Sen Dino Melaye

Dino Melaye is on the verge of being recalled by voters. Popcorns are in order from this point.

I have to admit that I never gave the people of Kogi West the benefit of doubt when they commenced moves to recall Senator Dino Melaye, a little over two weeks ago.

I laughed it all off as a huge joke.

I wrote their efforts off with a shrug.

I saw obstacles where the people of Kogi saw a real possibility.

But for once, I'll like me some humble pies–served cold please.

Once in a while, a pundit is due his humble pies.

Melaye is now facing the real prospect of being recalled from the upper legislative chamber by the folks who voted him in.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has just confirmed that it has received 188,580 recall signatures from the people of Melaye's constituency.

That's 52.3 percent of the total number of 360,098 registered voters in Melaye's constituency.

Kogi West is made up of the seven western senatorial districts of Yagba, Mopa Muro, Kabba Bunu, Yagba East, Koton Karfe, Lokoja and Ijumu.

And majority of persons in these districts are now sick of the sight of Melaye prancing during plenary in Abuja–in their name.

Section 69 of the 1999 constitution as amended, indicates that the people of Kogi West are now on course to make history.

 

According to the laws of the land, more than half of the registered voters in Melaye's senatorial district will write, sign and send a petition to the Chairman of INEC, explaining how badly they've lost confidence in Melaye.

That has now been achieved.

There are a few more hurdles before the good people of Kogi West, though, if they really want Dino back home:

a) The petition must be signed and arranged according to polling units, wards, Local Government Areas, and constituency. I want to believe that this has been done.

ALSO READ: Senator can't be recalled no matter how badly he behaves

b) INEC will thereafter notify Melaye that his people want him recalled. This should happen in the next couple of hours.

c) INEC will then issue a public notice or announcement stating the date, time and location where it intends to verify the signatures on the recall petition.

 

d) To verify the signatures on the petition, INEC must ensure that the signatories are individuals who appear on the voters’ register.

Oh well….

e) If the number of persons verified by INEC is less than one half of the registered voters in that constituency, the entire petition will be dismissed.

f) INEC will conduct a referendum within 90 days of receipt of the petition; if the minimum requirements for a referendum have been met.

g) The referendum will be a simple 'yes' or 'no' vote on whether the senator should be recalled.

A simple majority will decide which way it goes from here.

h) If majority of the voters in the constituency vote ‘yes’, the INEC chairman will send a Certificate of Recall to Senate President Bukola Saraki, demanding that Melaye returns to Kogi as an ex senator.

It's not yet uhuru for the people of Kogi, but I never gave them a chance to reach the point where they can organise themselves to amass over 100,000 signatures.

 

So, with bated breath, we'll wait this one out.

The people of Kogi West may just be on the cusp of something phenomenal in our nation's politics. The people of Kogi West are the executioners now.

If they succeed in recalling Melaye, they would have sent a message to all elected representatives and politicians across the land.

A message that says power truly resides with the people.

If they fail, they can at least hold their heads high, safe in the knowledge that they shook a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria to his boxer shorts.

In any case, the people would have won for testing the laws of the land and testing the process of recalling a lawmaker.

Not many constituencies would have the patience to get to this point.

Hopefully, this humbles the usually haughty senator.

Dino Melaye should be worried. Very, very worried.

The people ain't smiling.

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