Editors’ note: The writer, Buchi Obichie, takes aim at Senator Dino Melaye over his recent alleged abduction. She points out that his political career has been characterised by crazy antics and theatrics which have gone from being entertaining to being annoying. She refers to him as the comic Nigerians never asked for, and wonders: “What do we do about Dino?”
I once read a story about Prince Harry. It was said that in his younger days, before he got married, the ‘ginger haired’ prince of the British kingdom caused the palace much grief with his ‘unroyal’ performances and antics; to the extent that courtiers started asking a certain question – “What do we do about Harry?”
We cannot easily forget how Britain’s beloved ‘spare prince’ was photographed dancing naked at a party in Las Vegas; or that now infamous photo of Diana’s younger son wearing an outfit which included a Swastika arm band!
Harry was wild…seemingly untamable…clearly troubled.
However, things have changed. Somehow, the young prince went from his days as a ‘problem to the palace’; to becoming a ‘great asset’ to the monarchy. He cleaned his act, became more responsible, and married an amazing woman. And today, Prince Harry is usually seen championing unique causes and just being an all-round outstanding guy.
And the palace can finally heave a sigh of relief!
I wish we could do the same over here.
Lately, a certain politician has become so problematic that just like British courtiers asked about Harry, many Nigerians have started to ask, “What do we do about Dino?”
It started with the fights at the House of Assembly, and then upgraded to the Senate. We went from seeing him lash out at his female colleague, to making songs that went viral on social media.
The flamboyant senator from Kogi also never misses an opportunity to remind us about his lavish lifestyle. From his clothes, shoes, cars, to his house(s); everything is always about showing off opulence.
However, we were content with being entertained. In fact, we loved the entertainment. It gave us something to laugh about.
We laughed when Dino jumped out of a Police van as he was being transported to Kogi. It wasn’t funny from a ‘health and safety perspective’. However, it was humorous; considering the personality involved, and his subsequent narration of events.
We also laughed when he suddenly became ‘paralysed’ after the ‘Police van saga’ and had to be conveyed on a stretcher to court, with a neck brace that became a fixture for a while.
We laughed when he refused to sit with his then APC colleagues, and asked his best friend, Senate President Bukola Saraki, to direct the clerk of the red chamber to move a seat for him to the opposition’s corner.
We laughed at his boisterous statements on the Senate floor…Dino the man became a constant source of entertainment for us…until it became downright annoying!
On Thursday, July 26, the news suddenly broke that Dino had been ‘ambushed’ by unknown gunmen. According to word on the street, his car was suddenly overtaken by the alleged hoodlums as he made his way to Lokoja for a court appearance. He was reportedly missing; and for 11 good hours, the nation held its breath.
However, because of the previous antics of the senator, there were many who concluded that this ‘kidnap scenario’ was staged… by Dino himself.
Anyway, after 11 hours, he reappeared with the usual 'sob story' about how his enemies are after him. He would later go on to give a narration about how he managed to pull a fast one on his attackers and run into a bush, then climb a tree, where he stayed for 11 hours till his alleged abductors had dispersed.
The story was not funny! It was annoying…and insulting to our intelligence.
Dino says his brother had been travelling behind his car; and somehow, the attackers came between them. So, how come this brother did not get stuck in the line of fire when he said the attackers began shooting? And if the brother somehow witnessed the incident from a safe distance, why did he not immediately report the matter to the nearest Police station?
What of the other motorists who should have been on that particular road? How come no one made a report of gunmen on the highway? Or were there no other passengers plying that highway at that time? Was it just Dino – and his attackers?
Okay, what about his driver? How did he suddenly manage to also outmaneuver the attackers? If they were assassins, would they have let anyone escape? If the senator’s car was bullet proof, what about the other cars in his entourage? What about his security escorts?
Then, how did Dino suddenly manage to run without being hit by any bullet? Were his attackers so kind as to have allowed him run and escape from them? The same people he said wanted to burn him to death?
A part of me also wants to question how Oga Dino managed to climb a tree with that ‘unique frame’ of his. Have you seen his tummy? Anyway, I won’t ask that question because I am not that insensitive! *side eye*
Dino Melaye is a piece of work!
I don’t know what he hopes to achieve with this latest show; but I would advise him to tamper it down. We may have been entertained before, but we are no longer amused. You cannot insult our intelligence with such an obviously distorted tale. Haba! Nigerians may be gullible sometimes, but we are not downright stupid!
However, the sad part is that this will not be the end. Dino Melaye is a certain kind of human who seems to have a serious need for attention…any sort of attention. He is like a child who would pull tantrums to gain his mother’s attention. He does not seem to realize that he is a fully grown man, and an elected official. He is ‘Mr Notice Me or I Die’!
And to prove my point, he has just released another music video – his celebration song, following his defection to the PDP!
Now, what makes this whole thing so sad is that Dino Melaye is actually intelligent. Have you heard him talk? His thoughts are clear, his words precise…and he can speak for long periods without reading from a script! The man would be so much more, if he just directs his mental abilities in the right angle!
But I am not holding my breath!
Melaye has become the comic Nigerians never really asked for…we just don’t know how to handle him…and as long as he remains active in the political space, we will keep asking, “What do we do about Dino?”
This opinion piece was written by Buchi Obichie.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of NAIJ.com.
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