Senate President Bukola Saraki at the National Hospital in Abuja on Wednesday after visiting Dino Melaye
By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki has led other senators to visit their colleague, Senator Dino Melaye at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Melaye was admitted at the hospital on Tuesday after being arrested by the police and attempted to be taken to Kogi to be paraded in court along with some suspected criminals.
The circumstances surrounding the hospitalisation of the senator are still unclear and some of his colleagues who tried to visit him on Tuesday and early Wednesday reported that the police prevented them from seeing their colleague.
However, the President of the Senate, following a resolution on the floor of the senate, led a powerful delegation to the hospital to see their colleague and ascertain his state of health.
The senate had adjourned plenary on Wednesday following a two prayer over the arrest and humiliation of one of them.
The decision of the Senate followed a motion moved by Senator Sam Anyanwu over the arrest of their colleagues. An yanwu had decried that the police refused he and other colleagues from seeing Melaye at the hospital.
However, the prayer that the senate adjourn was moved by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa who insisted that there was no need for the senate to sit about and debate when the health condition of their colleague was unknown.
He insisted that it was not only when a colleagues dies that the senate should adjourn but that the senate must adjourn over life threatening situations such as this.
The prayer was seconded by Senator Sunny Ugboji and adopted by the senate and the senate thereafter adjourned plenary.
The senate also adopted the motion that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, briefed the senate in plenary on Thursday.
As at the time of filing this report, the President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki as well as his colleagues had departed the National Assembly complex to go and visit their colleague.
Speaking, the President of the Senate said that the Senate leadership was very concerned about the turn of events surrounding the arrest and humiliation of their colleague.
Saraki said that he had already sent the Deputy Leader of the Senate to go and visit Melaye at the National Hospital Abuja.
“We as leadership are very concerned, Deputy leader and others have been sent to look for Dino Melaye. But it has gone beyond that and I can appreciate the emotions that have passed.
“The IGP should brief us tomorrow.
“I want to thank those who contributed. At times like this it is difficult to speak the truth because this is a violation on one, a violation on all of us, a violation on the institution and a violation on democracy.
“This action is a threat to the democracy we are all fighting for,
“We are about to go into an election period, and if these are the kind of excesses we will see from those responsible to protect us, then it is a cause for concern.
“We must all condemn this action, we should not be spending our energy on things like this,” he said.
Saraki added that since the incidence, he had been trying to reach the Police IGP to no avail, adding that is smirks of disrespect to him and to the institution of the Senate.
“I have not been able to reach the IGP and that is a disrespect, not only to me as an individual but to the institution of the Senate.
“This must stop. There are procedures and there are ways.
“We will go and ascertain Dino’s state of mind and find a solution to this problem,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Senator Chukwuka Utazi challenged his colleagues to speak the truth at all times insisting that it doesn’t matter if the senator in question was liked by all.
According to him, it could be Dino today and someone else today, adding that the action was an affront on the institution and on democracy.
He charged his colleagues that anyone who refrained from speaking or who supports the actions of the Police was not acting in the interest of Nigeria.
Senator Shehu Sani who gave soul searching sermon called on his colleagues and all arms of government to be mindful of their actions while they are in power as power would not always remain in their hands.
He stressed that the right things must be done by all who are in position of authority so that posterity would judge them faily.
Shortly before the senate adjourned, the delegation that was earlier sent to the National Hospital by Saraki returned to brief the upper legislative chamber.
Deputy Leader of the Senate Bala Ibn Na’Allah who led the delegation told the house that they were able to speak with the doctor in charge as well as the medical director of the hospital.
“The assurance we have is that they are doing what is possible to stabilize him. Currently he is in the intensive care unit and they are doing all they can to stabilize him.
“We tried to see him but the instruction is that only Senator Kaka and Abu Ibrahim have the permission to see him.
“There is one issue that is worrisome: his feeding is an issue, the Police is afraid to feed him, the National Hospital also expressed reservation about feeding him, but before we left we had a discussion on how to feed him.
“It was agreed that if there is a way they can arrange for food from any source but the source must taste the food first.
“There is an insistence to remove him from the National Hospital but the hospital has insisted that the police must sign an undertaken before he can be removed,” he said.