…if respect is deemed as being reciprocal, Dino’s shameful response to Mrs. Tinubu’s insults cannot be essentially interpreted as an attack and utter disrespect for women, because a woman who wants to be respected ought not to haul provocative invectives at another person, like Dino claimed Mrs. Tinubu did to him.
I’m no fan of Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West senatorial district. And as a constituent of his, I’ve criticised him on different occasions for his sheer arrogance and ignoble utterances and actions since assuming office as a lawmaker in the Eighth National Assembly.
Similarly this time, I wouldn’t mince words in condemning his shameful conduct during a close-door session in which he was reported to have verbally assaulted and threatened to beat Senator Oluremi Tinubu, wife of former Lagos State governor and APC chieftain, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Mind you, Mrs. Tinubu is not likely to get a pat on the back for her conduct that led to their altercation either.
Given Dino’s antecedent as a domestic heavy weight boxing ‘champion’ and his fairly known volatile and belligerent nature, it would not be difficult to believe that he actually threatened to “beat” up and “impregnate” Mrs. Tinubu.
However, looking beyond Dino’s misconduct in the past, we ought to objectively ask questions on what actually transpired in the said meeting before a Dino, who once outrageously bodyguarded Mrs. Toyin Saraki to the Economic Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC) headquarter, Abuja, threw caution into the air and verbally attacked Mrs. Tinubu as widely reported in the media.
A story published in PREMIUM TIMES titled, “UPDATED: I threatened Tinubu’s wife after she called me “dog””, seems to provide little information on what informed Dino’s uncivil response. In the story, Dino said,
“For reasons only known to Senator Remi Tinubu, she got up and the first thing she said was that she was being harassed in this chamber by Senator Melaye at this point.
“She went ahead to say that why would he come here and be threatening senators and there was a large chorus from senators. At that point I was still calm. She got up again and said that this thug must be tamed. At that point, I got up and told her that she was very stupid.
“The next statement from her was ‘You are a dog’. She called me a dog, and when she called me a dog I stood up and reacted…”
Please take note of two words in the aforementioned statement: “thug” and “dog”.
The altercation between Dino and Mrs. Tinubu is just a manifestation of the selfish political tussle between the Sarakis and the Tinubus and only jobless Nigerians would be in support of any of the warring parties.
Although one could have been tempted to doubt Dino’s statement, however since it went viral, there has been no other statement disputing it, either from Mrs. Tinubu or any other Senator who was present at the meeting. Given this, some questions begging for answers are: first, why was this part of the story not reported by the media in the very first story in which Dino was reported to have verbally assaulted Mrs. Tinubu?
Well, we possibly cannot blame the media for first reporting one side of the story, because journalists are usually not allowed into closed-door meetings, so whatever they report from such meetings are usually from secondary sources which could be a bit exaggerated or otherwise.
However, let’s face it: if indeed Mrs. Tinubu called Dino a “thug” and a “dog”, then it would not be out of place to say that Mrs. Tinubu is as guilty as Dino is and the same punitive measure ought to be taken against both of them if the Senate as a national institution is not to be brought into disrepute.
Also, if respect is deemed as being reciprocal, Dino’s shameful response to Mrs. Tinubu’s insults cannot be essentially interpreted as an attack and utter disrespect for women, because a woman who wants to be respected ought not to haul provocative invectives at another person, like Dino claimed Mrs. Tinubu did to him. Digressing a little, perhaps similar “If-you-Tinubu-me-I-Will-Dino-you” altercations in many homes are the reasons domestic violence is on the rise in our society today.
In sum, the quarrel between Dino and Mrs. Tinubu reveals how morally bankrupt some of those we call our lawmakers are and, in my view, Senators who saw the incident as an opportunity to pledge allegiance to the Tinubus are in no way different from an incredible Dino who has vowed to live and die in the service of the Saraki dynasty. The altercation between Dino and Mrs. Tinubu is just a manifestation of the selfish political tussle between the Sarakis and the Tinubus and only jobless Nigerians would be in support of any of the warring parties.
May both warring parties lose.
Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja and can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org