THE senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, Dino Melaye, on Saturday escaped assassination attempt on his life as unknown gunmen attacked his residence in Ayetoro-Gbede, Ijumu local government area of the state.
The assailants were said to have invaded the residence at about 12 am, shooting sporadically into the building.
After the rain of bullet that lasted over one hour, two of the vehicles parked within the premises were damaged, while part of the building was also destroyed.
Narrating his ordeal to newsmen, the senator said the assailants came in some minutes after 12 midnight and started shooting indiscriminately into his building.
He said the hoodlums shot at intervals with little break for more than one hour where two vehicles, a security van and caravan bus were destroyed.
The lawmaker however accused chairman of the local government, Taofiq Isa, of masterminding the attack because of his criticism of the state government.
“I got a rousy welcome from Kabba to my home town yesterday (Friday) and I know it angered the power that be in the state which mobilised for this assassination attempt on my life.
“At about midnight we started hearing gunshot. They fired more than 200 rounds of bullet into the house. This attempt to kill me will not stop me from speaking the truth.
“If I speak the truth I will die, if I lie I will die. Me, I’ve decided to speak the truth and die. I’m not afraid of death. I only respect men I don’t fear them.
“This attempt is being championed by the chairman of my local government.
He had said it many times that he will do everything to stop me from coming home. Beside, those assailants when leaving were chanting ‘We will know if it’s Taofiq that owns the land or you.
“I am championing an administrative course. I will continue to speak and be voice to the voiceless. I’m not deterred, I remain resolute to make Kogi better. Noting will stop me from coming home.”
Melaye also accused the Police division of Aiyetoro Gbede that allegedly failed to come to his house until three hours after the assailants had left despite being a stone thrown from his house.
“The DPO did not come to my house until three hours later. Even the area command in Kabba was not notified until I called the CP. I suspect a satanic collabo between Taofiq and the police in Aiyetoro because the duo had a meeting two days ago.
“Only God will protect us in this country but definitely not the police”.
However, the local government chairman, who is also the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), said he had no hand in the alleged attack on the senator.
He said he had never been a violent person, saying he had been busy attending to his sick wife.
Isa, who challenged Melaye to prove his allegation against him said, “I’ve never been a violent man. My running battle with Dino if any is because I have asked him to stop vilifying the state governor, Yahaya Bello.
“Let him (Dino) prove it. I lost my uncle a week ago, I’m still attending to my sick wife and busy supervising the APC re- registration programs. I’m a democrat and law abiding. I challenge Dino to prove his case.”
Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), William Aya, said the command had already commenced investigation into the issue.