5 lessons Kogi Senator has taught us on how to be a Nigerian politician


Dino Melaye is raising a new crop of Nigerian politicians and he doesn’t even know it.

Moving like the criminal kingpin and political thug that he is alleged to be, Nigeria’s most naturally-gifted politician and the gift that just keeps giving, Dino Melaye has entered the news this week with a bang, a few arrests and few bruises and cuts.

After evading the Nigerian police (which seemed pretty comfortable with letting him live his best life), Dino Melaye was finally arrested by officers of the Nigerian Police on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at his residence in Maitama, Abuja.

The events that have followed seem like something straight out of a guidebook titled “How to lose your shame and amuse people”, which wouldn’t be extremely surprising if it were true.

Nigerian politics and the dealings of the men and women in government, particularly our lawmakers, is special. It’s stuff that you must either learn from observing a senior senator, one who has shown the experience and savvy to dominate both news headlines, Instagram stories, Soundcity and the hallowed Senate chambers.That man is Dino Melaye.

From visiting Bourdillon Road to play with the emotions of APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu to climbing through the window of a bus to escape arrest, Dino has shown himself to be the consummate Nigerian politician.

1) Diversify:

Dino is a man of so many gifts that calling him multi-talented would do little justice to the extent of his ability. Like Samson Toromade writes here, there’s Dino the politician, Dino the clown, Dino the comedian, Dino the singer, Dino the choirmaster and Dino the video vixen.

One of his career choices holds the biggest promise if you are to become a successful Nigerian politician in 2018. You may have guessed it; music.

Dino is arguably the most popular individual in the Nigerian Senate, and much of this has to do with his musical talents. After launching one of the biggest hits of 2017 not made by Davido in “Ajeku Iya”, Dino launched the flip side of his career in the video for “Dino”, the song named after him by part-time Nigerian rapper, Kach.

Yes, Dino is goals but not all men will follow the same path. You could start off with a few features here and there, and then when things start to look up, invite Slimcase over and shaku-shaku your way to a political office.

Ultimately, you would have proved that if you can dance, sing and provide enough of a spectacle, Nigerians may look beyond your insecurities and let you flourish like the baby boy that you are. That’s all that matters really.

(2) Swallow your Pride:

Look closely at Dino and you may guess the size of his ego before he swallowed it and decided to use body-fitting shirts to display the evidence.

Since hitting national prominence, Dino has been known mostly for displaying an almost absolute lack of shame, something that he proved yesterday by sitting on the road like a middle-aged baby (boy) to protest his arrest

 politicians are known to be tenacious in their thirst for power but Dino’s thick skin takes the top spot.

From taunting his political opponents to making jokes while his colleagues discuss if flogging him is a good idea (something that desperately needs to happen), Dino has shown that the way to succeed in Nigerian politics is to face your front, trust the process, and ignore the haters.

It doesn’t matter if everyone says you’re making a fool of yourself, as long as you’re getting paid and your police escorts have not been withdrawn, everything is fine.

(3) Keep your friends close and insult your enemies on social media:

It’s hard to say for sure how or if Dino has any friends. But if the Kogi Senator’s allies can be described by that tag, then one of them, Senate President Bukola Saraki is perhaps his best friend.

Despite being one of the most challenging senators, Melaye often finds a way to creep under the Senate President’s shadow whenever he gets in trouble.

Weeks ago, after the Nigerian Police declared him wanted, Melaye was seen playing Saraki’s literal right-hand man during a visit to Kogi. If Saraki be for you, who can be against you?

Dino’s attitude to his enemies is even better. While other less iconic politicians simply hold their tongue, Dino insults anyone who dares to oppose him.

If you’re even more unlucky enough to be in his black book like Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello, he may go as far as accusing you of assassination attempts.

You can’t be a Nigerian politician if you don’t know how to talk the talk and school your haters.

(4) Stay in the news:

Only President Buhari, for obvious reasons, has appeared in the news more than Dino Melaye this year. Kogi’s celebrated son has hogged the headlines for the most mundane reasons.

For the past week, Nigerians have followed his cat-and-mouse game with the Nigerian Police. Before that, it was for videos of him admiring his cars, singing insults at colleagues and offering words of wisdom.

It may all seem like the work of someone who is desperate for attention, but Dino is really doing something for himself that other politicians pay social media agencies for.

Whether for good or bad, Mr Melaye understands that in a country where politicians are as vague as their campaign promises, being prominent may be all you need to do.

How do you expect people to vote for you if you don’t remember your first name?

(5) Become a meme:

It’s one thing to be a popular politician; becoming a part of Nigerian pop culture is far different and infinitely more difficult to achieve. Like the paragon of innovation that he is, Dino has cracked this too.

Becoming a meme means that you have become a self-replicating template of cultural information. What this inconsiderate display of big words means is that when you become a meme, your image will be used to describe or make light of various scenarios and trends.

For Dino, that’s a good thing, because it allows photos of him to make fun of people he doesn’t have the time to make videos for.

It also means, like being in the news, he is a part of our conversations, even when we don’t want to have anything to do with him.

Dino is a genius really.


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