The saying goes that some are born to greatness, whereas others have greatness thrust upon them. The saying leaves out the category of those who cannot tell greatness apart from charlatanism, of course, as well as those who use greatness as a whip and are whipped in return. This latter category includes those who seem to be victorious while donning the attire of defeat, or obviously have loss and failure for bosom companions and yet do not seem to hit rock-bottom. In any case, greatness is a cloud that constantly evades pinning down. Much like Senator Melaye.
Dino Melaye. That is a social and political household name if ever there was one. The big man is one of those public figures who deserve to be immortalized in folk tales and songs. Doubtless, when later generations analyze the evolution of Nigeria’s federal parliament, Melaye would emerge as a Harlem figure, a revolutionary who turned things around and upside down.
Born in Kano, the arcadian people cannot have known that a boisterous baby had been delivered on their soil. Or maybe they did and sent him off to a martial environment for secondary education. And ended up fanning the flames to a raging inferno. The journey of Dino Melaye is about as intriguing as an ostrich professor. Not only did he become a regular in the National Assembly as a thriving politician, but he also became a solid force of charisma and comic charm, a democratic evangelist. But God help whoever thinks him docile or a very good boy.
Melaye is one of the rare political celebrities who have been placed under house arrest and immediately roused the camaraderie of the Nigerian people. Not to mention being quite possibly the only public figure who escaped kidnapping by climbing a tree. His latest dance is the just-concluded senatorial election with Melaye was expected to emerge as the senator representing Kogi West constituency. But the expectation is a fickle bedmate and Dino lost. But the forces against him, said the evangelist himself, are not beyond God, so a sequel is in view.
All in all, a very intriguing chap, a man of the people, risible concierge and custodian of democracy, Dino Melaye. And he is only 45 years old.