Written by Emmanuel Ogbeche

PERISCOPE :Dino makes his return








Dino makes his return

The gadfly of Nigeria’s Senate, Dino Melaye, made his return to the Upper Chamber not without a bang last Wednesday, May 30.

The Kogi West Senator has been away for over a month following his ordeal in the hands of the police over allegations of gun-running and attempted suicide.

The controversial senator was not going to announce his return with a whimper. As colourful as controversial that he has been, Melaye wasted no time in courting attention and sent the handle of social media off the hook so much so that every other matter was brushed aside.

Even the traditional media were left prostrate by his antics of insisting on not sitting on the APC side of the aisle, which he rightly belongs to.

According to the senator at plenary, “I have a special request to you Mr. President, because of the trauma I went through and I’m still going through, I want to seek your indulgence that you will call on the Sergeant-at-arms to look for a comfortable seat for me on this side of the divide (pointing to the opposition wing) because I am no longer comfortable sitting here. So, I want to ask the Senate President that you mandate the sergeant-at-arms tomorrow to look for a seat for me on this other divide of the chamber.”

Expectedly, his move sent the Senate into overdrive as both APC and PDP senators went for the jugular arguing over the move.

If for nothing, there is no denying the fact that Melaye has found a way to be not only the news, but how the news is framed. For an institution that lacks drama and colour, we just have to thank Senator Dino for providing some theatre.



Now that a reverend goes to prison

One can only imagine what was going through the mind of Rev. Jolly Nyame as Justice Adebukola Banjoko for over five hours read his lengthy judgment that was going to determine his fate.

Seated in the dock, beads of perspiration formed on his brows, his eyes dimmed and his lips looked patched as Justice Banjoko hit the gavel as he delivered the verdict of his sentence of 14 years.

By the judgment, Nyame, a reverend and former governor of Taraba state, became the guinea pig in Buhari’s suckered anti-corruption fight.

Is it not said that at the point of death, the one at the point of crossing the Rubicon gains illumination and stark clarity? One can safely hazard a guess that when the sentence was announced, Rev. Nyame would have seen his life flashed before him and wished he had done things differently.

It is possible he remembered when he was the Alpha of Taraba state, how many ran to please him, how they whispered on each other. But on this day, he was alone except his faith and will not to be diminished by has become of his fate.

Did he prepare that the verdict could go either way? The answer to that only he can say. But as things stand until his appeal is dealt with, it is a long walk and it is in this regard that Nyame will find the counsel of Raegan Butcher instructive.

Butcher like Nyame had seen the world and regaled in its prominence but fate dealt with him and he became a convict and it was in prison that he composed the poems in his highly regarded book of poetry, Stone Hotel: Poems from Prison.

“Being in prison for seven years was like being in an army that never drilled, never deployed, and only fought itself,” Butcher penned.

Dear Rev. Nyame, now that you know, what is your take perchance you spend 14 years behind bars?


Gbaja pays the price

“Peter's face clouded. "Everything comes at a price. Or have you not learned that yet?” ― Brom, The Child Thief

One would imagine that having spent over a decade plus in the House of Reps and in particular, public life, that Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila will know a thing or two about gauging the public mood.

But it seems there is something about public service that immunes officeholders from understanding the essence of timing.

The House Majority Leader, Gbaja, as fondly called by his supporters learnt harshly last week. In what he felt was a worthy gesture, Gbaja had gifted his wife with a G-Wagon, speculated to worth over N100 million!

Moments after the gifting hit Social Media, the storm was Tsunami-like as people from all over the country could not fathom why anybody, especially a lawmaker, will be spending such a fortune.

Sensing that the outburst could imperil his political fortune, Gbaja ate the humble pie and offered an explanation. After all, have we not been taught that it is better to stoop to conquer?

According to the House Leader in a statement last Thursday, he has been saving for the gift! Some people chuckled when they heard that.

“Naturally I had anticipated this occasion for quite a while and prepared by saving up for it in the last couple of years. I took the decision far back to present her with a significant gift, she was totally unaware of, to convey in part, the debt of my gratitude to her for standing by me through ‘thick and thin’.

“Having said this, I understand and appreciate the reaction of the public. As a public official, one must be held to a higher standard. My action was not meant to offend sensibilities and I regret that it did.”
















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