By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Senator Dino Melaye is certainly on the brink of final exit from the National Assembly. He is contesting the Kogi West Senatorial District supplementary election on Saturday, 30 November, 2019 against a so called ‘fiend’, Senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Prof. Professor Olayinde Lawal, Returning Officer, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on November 17 declare the senatorial election inconclusive.
In that poll, Adeyemi led Melaye by a whopping 20,570 votes, after polling 80,118 votes, as against 59, 548 votes polled by Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The election was declared inconclusive because the margin between the candidates is lower than the 43,127 registered voters in 53 polling units of 20 registration areas in the zone where elections were cancelled.
Melaye has been crying foul, alleging rigging and called for the cancellation of the poll, but INEC had paid deaf ears to his cry.
He had boasted when the Appeal Court upheld the decision of the Electoral Tribunal calling for a re-run, that he would always defeat Adeyemi. He had likened Adeyemi as his political wife that he would always defeat.
“Smart Adeyemi is my political wife, I was in APC, I contested against him in PDP, I defeated him. I came to PDP and he went to APC, I defeated him, that is two zero and going back for the third time, it will be hat-trick. I will score the third goal,” Melaye had written on his Instagram page.
Alas, the die is cast, he is trailing his adversary by 20,570 votes going into tomorrow’s supplementary election where he needs to overturn the table to emerge winner and return to the Senate, but political watchers see Melaye as a goner. INEC had given him a lifeline by declaring the poll inconclusive.
Political analysts are of the view that Melaye has a mountain to climb to overturn a gargantuan deficit, especially when all attention will now be paid to the areas in question.
From the 43,127 registered voters in the areas, it is doubtful if more than half will come out to vote going by the violence that marred the last poll in the area, which already has put Adeyemi on the advantage.
Again, political watchers are of the view that the APC will deploy full machinery to the area to garner votes for Adeyemi, unlike when the poll was conducted on 16 November along with the governorship election.
Though, Melaye is more active on social media with lots of propaganda, it is doubtful if this will sway votes to his side on Saturday, as Adeyemi is 85 percent certain to return to the Senate after tomorrow, except a certain court nullifies the poll.
A National Assembly without Melaye, is certainly what the APC desires, but Saturday’s supplementary election will be the last straw to make it a reality, and crown a bad year for garrulous Melaye. There is no hiding place.