The Kogi state government has issued a robust response to the public backing Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel, gave to embattled representative of Kogi West senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye.
He called him a "performing" senator and said, "If you take back the general, is it the recruit that will go and fight for you in politics?"
The recall process for Melaye has sparked a war of words between him and Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello, who the senator accused of masterminding the process because he had been criticising the governor's performance in the state.
He had also recently accused the governor of trying to assassinate him while he was addressing his constituents in Lokoja.
In response, Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor of Kogi State, Fanwo Kingsley, has issued a statement calling the governor's intervention "unfortunate".
Fanwo argued that the governor is not fully informed about the senator's conduct and went ahead to list a few of his transgressions.
The statement read, "The Kogi State Government is appalled by a viral video depicting the unfortunate and very public intervention of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, in the very justified and constitutionally unimpeachable move by constituents of Kogi West Senatorial District of Kogi State to recall Senator Dino.
"We believe that Governor Emmanuel's unveiled disdain for a long-suffering people trudging the booby-trapped path to recall their Senator in a bid to recover their dignity is uncalled for.
"Governor Udom's scathing rebuke for Kogi West people who are engaged in legal pursuit of their legitimate aspiration to terminate irresponsible representation goes against all democratic norms.
"It also does gratuitous violence to the customary esprit de corps which ordinarily ought to actuate the conduct of brother Governors and States towards one another in the Nigerian polity.
"What is even more appalling is Governor Udom Emmanuel's decoration of Dino Melaye with the rank and privileges of 'General' among all the Distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while consigning others to 'Recruit'.
"Dino Melaye is a General in the Senate of the 8th Assembly where even Governor Udom Emmanuel's accomplished predecessor sits? This is unprecedented.
"The irony is that Governor Emmanuel made these comments at an event where Senator Godswill Akpabio, one of Dino Melaye's contemporaries in the Senate, empowered his own people with 4 tractors, over 800 power-generating sets, 100 computer sets and printers, as well as sewing machines, grain-grinding machines, block molding machines and tricycles. He also announced scholarships and grants to hundreds of students from his constituency.
"The Kogi West Senator attended his colleague's Briefing and Constituency Empowerment event, not to learn how to represent well, but obviously as Comedian of the Day.
"He told false stories of unpaid salaries in his state (proving his long disconnect with current events, even in his own constituency).
"On cue he thrilled the crowd with his Aje Kun Iya Ni’Oje signature ballad and capered along with his usual inebriated gusto before preaching his false message of death being reward for both lying and telling the truth.
"He truly proved himself the 'performing Senator' Governor Udom Emmanuel called him that day.
"Governor Udom Emmanuel's later remarks in praise of his guest was just the pepper Kogi people needed sprinkled on their wounds while people whose Senator actually knows his job carted their dividends of democracy home.
"In case Governor Udom Emmanuel truly does not know the extent of his brand new General's unmitigating records of infamy, we gladly offer him tips for the almost inexhaustible research he needs to undertake to be anything near abreast of Senator Dino Melaye's narcissistic preoccupation with his personal interests in total disregard cry and yearning of his people.
"Where shall we start? Senator Dino Melaye has covered the field in misconduct.
"From fighting in support of corruption in the House of Representatives, to violence against women (both in his own home, to his own wife and in the National Chambers, to a fellow Senator), to corrupting the morals of the youths by offering them condoms in place of empowerment, to certificate scandals, to NYSC scandals, to recorded bribery of judicial officers, to recorded bribery of law enforcement officials, to recorded conspiracy to commit numerous and heinous crimes against the peace and security of his own state and constituency, to breach of code of conduct for public officers, to publicised and unctuous subservience to spouses and children of persons he believes can grant him personal positions and perks, etc. The list of perfidies, like we said, is inexhaustible.
"Now it is clear that Governor Udom Emmanuel seems to like our vacuous Senator so much, we would be much obliged if Akwa Ibom will take him off our hands for good. We can negotiate details of his transfer before the applicable windows close.
"Since Akwa Ibom receives several times the FAAC allocations accruing to Kogi State (note that we do not here question the equity of it, just stating basic facts), and since Senator Dino Melaye is a self-confessed butcher and sharer of elephants, there is no doubt that Akwa Ibom's elephantine financial receipts will indeed be more to his taste.
"For the avoidance of doubt, the good people of Kogi West, having decided they have had enough of Senator Dino Melaye's selfish brand of misrepresentation, and having undertaken to tread this slippery slope to self-respect have the support of not just all of us in Kogi State, but of all Nigerians of goodwill, including upstanding Akwa Ibomites. We therefore urge our brother, the still very much respected Governor of our brother State, Akwa Ibom, to show more sensitivity in his future utterances."
On Monday, July 10, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) posted the notice of verification for the recall of the lawmaker at the commission's office in Lokoja, capital of Kogi state.