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Another look at Senator Dino Melaye’s Valedictory address to the 8th Senate

*Dino Melaye, Senator representing Kogi West speaking at valedictory plenary

“I am here to thank God because in 2017, I was arrested eight times. In 2018, I was arrested 18 times, and out of 365 days in 2018, I spent 124 in police custody. I campaigned only four days to the 2019 election.”

“I want to thank God Almighty, who is the supreme controller of the universe, for being alive and sitting here today. You will recall severally, Mr. President, I addressed you as the irremovable president of the Nigerian Senate when cankerworms and caterpillars arise against thee, when the seat of power took you to Code of Conduct Bureau, when the state petitioned you and took you to the courts and established a case of forgery against you.

“Today, Mr. President, you are not just completing your term but you are going to have a glorious exit against the machinations of some demons. I congratulate you. And to my surprise, many of those who orchestrated your removal, downfall, on this floor, called you their mentor. Mr. President, it is your time to laugh.

“I have every cause to glorify God who is above every other man. Last year, I was arraigned in 12 different courts but here am I standing and returned undisputedly as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And I say to God alone be the glory forever and ever.

“I have two historical days I will never forget in the history of the 8th Senate. One is a day of joy and merriment, the other is a day of sorrow and pain.

“The day of joy and merriment was the day one single Nigerian with multiple competences, one man who is indoctrinated with the art of civil administration and the rudiments of politics, intellectually mobile and administratively sagacious – I am talking about the day Abubakar Bukola Saraki became the President of the Nigerian Senate. And my elder brother and intellectual bank of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, became the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate.

“My day of sadness, weeping was the day my own colleague, Ovie Omo-Agege, led dissidents, thugs to desecrate the chamber of the Nigerian Senate.

“It was the day he led criminals to move the symbol of authority out of the sacred chamber of the Senate. And just like the Bible said, Jesus wept. That day, I wept.”

“Going further, I want to advise us, as senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that once you take the oath of office, you cease to represent your political party, religious organisation, a cabal on this platform.

“We must know that in the 9th Assembly, fortunately or unfortunately, some of us are going to be there. We will continue to work without fear or favour that Nigeria shall be ahead of any political permutation, presidential or gubernatorial, party permutation. Nigeria shall come first before any selfish interest. And we will stand by that and continue to speak the truth not minding whose ox is gored.

“I congratulate my colleagues who are coming back. You have another opportunity to prove that you are truly a Nigerian, because no Nigerian is more Nigerian than any other Nigerian.

“We must prove that we are here on behalf of the people. And we must continue to do only those things that will promote the unity and prosperity of Nigeria.

“Enough of presidential orders, enough of party directives. Any order that is contrary to the progress, unity and prosperity of Nigeria should not be entertained on the floor of the Senate.