From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
It was ovation galore when the Senator representing Kogi west, Dino Melaye appeared at the venue of the eight day prayer for the late Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Honorable Buba Jibril.
‘Sai Dina’, rented the air as the crowd, many of whom had been told he would be absent because of his travails with the Police.
The senator who was declared wanted by the Nigerian police for alleged complicity in a criminal case, was driven into the venue, Kabawa primary school in the convoy of the senate president.
Melaye has been having a long standing issue with Governor Yahaya Bello of the State which has snowballed into name calling, threatening to tear the ruling APC party apart in the State.
Many persons thought Melaye would shy away from attending the 8th day prayer but low and behold he was at the occasion live and he left without being arrested as speculated.
As Melaye alighted from the jeep of the Senate president he raised his two fingers to acknowledge cheers from the crowd as ‘Sai Dino’ rented the air.
Some members of the Kabawa community also provided their own local security for the senator apart from that of the senate president.
It was gathered that the senator also shook hands with the representative of the commissioner of police at the airstrip in Obajana where the private jet of the senate president landed as they alighted.
There were rumours that some Federal Special Anti Robbery Squads (SARS) operatives were even deployed to the State to effect the arrest of senator Melaye.
Before the prayer session there was also a mild drama as loyalists of Governor Yahaya Bello hanged their banner before long supporters of the senator also hanged Melaye’ s banner very close to that of GYB group’s own.
The master of ceremony quickly interjected warning that it was an eight day prayer for the late Buba and not a ground for politicking.
Hence before the matter could degenerate into another political scuffle between the two groups the banners were removed.
The crowd at the eight prayer was unprecedented as the list of dignitaries included the Senate President Bukola Sraki, the immediate past Governor of the State Idris Wada and his former deputy Yomi Awoniyi, the majority leader of the House
Femi Gbajabiamila, Emmanuel Egwu representing Idah federal constituency, James Faleke representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, Kabiru Ajana representing Okehi/Adavi federal contituency, Hassan Omale representing Ankpa/Omala/Olamaboro federal constituency.
Others are Senator Tunde Ogbeha, Isah Kutepa, Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasiru Ajana, sunday KarimI representing Yagbagi Federal constituency. Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State was represented by his deputy Elder Simon Achuba.
Immediate past Governor of the State Idris Wada said Buba’s death is a major loss to Kogi politics. “Buba is a very nice man very vibrant politician he has the interest of the people at heart. We will all miss him greatly. We pray that his soul rests in peace. The death should teach politicians that there is an end to everything in life that is why we should not push things beyond limit.” He warned politicians to avoid do or die politics.
According to Femi Gbajiabiamila the more he talks about Buba the more he would get sad and be forced to cry.
“He was personal friend, a leader and a colleague, we learnt a lot from each other, we are going to miss him.
“I am trying to absorb the shock in my system you can see the amazing crowd at the prayer that is a testament to the kind of person he was.”