Dino Melaye: So Many Nigerian Leaders But Few Valid Certificates

Senator Dino Melaye
There is a close complementary relationship between the concept of leadership and followership. In fact, both terms work in concert without which the other can't stand alone.
Good leadership is made by good followership and good followership is made by good leadership. A true leader is a front-liner who is supposed to set a good precedent for the teeming followers looking up to him for direction and purpose.
James Maroosis, an authority on Leadership Studies at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business Administration - United States of America said;
 "The difference between followers and leaders is that followers need leaders to help them follow what leaders themselves are following. This relationship takes a form of a shared response-ability to a shared calling. Both find each other in a true followership to create the world responsibility"
The Nigerian idea of leadership has turned the reciprocal relationship around in oddity. There is a severe acute deficiency syndrome in leadership and the followers have contacted the virus from those elected or appointed to represent them in power. The resultant effects are the high rate of corruption and general underdevelopment in the country today.
  
Following the certificate scandal rocking the seeming invincible Kogi West Senatorial District lawmaker, Dino Melaye has not only left my mouth widely open in public out of bewilderment, but has also forced tears down my cheeks coupled with a feeling of nausea. 
Before now, Dino Melaye who is aspiring to be the Nigerian President someday was seen as the honest mouthpiece of the masses. His voice is constantly used as an advertorial on the African Independent Television, AIT.
Dino is not only vocal, influential and maybe intelligent, but he is very dramatic at the plenary. I am sure it was on this note that he bagged the awards of the 2016 Silverbird Man of the Year, the Most Outstanding Senator of the year 2016 and recently an award of excellence as the 'Political Phenomenon of Our Time’ by the Association of Northern Nigerian Students.
Dino is well endowed with a resonating and intimidating voice that reverberates across the four corners of the Upper Chamber when he speaks. If Dino had been a pastor, he wouldn't have needed a microphone or any sound system to preach in Church as his mic/voice amplifier is naturally in-built.
The 43-year old appears daring, cantankerous and valiant with reference to his life and career ridden with controversies. Aside his flashy cars owned and maintained without a concrete source of income aside politics, one would have safely called Dino a saint before Sahara Reporters owned by his former ally, Omoyele Sowore hacked the gallant public figure down in the mud.
At first, Sahara Reporters tweeted that Dino Melaye and one Senator Philips Tanimu Aduda, a People’s Democratic Party chieftain representing Abuja Federal Capital Territory coordinated the sharing of money as bribe in the Upper Chamber from an unspecified source to sabotage the Senate confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. This proved ineffective since the controversial news platform never backed up their accusations with a concise report or hard evidence.
Dino Melaye all along had a premonition that someone he might have offended in the line of duty was on his case. He went to Twitter to allege that the anti-graft body, EFCC was cooking up a case of fraud against him and that he was ready to defend himself.
Yes, Dino Melaye's high-flying plane was about to crash but the missile attack wasn't from the direction he anticipated. Sahara Reporters tweeted again that Dino Melaye never graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria - Kaduna State. The news medium went ahead to reveal that the Intel was once received by the leadership of the Directorate of State Security, DSS but was swept under the carpet after political manipulations.
Any normal person would wonder the credibility of such a claim as Dino Melaye graduated over 17 years ago and had since been on the '8th degree' within those years as he averred.
Dino listed a couple of schools abroad as his Alma Maters to laugh off the accusations. He claimed he had a degree at Harvard University, United States of America and the London School of Economics, United Kingdom but both schools have since dissociated themselves from him according to the information gathered by his accuser. This probably was the loudest alarm that woke up Nigerians and caused everyone to set eyes on the grave allegations of forgery and perjury against Dino.
Dino's three major attempts to win the media war against Sahara Reporters notorious for exposing certificate scandals of Nigerian leaders over the years have failed woefully. Dino shared a group photo himself and others during his National Youth Service Corp, NYSC days in Kaduna State in the year 1999, Dino slammed Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore with a N5 billion law suit and N10 million for court charges and he also shared images of his Masters degree thesis submitted to the Ahmadu Bello University this year. 
All these have failed to score points for Dino as his Twitter followers simply urged him to produce his first degree certificate and lay the matter to rest.
