There was a mild drama on the floor of the senate, yesterday, as controversial senator representing Kogi West abandoned the All Progressives Congress (APC) side and relocated to the other side of the aisle designated for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers.
He announced his relocation as soon as lawmakers resumed for the day’s legislative business.
The APC has lately been plagued by crisis, coupled with agitations by new PDP bloc within the ruling party, sparking predictions that they may leave the ruling party in the coming weeks.
Some senators including the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, are reportedly making plans to ditch the APC.
Announcing what could be described as his defection, Melaye told his colleagues that henceforth, he would no longer sit among APC members. Instead, he said he would sit beside the former president of the Senate, David Mark, until a seat is allotted to him by Saraki.
“Mr President, I want to seek your indulgence. You will have to call in the Sergeant-at-Arm to look for a comfortable sit for me on this side of the divide (PDP’s section).
“I am no longer comfortable sitting here (area earmarked for APC members). I want to ask that you mandate the Sergeant-at-Arm to look for a sit for me. I will take a sit close to David Mark, pending when you get a sit,” Melaye announced.
As soon as he made the announcement, PDP senators moved to usher him to their side. Minority Leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, led other members to welcome him.
His announcement did not come without protests from APC senators. PDP senators kicked.
As expected, Senate Majority Leader, Ahmad Lawan, said he was unaware of Melaye’s movement. He said his seat was still available and that he was free to return anytime.
His position was supported by Olusola Adeyeye, Jibrin Barau, Kabiru Marafa and others who were not recognised to speak by Saraki.
On the other side, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu and Akpabio, spoke in defence of Melaye’s movement to their side of the chamber.
After a 25-minute drama, Saraki stepped in. He overruled senators who argued that Melaye should relocate to his seat. He, however, said that Melaye’s seat was still available.
He said: “Senator Dino Melaye, you made a request which I can’t see the reasons why you now want to sit elsewhere. Is it due to your injury or what? As far as I am concerned, Senator Melaye,
I still know you with that seat. I take note of your request and I take note of your comments.”
Meanwhile, Melaye has alleged that the Police made two attempts to assassinate him. Melaye who came to the chamber for the first time since his running battles with the Nigeria Police Force
(NPF), was supported by his aides when he walked in at about 11.13am.
Raising a point of order, he said: “Mr President, I want to say that the Nigerian police attempted to kill me twice. One, through the application of a chemical substance and the second time through injection. They actually came with an injection, but God intervened.
“Having appreciated God for His love and kindness and protection upon my soul, I want to specially acknowledge the Nigerian Senate. I want to thank you for your love, for your concern, for speaking for me and the course of democracy.”