Dino Melaye’s Certificate Scandal: Issues and Matters Arising! -Ishola Adebayo

March 31, 2017

Nigeria is gradually becoming a theatre, not of dreams, but that in which plays and drama become the order of the day. In recent times, the media is often portraying one scandal or the other. Our elected officials digress and shift their attentions away from the necessary things that make up a government. Instead, they focus on unnecessary frivolities at the expense of those who elected them to take up political positions. Ibrahim Magu’s re-confirmation took a long time, the non-wearing of uniform by the Customs became another big issue.

In a tweet on the 20th of March, Sahara Reporters (a major media brand) accused Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West), of not graduating from the Ahmadu Bello University. Quoting the tweet “In 2016 DG DSS Daura met with one of the Exam Officers from ABU, a DSS team investigated and concluded @Dino_melaye didn't graduate”. His name was not even on the list of convocation and even on the alumni list.

“Exams Officers at ABU, Zaria insist that @dino_melaye never graduated from Geography Department, they said Dino’s name was not on the graduation list.

“Exam officers stated that @dino_melaye failed GENS 201, GEOG 307 (Long Field Trip Course), GEOG 404, GEOG 411 and GEOG 426.

“At least 3 Exam Officers at ABU, Zaria insist that @dino_melaye never graduated from Geography Dept, DG DSS alerted but covered it up.

“@dino_melaye didn’t graduate from ABU, he applied for a PG programme at UNIJOS, he came to ABU for transcript, none could be provided.

Also the media outfit debunked his claim of having 8 degrees including the ones from the London School of Economics & Harvard Business School. As expected, Dino Melaye also responded on twitter insisting that he can never be cowed and he is expecting indictment from the media body. To save himself from the accusations, he released the picture he took during NYSC in ‘1999’.

In response to Sahara reporters’ claims, London School of Economics and the Harvard Business School confirmed that Dino never obtained a degree from their respective institutions only that he attended some events on their campus. As expected, Dino became the subject of discussion as the people expected Ahmadu Bello University to give their own side as regards Dino’s status just like other institutions. It took the intervention of the senate to invite the present VC of the institution who disclosed that Dino graduated with a 3rd class from the Ivory tower in 2000.

That is a major blow on the way we run things in this country. It took those foreign institutions some minutes to deny Dino’s certificate from them. Unlike a top institution in the country where they were so inconsistent, dragging their feet in dishing out their own side of the story that it took their VC a whole week to confirm if a student finished from the school. Can we emphatically say that money really ‘changed hands?’ How can Dino graduate in 2000, as claimed by the VC, and go for youth service in 1999? NYSC is after graduation not before. The credibility of the university is totally in doubt.

Undisputedly, Senator Dino Melaye fulfilled the necessary requirement as contained in S.65 (2) of the 1999 constitution. But this saga exposed the fact that most of our leaders are not loyal and they don’t care about the feelings of the masses that elected them. Infact, some of them can do without getting power without the use of dubious means like forged certificate etc. Not forgetting reports from the foreign institutions, it has indeed showed that these politicians are always in the habit of showing power. Most of them are hypocrites, lying that they have what they don’t genuinely have. Instead of bragging everywhere, Senator Melaye should actually cover his eyes in shame because the inconsistencies that were uncovered are just embarrassing, personally and nationally.

For Sahara reporters, kudos must be given to them in the course of investigative journalism. However, adequate and enough facts must be released so as not to give these corrupt officials the chance to exonerate themselves. We hope the media house try its best in defending themselves in court, following the inconsistencies that were obtained from this saga.

Sadly, we have a long way to go. We hope Senator Dino Melaye collects his long overdue “certificate” so that we can focus on better things.

Instead of unnecessary frivolities, our focus should really shift to national development and accountability. This same Senate is yet to pass the 2017 budget since December so as to fast track release of funds for capital projects and other national developmental programmes. It is so sad that developed countries are focusing on better things but we are placing our own focus on retrogressive things.

Nigerians, we had better wake up and demand for good governance because these people are time wasters.