Senator Dino Melaye has escaped death by the whiskers after some unknown gunmen invaded his house in the early hours of Saturday at Ayetoro-Gbede in Kogi State.
The gunmen numbering about 10 arrived the house at about midnight through the bush and opened fire on the house from different directions, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Melaye (APC-Kogi West), was in his country home at Ayetoro-Gbede in Ijumu Local Government Area for the Easter holiday at the time of the attack.
Confirming the invasion, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP William Aya, said the police received a distress call from the senator at about 1 a.m. and immediately responded.
However, Aya lamented that hoodlums escaped before the police arrived, thereby making arrest impossible.
The PRO also added the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wilson Inalegwu, had set up an investigative committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations to unravel those behind the attack.
Narrating his ordeal, Melaye said the hoodlums arrived at about midnight and started shooting sporadically at the main building in the compound.
He said the shooting lasted for almost one hour, adding that apart from the building riddled with bullets, two of his vehicles were damaged.
The senator said he suspected Mr. Taufiq Isa, the Administrator of Ijumu Local Government, as being behind the attack – an accusation that Isa denied.
Dino said the attack was most likely due to his incessant verbal attacks on certain elements in the state.
He said: “I got a rousing welcome from Kabba to my hometown on Friday and I know it angered the power that is in the state, which mobilised for this assassination attempt on my life.
“At about midnight, we started hearing gunshots. They fired more than 200 rounds of bullets into the house. This attempt to kill me will not stop me from speaking the truth.
“If I speak the truth, I will die, if I lie, I will die. I’ve decided to speak the truth and die. I’m not afraid of death. I only respect men, I don’t fear them.
“I am championing an administrative cause. I will continue to speak and be the voice to the voiceless. I’m not deterred; I remain resolute to make Kogi better. Noting will stop me from coming home.”
He also criticised the police for not responding quickly to his distress call, saying that the house of the Divisional Police Officer in the town was very close to the scene of the shooting.
“The DPO did not come to my house until three hours later. Even the area Commander in Kabba was not notified until I called the Commissioner of Police.
“I suspect a satanic collaboration between Taufiq Isa and the police in Aiyetoro because the duo held a meeting two days ago.
“Only God will protect us in this country, but definitely not the police,” he said.
Replying swiftly to the allegation, Mr. Taufiq Isa denied having a hand in the attempt on the life of the senator.
“I’ve never been a violent man. My running battle with Dino Melaye, if any, is because I have asked him to stop vilifying the state governor, Yahaya Bello.
“Let him (Dino) prove it. I lost my uncle a week ago; I’m still attending to my sick wife and busy supervising the APC re- registration programmes.
“I’m a democrat and law abiding. I challenge Dino to prove his case,” he said.