20180607

Dino Melaye Blasts: "MKO Abiola No Longer A Nigerian, Cannot Be Made GCFR

APC senator, Dino Melaye - while speaking on the floor of the Senate over the move to confer the honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on late M.K.O Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election - cautioned President Muhammdu Buhari against breaching the constitution.

Dino, who cited Chapter 43(2) of the National Honours Act on Thursday, argued that the act does not allow for conferment of the honours the way President BihBuh has done.

Dino claimed that M.K.O Abiola is dead and that automatically makes him not to be a Nigerian.

He said, “I am a democrat, I believe very sincerely that Chief M.K.O Abiola deserve even more than the president has pronounced because he is a true patriot, philanthropist and should be so decorated.

“But Mr. President, we are governed in the country by the constitution and extant laws. No matter how beautiful a situation is, the law of the land remains the law of the land.”

The lawmaker mentioned a section of the law which he claims buttresses his point.

“Subsection 2 of the act says a person shall be eligible for appointment to any rank or holder unless he is a citizen of Nigeria. A dead man is not a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We should not be emotional about this. The law remains the law.”

The lawmaker also argued that the act provides that such honour be conferred on the recipient in person and since Abiola is dead, he cannot receive the award; a similar argument to that raised by a former chief justice of Nigeria, Alfa Belgore.

Dino said; “Subject to the next notice, a person shall be appointed to a particular rank of an order when the president receives him in person.

“Mr. President, they said in person for us to do what we are supposed to do, we would have to amend the provisions of this act because anything we need to do, we have to do in accordance with the provisions of the law.”

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, announced that Dino's point of order were noted.