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Tinubu, Melaye battle now a silly joke carried too far

With the overwhelming problems and challenges facing the country at this time, the least Nigerians expect is for two respected senators to make themselves public spectacles, occupying pages of newspapers on frivolous issue and constituting a major distraction from the numerous pertinent challenges facing the country.

The spat between Senator Remi Tinubu, wife of All Progressives Congress (APC) National leader Asiwaju Bola  Ahmed Tinubu, representing Lagos Central, and Senator Dino Malaye, who is representing Kogi west senatorial district, which started during the plenary of Tuesday, July 12, 2016 has received ample (and to an extent, unnecessary) attention, during with protests organized in various places, mostly in support of senator Tinubu and calls have been made from different quarters condemning the action of either senator.

No one is protesting against the back drop of the nation’s economy or unpaid workers salary or even the scarcity of aviation fuel.

Recent developments  seem to prove that the issue has been blown out of proportion with groups calling for Malaye’s head, and Senator Tinubu writing Senate president and APC leadership after  a petition  the police to request for protection from Dino Melaye’s threat.

The spat which started when Senators deliberated on how to bring an end to the ongoing trial of Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki and his deputy Ike Ekweremadu by the Federal Government over allegations of forging Senate standing rules should have been settled in the house and not presented as a subject of national debate as to who is right and wrong.

After numerous call for senator Melaye’s head, a group of women in Kogi rose in defense of the senator, and expressing their support for the senator and describing senator Tinubu’s antecedents in the Red chamber as arrogant and proud. After his adventurous journey to Lagos on Saturday, July 16, 2016, to prove his fearlessness, the Kogi senator also accused Remi Tinubu of sponsoring protest against him. He said she spent N75 million on protesters.

Senator Remi Tinubu on her part has continued her letter writing spree as she wrote to the leadership of APC and the Senate presidents, urging them to sanction the Kogi senator as he has become a threat to her life.

According to the letter written to the Senate President dated July 19, 2016, Senator Remi said, “Unless  Senator Melaye is appropriately disciplined, he remains a danger to me and to the Senate at large. He has promised twice within one week to attack me.”

In the petition to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Odigie Oyegun, Senator Tinubu accused Melaye of gender discrimination:  “ I am  both a ranking Senator and a woman. But Senator Melaye took neither into consideration as he issued threats of rape and assault, while boasting that he would face no consequence even if he fulfilled these criminal threats.”

She said she remained silent and attempted no interjection during Melaye address, only cautioned his use of language and the threats he issued, when Melaye charged at her “in what can only be seen as effort to attack me.”

The frivolous issue has received massive media hype and it’s time for Nigeria to move on. The matter should be laid to rest, and all parties should settle their differences and focus on more important issues like restructuring the economy, providing infrastructure and mitigating the rising inflation.

– Olalekan Olonilua for

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