Dino’s Pictures: Beyond A Thousand Words, By Adeniran Mikhail
A picture is a believed to speak volumes to decibel higher than words. We are a very visual creature. Pictures are able to grab attention easily, we are immediately drawn to them.
My attention was drawn to couple of them over the weekend, it was posted on Instagram by senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi west district in the 8th National assembly. In the series of pictures, he showed off his collections of cars, from classics, to the fast cars (Lamborghinis, Ferrari etc.) and the luxurious ones (rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz G-wagon etc.). The estimation of worth of the cars in the garage is over 1 billion naira.
So many questions I want to ask. Where did a senator get the money to acquire these cars? How in God’s earth does he have the guts to post such pictures when you are under the government’s payroll.
Behind those pictures are thousands of words, stories that makes me feel sorry for the country. Even with the ridiculous salaries and allowances, it is not possible for a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria to acquire such numbers of automobiles. This is evidence of stealing-corruption in broad day light. I took keen interest by making some research about the man and I found out that not only has the man never worked in the private sector, all his earnings have been from the government. So how the hell does this man have so much money?
I understood that politics in this country has never being about serving the public but rather an avenue for self-service and corruption, I just didn’t think they will also rub it on our faces. Stealing behind our backs and showing off to our faces.
The consequence of posting such image is that, firstly, it shows the perception to public office in this country, even to the fact that he is on the brink of a recall from his constituents. He feels he doesn’t owe the people of Kogi west any explanation. Public office holders in other countries have been sacked or forced to resign for something less than what the senator posted. A minister in Canada resigned due to the pressure she faced from the public when she went for the funeral of Nelson Mandela, she was critized for wasting tax payers money to buy a return ticket to Canada when she could have followed the prime minister’s jet.
In other countries, people will ask questions. Broadcasting trucks will be lined outside of the senator’s houses. The press will be on his neck 24/7, his aide’s phones will be ringing nonstop for comments from the media. But in Nigeria, he won’t even lose sleep over it. It didn’t even make the front page of any Nigerian newspaper, it is shocking. The comments on the pictures are even more shocking, Nigerians are hailing him, telling him to ride on.
Secondly, it is the message these kinds of picture resonate in the mind of the average Nigerian about public office as an avenue to self-service and amassing of public funds. You are setting a very corrupt standard for the average youth. Taking another look at these cars, all I can imagine is constituency allowance, bribery from government agency when a senate committee is being set up, kickbacks from contracts and many other channels of stealing of public funds by the senator.
When you think you have seen all of it, on Monday, 9th if October, 2017. The senate press corps held an award giving dinner at the Sheraton Abuja hotel. You wouldn’t have guessed who was awarded the senator of the year? You guessed right, Mr Dino Melaye. And from the information I gathered, he was also the recipient of the award last year, making him back to back winner.
Mr Melaye is a highly influential man, highly almost above the law. I’m sure his recall proceedings will probably not come through. He has been in the game for some time, and I’m sure he knows how to deal with scuffles like this recall process. Ever since I saw those pictures, I have been asking myself, what kind of a country is this? What kind of senate is this? what kind of a media is this?
But I certainly know what kind of person that Mr Dino is, he is an irresponsible, myopic dimwitted piece of gremlinic oaf. Shame on you!