways of the Jagaban of Borgu knows that he is a man who does not forget easily, or forgive lightly, ills perpetuated against him -whether real or imaginary - just ask Bukola Saraki or Babatunde Fashola!

While Melaye boastfully declared that he would not apologize to Remi Tinubu, and posted pictures of himself on Bourdillon; like the stubborn Tsetse fly, daring anyone to attack him, his friend, the embattled Senate President who now knows better about political gymnastics, took it upon himself to initiate peace moves between the two feuding Senators. Speaking separately with Tinubu and Melaye, he managed to broker something of a "temporary truce"- temporary in my opinion- between both of them. He also reshuffled the Senate Committees, and suddenly placed Remi Tinubu as Chairman of the Committee on the Environment- oh thou scheming Saraki!

We do not know if Melaye has yet (secretly) apologized to the Tinubu's. Remi Tinubu has however stated that being a Christian,she has forgiven Melaye: but she speaks for herself alone, and not for the Asiwaju.

My eyes are open to see what happens next. Payback may not come today or tomorrow- or even this year. But I have a feeling that if Melaye does not find means to pacify the fierce Jagaban, he may wake up on some God-forsaken morning to find that like a greedy Hyena who choked while feeding on its prey, he has bitten more than he can chew!
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