Recall threat: Melaye raises alarm, alleged Bello doles out N1.4 billion to LGs

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Adetokunbo Fakeye
The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Otunba Dino Melaye, has raised the alarm that Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has allegedly released N200 million for each of the seven Local Government Areas in Kogi West Senatorial District to facilitate his recall from the Senate.

According to him, about 30 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who refused to collect the money and sign the recall form being distributed by the Kogi State government have allegedly been arrested by the police.

Among those arrested include the Ward Unit chairman in Ife/Olukotun, Mosunmola Shittu and Raphael Ibitiye, husband of the APC Zonal Woman Leader in Kogi West, Khadijhat Suleiman-Ibitiye.

Melaye in an interview with journalists in Lokoja on Saturday, however, dismissed the threat to recall him as a huge joke.

He said, “Quote me, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has released N200 million for the seven LGAs in my Senatorial District to facilitate my recall from the Senate. The money has been released but they are facing resistance in all pooling units as people refused to sign for the recall form. But he is a joker, my achievements speak for me.

“So far, about 30 persons, including the Ward Unit chairman in Ife/Olukotun, Mosunmola Shittu, have been arrested and taken to the Police Station on the orders of the Kogi State government.

“Also, Raphael Ibitiye, husband of the APC Zonal Woman Leader in Kogi West, Khadijhat Suleiman-Ibitiye, has also been arrested in Yagba East for resisting the so-called recall form. They are trying to use police to intimidate people across the state. They are facing resistance from the people.”

Raphael Ibitiye, a civil servant said he would stand for the truth, rather than mortgage his future for peanut and scrubs from the master’s table.

“I am a civil servant and for the past one year, I have not been paid any salary. But Senator Dino Melaye, has built a block of four classrooms in my village. Yet, the government officials want me to sign for his recall? God forbid! Money is not everything, it could be tough now, but I know God will provide”, he said.

Shittu was said to have asked members of the APC not to sign the recall form because they have implicit confidence on Senator Dino Melaye.

One of the aggrieved women who refused the money and the recall form, Ms. Abiodun Olowookere, told journalists that money cannot buy her conscience.

She said, “I cannot sacrifice my conscience for money. When officials of the Kogi State government met us, we refused signing the form and rejected their money. We told them to go and meet the chairperson of our Ward. Based on that, they went, arrested her and bundled her to the police station.

“Everywhere they go, they are facing resistance and have not been able to get signatures because the people are resisting them.

When contacted, the APC Leader in Yagba East LGA, Engr. Kayode Olomo, vowed that the governor would not get 50 of the signatures in the LG.

Several calls to the Chief Press Secretary to Yahaya Bello, Ms. Petra Akinti Onyegbule; his Senior Special Assistant (New Media), Joel Minister Odaudu and Senior Special Assistant (Electronic Media), Gbenga Olorunpomi, for responses were not replied.

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