5 Reasons Why Dino Melaye Emerged PDP Governorship Candidate in Kogi

5 Reasons Why Dino Melaye Emerged PDP Governorship Candidate in Kogi

On Sunday, April 16, Senator Dino Melaye emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the November 11 governorship election in Kogi state.

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Senator Melaye secured 313 votes to defeat other aspirants, including his closest challenger, Idoko Ilonah, who got 124 votes.

Dino Melaye/Kogi PDP Governorship Candidate/Atiku
Senator Dino Melaye is the PDP governorship candidate for the November 11 election in Kogi state. Photo credit: Dino Melaye
Source: Facebook

While Senator Melaye’s emergence was a rude shock to some political watchers, others say his emergence is not a surprise.

In this piece, Legit.ng lists five reasons why Senator Melaye emerged as the PDP guber candidate in the north-central state.

1. Atiku Abubakar’s backing

Senator Melaye was said to have had the backing of former vice president and PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar as he vied for the ticket.

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The support of Atiku must have been a massive boost to Senator Melaye’s campaign, given the influence the Adamawa-born politician wields within the PDP nationwide.

2. Bias towards the Okun tribe

Kogi state was founded in 1991. The main tribes in the state are the Igalas, the Ebiras, and the Okuns. Before the emergence of Governor Yahaya Bello, only the Igalas governed the state under a democratic government.

The consensus among most people in the state is that since the Igalas and Ebiras have tasted power, it is only fair for power to rotate to Kogi West, where the Okuns dominate. Senator Melaye is a beneficiary of this arrangement.

3. Available financial resources

Politics is costly in Nigeria. To win an election, contestants do away with many financial favours even within a party. It is a significant economic project involving logistics, lobbying, mobilisation, etc. It takes a politician with a deep pocket to finance such projects.

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Senator Melaye has the financial wherewithal to sponsor this financially-tasking venture, and it has paved the way for him.

4. Loyalty to PDP

Senator Melaye has been consistent with his support for the PDP. Although a one-time member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the former lawmaker has given his all to the party since he returned before the 2019 general elections.

In the 2023 presidential election, he was one of the spokespersons for the party’s campaign council and was very vibrant. Senator Melaye’s emergence is seen as a reward for his loyalty to the party over the years.

5. Governor Nyesom Wike’s alleged interference

There are rumours within Kogi PDP that Senator Melaye’s closest challenger, Idoko Ilonah, is a politician associate and ally of Rivers state governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

The rumours became even more prominent when the Rivers governor openly dismissed Senator Melaye’s governorship ambition while speaking to selected journalists at Government House, Port Harcourt.

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Feelers from Kogi PDP are that delegates voted for Senator Melaye to resist Governor Wike’s interference in the state’s party affairs.

Governor Wike rubbishes Dino Melaye’s Kogi governorship bid

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State warned the Kogi state chapter of the PDP that they would be planning to lose the 2023 gubernatorial elections in the state if they handed over the party's ticket to Senator Melaye.

Governor Wike, during a media parley in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, April 11, said Senator Melaye does not have what it takes to govern a state.

“Why would Kogi people say they would vote for a candidate like Dino? Are we joking? When you give Dino that ticket, you know he won’t win in Kogi state," the Rivers state governor said.

Source: Legit.ng

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