By Gideon Ayodele

Following the various rumours going around on the said abduction of the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, he has deemed it fit to address the media and to set the records straight.

Senator Dino Melaye, while addressing news men in abuja yesterday, explained how he escaped an assassination attempt by suspected policemen around Gwagwalada on his way to attend a court case I Lokoja last Thursday.

Melaye (PDP, Kogi) told journalists in Abuja yesterday that he had to run into the bush for his dear life and climbed a tree, where he spent about 11 hours.
He said he left Abuja early in the morning on Thursday to Lokoja and observed that a Siena car and a hilox van was trailing him only for the occupants to overtake, block and started shooting at his vehicle.

Melaye who joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last Tuesday said when the suspected assassins realized that his vehicle was a bulletproof one, they tried halting his movement and attempted to burn it and only through the grace of God, he was able to escape and ran into the bush for safety.

“When I realized that they wanted to burn my vehicle, I quickly opened the car and ran into the bush. I had to run for my life. It was the grace of God that made me to escape.

“When I got into the bush, after running far into the bush, I climbed a tree and stayed there. While on the tree, I saw two of the policemen coming to look for me, but they didn’t know I was on the tree. I was in the bush for 11 hours.

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“My brother that was in one of the vehicles, who managed his way to escape didn’t know what must have happened following the attack, so he had to raise an alarm that I was kidnapped.

He went to the Gwagwalada police station and reported the matter. At first, they wanted to act, but when one of them made a call, they started turning my brother, showing lackadaisical attitude towards the matter.

“They then asked him to go and wait for them at the scene, that they would join him. But he waited for more than 45 minutes but they didn’t come. So, it’s not true for the police to say that none of my family members reported the matter,” he said.

The senator said the narrative that he staged his alleged kidnap to avoid attending the court session in Lokoja was not true as he has been under bail from the same court and attended its sittings thrice before Thursday.

“The prosecutor wrote my lawyer that he would not be in court that day and that he wanted an adjournment to September 20. There was no need at all for me to say I wouldn’t attend the court session.

“If anything happens to me, the Nigerian Police, Governor Yahaya Bello and the president should be held responsible. I went through four assassination attempts as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but the president remained silent. Definitely I’m going to call the attention of the international community.

“They withdrew my security since April 22, and I wrote the police to restore my security, but nothing was done. As a senator, I deserve security personnel around me. In fact, even as an ordinary citizen, I deserve security,” he said.

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Asked if he would be able to go to Kogi freely and seek reelection, Melaye said he would go at any time and that he would recontest his position. “I am representing them and I have to see the people that I represent from time to time and nobody can stop me” he said.

He said the level of insecurity in Nigeria has gone out of hand, noting that “the situation is getting more outrageously calamitous. The primary function of government is the security and welfare of the people, but there’s no security not to talk of welfare.

On his defection to the PDP, he said he was blind to have stayed in the APC, but that he could now see hence his decision to ditch the ruling party.

He said the PDP under the leadership of Uche Secondus was sincere enough to apologise to Nigerians for its mistakes of the past and that the party is now poised to make Nigeria great.

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