Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District of Kogi State, Saturday escaped an assassination attempt made on his life by yet unknown gunmen at his country home in Aiyetoro-Gbede in Ijumu local government area of Kogi State.
The Chairman Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory’s building was reportedly riddled with bullets while two vehicles were destroyed, including one security vehicle.
Addressing newsmen yesterday, Melaye said the assailants came about 12 midnight and started shooting sporadically at his building. He said the shooting occurred intermittently with little break for more than one hour, where two of his vehicles (security car and a caravan) were destroyed.
Dino, who fingered the chairman of Ijumu Local Government, Hon. Taofiq Isa, said the attack was carried out because of his criticism of the state government.
“I got a rousing welcome from Kabba to my home town on Friday and I know it angered the power-that-be in the state, which mobilised for this assassination attempt on my life.
“At about midnight, we started hearing gunshot. They fired more than 200 rounds of bullets into the house. This attempt to kill me will not stop me from speaking the truth. If I speak the truth I will die, if I lie I will die. Me, I’ve decided to speak the truth and die. I’m not afraid of death. I only respect men; I don’t fear them.
“This attempt is being championed by the chairman of my local government. He had said it many times that he will do everything to stop me from coming home. Beside, those assailants when leaving were chanting ‘We will know if it’s Taofiq that owns the land or you.
“I am championing an administrative cause. I will continue to speak and be the voice to the voiceless. I’m not deterred, I remain resolute to make Kogi better. Noting will stop me from coming home”, the fiery senator vowed.
According to Melaye, he said he suspected some collaboration with the Police division of Aiyetoro Gbede whom he said did not come to his house until three hours after the hoodlums had left, despite being a stone throw from his house.
“The DPO did not come to my house until three hours later. Even the area command in Kabba was not notified until I called the CP. I suspect a satanic collaboration with the police in Aiyetoro. Only God will protect us in this country but definitely not the police”, he added.
However, the Ijumu Chairman, Taofiq Isa, who doubles as the ALGON chairman, denied being involved in the assassination attempt, and said he had been busy attending to his sick wife.
Isa urged Melaye to prove his allegation against him, saying, “I’ve never been a violent man. My running battle with Dino if any is because I have asked him to stop vilifying the state governor, Yahaya Bello.
“Let him (Dino) prove it. I lost my uncle a week ago, I’m still attending to my sick wife and busy supervising the APC re-registration programmes. I’m a democrat and law abiding. I challenge Dino to prove his case”, Isa added.
The state Police Public Relation Officer, William Aya who confirmed the story said the DCP Crime has already been mandated to investigate the matter.