INEC receives signatures, votes for Melaye’s recall
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been notified by the electorate in Kogi West Senatorial District of its intention of recalling Senator Dino Melaye from the National Assembly.
The Kogi electorate made its intention known on Wednesday by sending six bags consisting of 52.3 percent of signatures of the senatorial district, including petitions, to the INEC in Abuja.
Embattled Senator Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial District, has under his jurisdiction seven local governments.
Each local government in the senatorial district are identified by their names on each bag consisting the signatures and petitions.
It was gathered that Yagba West had the largest number of voters making a no confidence call on Melaye, thereby, necessitating his return home.
The vote results read thus: Lokoja, 54.8 per cent; Yagba East, 52 per cent; Ijumu (Melaye’s local government), 51.8 per cent, Kogi, 52.77 per cent; Yagba West, 55.7 per cent; Kabba/Bunu, 46.7 per cent and Mopa/Moro, 50.4 per cent.
Speaking on behalf of the Ijimu LGA, Mr Cornelius Olowo of the ruling APC, said the electorate was not comfortable with Melaye’s representation at the Senate.
He said further: “We want Senator Melaye back because of poor representation, he is also not accessible to us, he is unreachable and has no constituency projects.
“Apart from the fact that he has never called any town hall meeting, there has been a major gap between the senator and the people he claims to represent.”
However, Olowo said the Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi was not to blame for the recent call for the senator’s return. Melaye currently holds the chairmanship position of the Senate Committee on FCT, Abuja.
“We don’t need to lobby or allow anyone to lobby us. The governor and the senator are not from the same senatorial district. We believe that the Senate ought to be a place for people who can be trusted. We have stomached his excesses for more than two years now. We can’t continue anymore.
“We were the ones that mobilised the voters and we did this for some days. Melaye was a pillar among those who installed the governor and was also the one who nominated the present Secretary to the State Government.”
No response has been made on the issue from the INEC, as the Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, was unavoidably absent at the time of submission of the petition.
But it was also gathered that a prior information from Osaze-Uzzi confirmed the commission may conduct a referendum on the senator’s recall and obtaining 50 percent of voters would indicate a substantial evidence.
The constitution is explicit on the issue in Section 69, which provides the following on how to recall senators from the Senate:
“(1) A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives may be recalled if ”“
“(a) there is presented to the Chairman of the INEC a petition in that behalf signed by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member ; and
“(b) the petition is thereafter, in a referendum conducted by the INEC within 90 days of the date of receipt of the petition, approved by a simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency.”
In his reaction, Melaye said such call on his return amount to a joke, adding that those behind it risk jail term for what he termed forgery.
The senator made his thought known on his Facebook page on Wednesday, where he said:
“It cannot succeed. It is a hoax and absolute comedy of errors. I’m laughing at the stupidity of the Kogi State Government. Many appointees will go to jail for forgery. Even dead people’s names (are) on the recall register. A governor who does not know what double registration is may not as well know the procedure for recall. Every lie has an expiry date. This comedy of errors will soon end. No shaking at all. This won’t solve the problem of not paying salaries for over 15 months. No retreat, no surrender. Truth is my only defence.”
INEC receives signatures, votes for Melaye’s recall first appeared on Virtue’s digest.