The senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, on Saturday claimed to have escaped an assassination attempt when gunmen fired shots at his Ayetoro-Gbede country home in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Two vehicles, including a pickup truck in the senator’s compound, were destroyed.
Speaking to journalists, Melaye, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, said the assailants came at midnight and began shooting sporadically.
According to the senator, the shooting continued for over one hour.
Melaye, while accusing the Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area, Taofiq Isa, of being the mastermind of the attack, said the shooting was because of his criticism of the state government.
He said, “I got a rousing welcome from Kabba to my hometown on Friday and I know it angered the powers that be in the state, which the assassination attempt on my life.
“At about midnight, we started hearing gunshots. They fired more than 200 rounds of bullets into the house. This attempt to kill me will not stop me from speaking the truth. If I speak the truth, I will die; and if I lie, I will die. 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 has said it many times that he will do everything to stop me from coming home. Besides, those assailants, when leaving, were chanting, ‘We will know if it’s Taofiq or Melaye that owns the land.’”
Melaye, who was at the centre of a certificate scandal last month, said further, “Even the area command in Kabba was not notified until I called the commissioner of police. I suspect a satanic collaboration between Taofiq and the police in Aiyetoro because the duo had a meeting two days ago.”
However, Isa denied any involvement in the alleged assassination attempt, adding that he has been busy attending to his sick wife.
Isa said, “I’ve never been a violent man. My running battle with Melaye, if any, is because I have asked him to stop vilifying the state governor, Yahaya Bello.
“Let him (Melaye) prove it. I lost my uncle a week ago, I’m still tending to my sick wife and I’m busy supervising the All Progressives Congress re-registration programmes. I’m a democrat and law-abiding. I challenge him to prove his claims.”