The saga involving Senator Dino Melaye and the security agencies escalated yesterday that it became pretty hard to keep up with the breaking news. Even Nigeria News that is known for up to date news as they break almost found it difficult to update the news as events unfolded.
It started at the airport and finally ended at an Abuja hospital were Dino Melaye was reportedly handcuffed on his hospital bed to prevent another daring escape from him.
In between these two points, there was a house raid; a standoff between police and the Senator’s supporters on the expressway; a jumping out of a police car; an ambulance; and most embarrassing to Nigerians, a sit-down protest by the Senator on a public highway.
The smartest people in the world make it a habit to take crucial life lessons from every adversity. Most of them come out smarter and wiser and go on to greater things.
Wherever Dino Melaye is at the moment, in his quiet periods, he would be mulling over everything that happened in the last 24 hours.
He could have been in Morocco enjoying the Mediterranean breeze. Instead, he is under arrest waiting to be transported to Kogi State to face serious charges involving gun running.
It is up to Senator Melaye to use the lessons of the last couple of days to make him a better person. For the rest of Nigerians, these are the life lessons from the Dino Melaye saga since he became a Senator.
1. Choose your friends carefully
Dino Melaye does not come across as a man who prefers sitting on the fence. He made it clear to whoever cares to listen who his friends are. And he is very loyal to them.
Unfortunately for him, the people he supports publicly really don’t see him as a member of their clique. It is possible they consider him a convenient rabble-rouser to use and discard at the right time.
If the senators and people whose battles he had been fighting really cared about him, they would have come to his aid in one way or the other immediately.
It is significant that Senators only decided to visit him in the hospital after several people had pointed out that the way they abandoned him was unjust and unfair.
2. To get ahead, align with the most powerful
Kudos to Melaye that he aligned with Bukola Saraki in the Senate. Saraki, as the Senate President, is the most powerful politician in Abuja outside of Aso Rock.
His unalloyed support for Saraki had seen him get a place at the table of power. Even if what he gets are crumbs from that table, it is adequate to make him a man of influence in certain circles.
3. Pick your battles wisely
This is where Dino Melaye got it wrong. He goes around inserting himself in every single spat between his master, Bukola Saraki and Bukola’s adversaries.
Sometimes, he even goes overboard to demonstrate his loyalty to the Saraki agenda.
This attitude has made him enemies even among people who are loyal to Saraki because they believe Melaye is trying to make himself the most important person in that power block.
Many of them would like to see him cut down to size.
In life, it is not every battle that must be fought. Sometimes, gracefully walking away with your dignity intact is the best course of action.
4. Never cry more than the bereaved
No matter how bad you feel about something, your feelings can never be equal to that of those directly affected.
Showing too much grief or fighting harder than the direct victims leaves a bad taste in people’s mouth.
Dino Melaye is known to keep beating a dead horse even after the people directly affected have moved on to other things.
It didn’t occur to him that perhaps the people involved were fed up with the publicity given to the issue. Keeping the dead issue on the front burner can unearth unsavory facts some powerful people would rather had remained hidden.
5. Conduct your affair in public with dignity
Since his days in the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye had always come across as uncouth and ready to pick a fight at the drop of a hat.
Taking his personal problems with his women to the public wasn’t a problem to him. Flaunting his wealth and rubbing people’s noses in it is common with him.
People would treat you the way you present yourself. And that is why the security agencies feel they can manhandle him like a common criminal.
Can you imagine anybody treating a respected Senator like Saraki like that? The police are simply showing him he doesn’t have the exclusive franchise for fighting dirty or using dirty tricks to resolve a situation.
6. Never go to war with the king
This is one of the best life lessons to take away from this episode. Fighting the leader in your area is absolute folly. You only do it when you have the support of an equally powerful person behind you.
In Melaye’s case, he decided to go head to head with the Governor of Kogi State. Nigeria’s political history is littered with the wrecks of Senators or Representatives who went to war with the Governor of their States.
Governors are known to take complete control of the party machinery in their respective States. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has already done that.
Unfortunately for Dino Melaye, the overall ‘king’ of Nigeria, Buhari, is in support of Bello’s moves against him.
Simply put, he has bitten more than he can swallow and is choking helplessly on it.
There are so many other life lessons from the problems trailing Melaye. But these are the most important to get ahead in life especially if you want to be very influential in your neck of the woods.