The Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi State, Dino Melaye, has stressed fhd importance of the November 11 polls by saying that “Kogi State is like an evil forest that needs instantaneous redevelopment and needs a messiah.”
The former senator said he hopes to be instrumental in ameliorating pains of those living in the state. He further said it has never been this bad in the history of Kogi, as the state is more divided than at any other time in the state’s history.
Melaye, in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, said, “I have never heard of the Igala, Okun, or Ebira agenda.”
He however said since the All Progressives Congress came into power in the state, they have completely polarised and divided the people, and there is serious disunity.
He said part of the PDP’s agenda is to first reunite the state, as the slogan of his campaign says “One Kogi, One Destiny”.
Melaye said: “The satanic manifestation of the APC in KogiState Is legendar.” He said a few days ago, the governor announced the upgrade of 300 traditional rulers. According to him, this is a manifestation of panic.
He assured the people of Kogi that “this time, no matter what the APC is trying to do, the PDP will defend its vote, stand by our people, and defend our people. We will not allow what happened in 2019 to repeat itself.”
He said in 2019, a woman was burned alive, “my nephew was shot dead within the perimeters of my compound, 11 people were murdered on the day of my election, and a helicopter was spraying bullets from the sky on innocent people ”
He promised that the PDP would not allow that to happen again.
He said, “The PDP is a peaceful party, and I am a peaceful man. I don’t believe in thuggery or violence, but we will defend ourselves.”
He said tension has been part of the lives of the Kogi people since the APC came into power seven years ago. “I have survived four assassination attempts; I have had 12 court cases of FG vs. Dino Melaye, and I have been attacked severally. It is not new, as it is in the DNA of the APC to be violent.”
Melaye said he keeps coming back not because of a political ambition but because he has a big God who is always there for him, and there is nothing man can do to him.
He said Kogi is the only state where a level 16 officer is paid 16–20 thousand naira, and “we cannot allow that to happen; we have to come out and defend the people. We are trying to rebuild what the APC has ruined.”
Melaye said he plans to bring change to the Kogi people because “today we have a government without governance; the people are living in fear, and we need to restore their confidence in governance. We will do that by treating every Kogite like a customer, and as we know, the customer is always right and treated with respect, dignity, and decorum.”
He promised to fight insecurity and tame those who are responsible for violence in the state.
He spoke on education, saying “There are no functioning primary schools in Kogi State as there are no teachers,” adding that the LGA workers have not been paid, and those that are paid are paid 25% of their salaries.
He said the current Kogi State government myopically and porously sacked 120 professors and lecturers at the Kogi State University, and these are people who became professors in Nigerian first-generation universities. “All these, I am assuring you, will come to an end.”
“We launched a website just days ago, www.senatordinomelaye.org, where you will see ‘JUSTICE FOR KOGI WORKERS’, and we have requested that every worker that has been sacked visit the website and fill out the form.”
In a few days, over 300 people have visited the website and lodged complaints. He hopes to reabsorb them back into their places of work, as they were vindictively dismissed in the first instance, he said.
He said the PDP will improve the IGR of Kogi State without taxing poverty. “We have over two dozen mineral resources of commercial quality in Kogi, and only limestone has been tapped. We will make sure there is exploration of those mineral resources to the advantage of the state.
“I want to assure you that Dino Melaye is a global citizen. I have the contacts to make sure that we develop the facilities that will promote the marine movement. We have more than enough to drive tourism to our state.”
Concluding the interview, Melaye said in response to his love for shoes and cars that “it will be very myopic and intellectually stagnant for anyone to judge you by your side attractions; rather, you should be judged by the magnitude and intensity of your productivity.
“I am a businessman and do legit business; I have never been invited by EFCC ever in my life for any reason.”