Dino's reluctance to produce a pictorial or relevant evidence has raised eyebrows coupled with his questionable zeal for academic degrees upon degrees without considering a PhD and be regarded as a Doctor of Philosophy like his revered colleagues at the corridors of power. 
There has also been an inconsistency in the names provided by the available credentials of Dino where he made a Third Class degree in Geography according to findings by The Punch newspaper.
The result was strangely regarded as a 'B.A in Geography' rather than B.sc in Geography' as the department is under the faculty of Social Sciences and not Arts. 
Dino was accused of colluding the Head of Department to forge a transcript after failing 5 core courses during his first degree. Dino’s conflicting names were also missing on the school’s graduation list.
Investigations by Punch also revealed that Dino’s NYSC discharge certificate, diploma certificate (Law, Security and Conflict Resolution) from the University of Jos, Senior School Certificate carried variations in names and errors begging for answers. Furthermore, Dino's available SSCE result that stipulates he failed some core subjects including Mathematics, English Language, Geography, Economics and Chemistry only qualifies him to sit back at his father's house.
 It now appears that Dino who accused Ibrahim Magu of failing an 'integrity test' following the indicting DSS report is not even qualified to take an integrity test himself.
But thanks to a clarification statement by the Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, who spoke before the Senate Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions on the certificate scandal, Dino seems to be a victor. 
Sahara Reporters has refused to back down as the online medium reiterated that Dino connived with the HOD, Professor D.O Ogbonna who later died teaching at the Kogi University to award 'fake grades'.
This drama is surely far from over and it has opened the eyes of the general public to another anomaly perpetrated by the ruling class.
Come to think of it, if our leaders can be embroiled in despicable acts of forgery and perjury which has adversely affected the public service since inception, one wonders what is expected of their followers going by the Yoruba saying that "a horse gathers momentum and inspiration from the one in its front during a race".
Internet fraudsters and other Nigerians engaged in infractions use our leaders as an excuse to justify their criminal stands and their explanations appear valid considering the widespread rot in every sector in the Nigerian state.
Dino's fictitious or alleged abysmal credentials have forced Nigerians to revisit the certificate scandal of President Muhammadu Buhari who clinched victory contesting with a 'ghost certificate' popularly called the 'NEPA Bill'. Erstwhile Speaker of the House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari was also involved in a certificate scandal. Others include Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ayodele Fayose, Gabriel Suswam, Adams Oshiomhole, Godwin Obaseki, Evan Enwerem, Stella Oduah, Andy Ubah, Domingo Obende, Maurice Iwu, Ndidi Okereke-Onyuike, and Christian Abah as provided by Punch newspaper.
It is baffling that a leader who broke the law for the achievement of his selfish interests will comfortably occupy a public office and attempt to defend the same law he showed disrespect for. It’s like expecting some errant members of the Red Chamber to clear Ibrahim Magu when about 11 of them including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki is being tried for corruption. The erring public office holders are not even bothered about the 14-year jail term attached to perjury by Section 118 of the Criminal Code as they can also buy judges with their loot when dragged to court.
A leader who cuts corners to win political power is not expected to tamper justice with mercy when dealing with the state treasury. 
There is a strong link between certificate forgery and financial crimes as questionable characters are produced thereby ending up as a cog in the wheel of progress in the state.
Nigeria is blessed with good leaders who have achieved great things for the country in the face of traditional acts of looting but cases of forgery whether minor or major has riddled bright careers and it’s worrisome.
When my father retired from the civil service in the year 2011, many felt he was the architect of his own 'misfortune'. My mother revealed he had the opportunity to falsify his age by reducing it by 5 years or more but he refused.
I was stunned to hear that considering the fact that a flagrant act of illegality was given an acceptable outlook in the public service.
That's the reality of things in Nigeria where every success story has an ugly dark side.
With the crop of leaders currently governing Nigerians on lies and empty promises, one is forced to push for a swap in position between the leaders and followers as the latter seem better off in control.


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About Osayimwen Osahon George

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on smile2georgex@yahoo.com Phone number: +2347053302356.
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