Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West, says he escaped death by the whiskers when gunmen invaded his house in the early hours of Saturday at Ayetoro-Gbede in Kogi State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reported that the gunmen numbering about 10 arrived the house at about midnight through the bush and opened fire from different directions on the house.

The house was riddled with bullets while two of the vehicles parked in the estate were damaged by the hoodlums, the agency reported.

Mr. Melaye was in his country home at Ayetoro-Gbede in Ijumu Local Government Area for the Easter holiday at the time of the attack, NAN said.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, William Aya, told NAN that the police received a distress call from the senator at about 1 a.m. and immediately responded.

He said the hoodlums escaped before the police arrived, thereby making arrest impossible.

Mr. Aya said the Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, had set up an investigation committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations to unravel those behind the attack.

Dino Melaye, Kogi West

On his part, Mr. 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 the attack was most likely due to his incessant verbal attacks on the State Government.

“I got a rousing welcome from Kabba to my home town 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 bullet 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 course. 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.”

Mr. Melaye also chided the police for not responding quickly to his distress call, saying that the house of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the town was a stone thrown from the scene of the attempt on his life.

“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.

In a swift reaction, Isa denied having a hand in the attempt on the life of the Senator, saying that he had been busy for sometime taking care of his sick wife.

“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, Alhaji 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.

(NAN)

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