By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The process for the recall of Sen. Dino Melaye is gathering momentum as his constituents, Kogi West Senatorial District, submitted a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) demanding his removal from the Senate.
Melaye, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), represents the district at the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
Leader of the constituents, Chief Cornelius Olowo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in INEC headquarters on Wednesday, shortly after submitting the petition, that electorate in Melaye’s constituency were resolved to recall him.
He said that the petition, which had signatures of more than 52 per cent of the electorate in the area, was submitted at the office of INEC Chairman.
Olowo said that the move to recall Malaye was based on his “abysmal performance’’ since he was elected to represent the district in 2015.
He accused the senator of distancing himself from his constituents, saying that the lawmaker’s performance was low.
“In the last two years, some senators have been meeting with their people quarterly. They update them on what has been happening and seek their contributions on issues and their aspirations to be presented at the senate.
“For the past two years, Sen. Malaye has not organised one town hall meeting anywhere in Kogi West to meet with the people to present his scorecard or stewardship.
“He has been completely disconnected from the people. Since he won his election and the legal battle at the court, he is no longer reachable.
“He has no constituency office in Kogi West as we speak, as a way to reach him on matter of interests from the people that elected him,’’ Olowo said.
He said that the petition had signatures of registered voters in the senatorial district, who endorsed the recall.
“We have over 360,000 registered voters in Kogi West and after about one week of collection of signatures, we were able to gather over 188,500 signatures, endorsing the recall of the senator.
“We have submitted the petition at the office of INEC Chairman. It is now left for INEC to go and do confirmation of the signatures before going on the process needed for the recall,’’ he said.
On the allegation that the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, was sponsoring the recall and that people fought over the money disbursed for the exercise, Olowo said it was untrue.
He said that the genuineness of the demand would be confirmed when INEC would visit the area for confirmation of the signatories.
He expressed optimism that INEC would do what was required of it over the petition.
The Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, confirmed the receipt of the petition by the commission.
“Yes, such petition was submitted today (Wednesday),’’ he told NAN in a short message reply on telephone. (NAN)