The media in the past few weeks has been awash with the controversy over “most distinguished Senator” Dino Melaye’s graduation or not. While I find this totally irrelevant, it has brought to the fore another dysfunction in the Nigerian system and of course, the Nigerian person. How does a Nigerian person become so powerful that he gets away with everything? How come we are so ravished with impunity?
Is it just me that thinks anytime this name comes up, it is always related to some mischief? Anyone remember that House of Reps man some years ago that was fighting with a woman on national TV. That same man was later suspended from the House that year. Some years later, a popular Yoruba actress named him the father of her baby, which he vehemently denied. Later, pictures of how he tortured and beat his wife came out in the media.
Oh! Yes! He was also part of the “Bring Back Our Girls Campaign”. Apparently, this did his personality some good and got him into the Senate. And ever since he came into this current senate, it has been all about Dino Melaye’s this and that. Most of these controversies everyone is familiar with already.
The issue over his graduation (or not) is probably the biggest of his numerous scandals so far. I just cannot believe some of the things that came out of the controversy. The story was that he never graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as claimed. But in his arrogant and brute self, he made claims boastful and posted pictures. He said he had seven degrees, from some schools that immediately refuted his claims. And ABU (the bone of contention) had to wait till this week to confirm (and also confuse) the details. What could have been done in a day?
Now, he did his Nationa Youth Service Corps (NYSC) before his graduation, he got admitted with a terrible O’level results. He also graduated with a B.A in Geography…with a third class. And the VC of ABU confirmed it all! Quite laughable! Rather than clear our doubts, the VC of ABU fuelled it. So, would it be wrong if anyone thinks some things had gone behind the scenes?
Then, Dino Melaye came out to tell us that he spoke the truth. Truth that he went to Harvard and London School of Economics (LSE) which the respective institutions denied. Well, he has won yet another battle and told us “We cannot catch him”. That I consider a big INSULT on the Nigerian people.
So I was wondering, how come he gets to win these battles? What business has he done between 2001 that he finished NYSC and now to afford those cars? Did we bother to find out? This is the product of our society, our culture of impunity, where some people always get what they want. Someone with questionable character that we voted to make laws for us, what else do we expect? He comes out to talk down on us, and flaunts his “wealth” all on our faces.
There is a popular saying that, you give a black man power and he becomes something else. Is this what is playing out? And everyone of us that are quick to judge, if you are in Dino’s position, would you not have done worse?
I will not be surprised if in the nearest future, people will start using Dino’s story as a testimony. He graduated with a 3rd class and he became a Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria, who says you cannot do it?
One of our many problems as Nigerians is that we are quick to forget, and completely forgive. No matter how the data and antecedents try to remind us, we look away and openly celebrate our past rogues. We not only celebrate them, we build them a fortress, above our collective interest and with our common wealth. We make them above the law and protect them, even at our detriment. This is our problem, we build crooked individual to become stronger than our institutions.
Food For Thought: We need to start building strong institutions and not strong men….. Bon Appetit!!!