The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council in Kogi State has described as fictitious, unfounded and tendentious, claims that the party has abandoned the spokesman of the council and senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, in his hour of need.
Director-General of the Council, Chief Clarence Olafemi, made the this rebuttal in an interview with Guardian newspaper published on Sunday.
Recall that Melaye surrendered to the police after an eight-day siege to his residence by the Nigeria Police Force, over the case of attempted culpable homicide involving the shooting of a Police officer, Danjuma Saliu.
Days after he gave himself up, an ailing Melaye was whisked away by masked security operatives on Friday, from the police hospital in Abuja, where he had been receiving treatment .
Force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, claimed Melaye was moved to a health facility of the Department of State Services (DSS) following complaints that his condition was not improving. He was yesterday moved to the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (FSARS) office in Guzape District, Abuja.
However, Chief Olafemi, maintained that despite his travails, Melaye is in high spirit following the outpouring of solidarity and encouragement from partymen and women.
Olafemi, a former speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly and one time acting governor of the state disclosed that some leaders of the party had kept vigil at the hospital, while supporters were also trooping in to see him.
“The claim that Senator Dino Melaye has been abandoned by the party is a lie from the pit of hell. Dino Melaye knows that the party cannot abandon him. Would you say that Bukola (Saraki), has abandoned Dino? Can he abandon him? Would you say that Atiku (Abubakar) has abandoned Dino? Can he abandon him? These are Dino’s friends come rain, come sun. I am the director of the campaign council (in Kogi State) and Dino Melaye is a very strategic figure to the campaign. I am reassuring you that we are doing every thing possible to ensure that Dino wins the Kogi West Senatorial District election, whether they keep him in prison or they don’t keep him in prison. The war against Melaye is purely political.
“We in Okunland; we in Kogi West, we are going to vote for him, we cannot abandon him because he is useful to us. How can a government spend so much money; so much manpower running after a single person? In my 68 years in Nigeria, I have not seen such thing,” Olafemi said.
On what steps the PDP leadership has taken so far to ensure Melaye’s release from detention, Olafemi said, “there is no step we can take other than to give him moral support and encourage the lawyers to work hard towards securing his release, and they are doing that.
“Visitors, party leaders and supporters, are trooping in daily to the hospital to see him to give him strong moral support. I can assure you authoritatively that Dino is in high spirit where he is.
“As a human being, his incarceration is a denial of his human rights, and a denial of his liberty.
“No doubt he will have some element of psychological depression. Like Nelson Mandela, he is struggling against the tides, but one day, he shall be liberated.
“Half of our presidential rally in Lokoja on Monday January 7 was devoted to celebrate Melaye, and we are aware that he will hear from where he is, and this would further boost his morale.
“The presidential campaign team that visited Lokoja for the Monday rally paid a solidarity visit to him in Abuja before embarking on the journey to Lokoja.
“We are behind him, the party is behind him, the campaign committee is behind him and Kogi State people are all behind him, as well as Kogi West. They are doing this thinking that his arrest will slow down his chances in the election, but they are wasting their time. They have only succeeded in making him more popular.”
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