Yesufu also described as despicable, the Senator's victory dance which he posted online, adding that he is childish.
Melaye was accused by Sahara Reporters of lying that he graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU).
In the interview, Yesufu also described as despicable, the Senator's victory dance, adding that he is childish.
Read the full interview which was obtained from Punch below:
What year did you gain admission into Ahmadu Bello University?
I was admitted into Ahmadu Bello University during the 1993/94 session. The year was regarded as the ‘U93’ set. So, every student that came in that year had that number as part of their matriculation number.
Were you admitted the same year as Dino Melaye?
Yes. I believe so.
What name did you know him as while in school?
I knew him as ‘Dino’. We were not in the same department. He was in Geography Department, while I was in Electrical Engineering Department. He was always called ‘Dino’ in school. It was clearly an alias. Apparently, since he entered politics, he has adopted it as his real name.
How many years did you spend in ABU?
That is a ‘JAMB’ question we (some Ahmadu Bello University graduates) all avoid. I spent seven years in school. I came into ABU in August 1994, like others. I completed my academic work in December 2001. I had an extra year, added to my five years compulsory work as an engineering student; then add the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ a year and a half’s strike. Our set was a really disadvantaged one.
Did you graduate same year as Melaye?
No. I didn’t. Dino was in the (Faculty of) Social Sciences, and the course duration in that faculty was usually four years. So, based on that summation, he would have left school in 1999. My classmates graduated in 2000 but I didn’t graduate until 2001, because of my extra year.
While in school, did you know Melaye’s real name?
No, I didn’t know his real name. I’m just learning that his name is Daniel (Jonah Melaye) since the controversy began.
Do you have an idea how long he stayed in school?
Dino’s classmate should have graduated in the year 1999. If he had an extra year, then he would have graduated in 2000.
What kind of student was he?
This is my honest thought about Dino while he was in school. Dino was a rabble-rouser – that’s the best way to describe him. He was prominent in ABU’s student unionism of that time. He was usually seen inciting students against the university authorities. I later learnt that he was older than most of us, thus his better mental grasp of handling matters. He was a noisemaker. I remember one evening, as I was entering Suleiman Hall, there was commotion at the entrance. Later, I saw Dino in the centre of a crowd speaking to students. He drew crowds easily and was detested by the university authorities.
What was he saying?
If my memory serves me well, it might have had to do with the authorities’ plan to proscribe student unionism on campus. Dino and others called on the students to resist the act, although the university eventually succeeded in banning unionism and the ban was never lifted while I was in the school.
Was Dino ever president of ABU’s Students Union Government?
He was never a president of ABU Students Union Government though he claimed to be.
Could he have been de facto leader of the union?
He could be de facto leader but certainly not official leader (of the SUG).
Melaye said he went for the National Youth Service Corps programme in 1999 but his certificate says he graduated in 2000. Do you doubt he graduated from ABU?
That is where the discrepancy lies. Certainly, that is contradictory. And that’s why people believe he may be lying. When the story first broke, he said he served in 1999. Then the current vice chancellor of the school said he graduated in 2000. Then, Dino presented an NYSC certificate that has a 2000 date. It doesn’t add up. But I cannot say for certain when he served but friends said he went for the one-year compulsory national service.
What year did your NYSC certificate read?
I went for the national compulsory service in September 2002 and finished a year later.
Melaye speaks glowingly of his activism on campus as a student. What exactly can you say about that?
Regarding activism, he was very prominent. Though he didn’t lead the SUG, he was usually with the leadership. I cannot say authoritatively whether he was part of the executive. My classmates also told me that he actually led the Geography students’ group. I learnt he was impeached based on allegations of a missing union TV set.
How old do you think Melaye was at that time?
Dino was at least five years older than us because he was said to have been above 30 when he went for NYSC and might have been initially barred. But you know Dino, he had his way. He eventually served. So, he would have been 23 or 24 years old when he gained admission into ABU.
Will you describe him, being a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as a good ambassador of ABU?
Dino Melaye is a disappointment to the prestigious university. Dino has become (Senate President) Bukola Saraki’s errand boy. Let him know that his primary assignment is to serve Kogi West and not to senate president. And if his people know what is good for them, let them recall him. Unfortunately, Dino’s malfeasance has cast ABU graduates in a bad light. But for every Dino that ABU graduates, there are thousands of excellent individuals. The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, now Emir of Kano, was a student and later a lecturer in ABU. Mallam Nasir el-Rufai is a first-class graduate of ABU. Hadiza Usman was my classmate at Demonstration Secondary School, ABU. She went on to read Law in our satellite campus at Kongo, Zaria, ABU. She now heads the Nigerian Ports Authority.
ALSO READ: See video of Dino Melaye's victory dance
Have you seen the Melaye video after the VC confirmed him as a genuine graduate of ABU?
It is despicable. He’s so childish. The tragic part is that he is a leader in this country.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Ibrahim Garba told the Senate that Dino Melaye graduated from the institution.