Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) yesterday declared that his arrest and alleged torture by men of the Police was an attempt to stop him from speaking against tyranny, corruption and abuse of rule of law. In a thank you message to Nigerians after his return since he was granted bail last week, Melaye insisted that he would remain committed to speaking against tyranny, injustice, corruption and misrule.
“I know many of you worry about my safety and life in this new dispensation where life is no longer sacred in Nigeria. But do not be troubled. My bond of love for you, my good people, makes it impossible for me to consider my self-risk, safety, comfort or opportunity in my unflinching commitment to stand up for you, to stand up for truth and if necessary die for the truth and the emancipation of our people from the chains of poverty and oppression. Though they raise spurious allegations against me, bear false witness against me, though they seek to frighten me and lure me into their bounty of evil, I will fear no foe.”
He continued: “Yes, my traducers and torturers wish that I keep quiet; though they seek to seal my lips, to silence my voice forever, I remain ever more resolute and committed. I am committed to this cause for which I am a politician; the cause of the down trodden, to speak truth to power and stand against oppression and injustice. On these issues there will be no compromise. I owe no apologies and I tender none.”
With a close reference to the words of Martin Luther King, Melaye said: “Like I have always said, you speak the truth, you die, you don’t speak the truth, you die. I have chosen to speak the truth, dead or alive. Rev. Martin Luther King Jnr., once said, “Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politics? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.”
Thanking his constituents for their support, Melaye said: “The state unleashed its raw power on me and released a 200 man-strong fully armed policemen – on a man without a knife nor a bullet. It did this because I called injustice by its name and called for accountability. For this they sought to break my spirit and destroy me permanently. In their moment of reign, I was fully shackled. With my hands tied to my back, and hurled into a dark solitary confinement waiting for the butchers’ knife, you, my people stood by me. You came against a raging fire and stood up against tyranny, lies, filthy lucre, injustice, persecution and greed. While in the dark and unable to fight for myself, they sought to take my mandate, which you had freely given to me. But you answered back and quenched deceit in its wake.
“To the entire National Assembly Membership, especially my colleagues in the Senate, I am eternally indebted to you for not playing politics but standing courageously against oppression and terror. You have shown yourself leaders on whom Nigeria’s hope for tomorrow can be assured.”