It was all drama on Wednesday in the Senate Chambers during plenary when the controversial Senator, Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West made return from the hospital after a failed attempt to escape being taken to Kogi State by the Nigerian police.
In a report by Premium Times, the embattled lawmaker, raised a point of order, thanked his colleagues, members of the House of Representatives, his constituents and the Nigerian populace for standing by him during his travails with the police.
He also thanked the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for their support.
“Specially, I appreciate the Peoples Democratic Party for making statement during my recall exercise and asking everyone to stay aback. Politics has been shown not to be individualistic but to be about issues and purpose. To the National Chairman and executives of PDP in Kogi State, I salute you.”
Senator Melaye, who attended the plenary session with a neck support band, later asked the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to mandate the sergeant-at-arms to create a seat for him at the opposition wing of the chamber.
“I have a special request to you Mr President,” he said. “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. Before you do that today, through the help of my walking stick I will take a comfortable seat close to Papa, General Senator David Mark pending when you get me a comfortable seat on this side.”
Mr Melaye thereafter moved to the opposition side to sit beside Mr Mark as his movement was greeted by rowdiness among lawmakers at the Senate floor with those who spoke later expressing mixed reactions. The PDP senators spoke in favour of his move while APC senators tried to prevent his movement.
Godswill Akpabio, the Senate Minority Leader, said the movement is not about party allegiance. He said the PDP is willing to accept any APC senator who wishes to cross.
“Where we are now is the Nigerian Senate. Whether to the left or the right. At any point in time that any senator on the left feels that his or her seat is not comfortable. He is welcomed here. I want to welcome Senator Dino here. We are the ones that should have complained, but we are not complaining. We must be our brothers’ keepers,” he said.