Dino Melaye: ‘Nigeria’s Recession Will Not End Even If I Sell My Cars
The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Dino Melaye, is known to be a collector of vintage cars which are expensive. 42-year-old Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District in the Senate, has in his garage a fleet of customized vintage and luxury cars worth hundreds of millions. In September 2016, he arrived at a Senate function at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, in a Mercedes Benz 190 (1958 Model) with customized number plate “KOGI DINO 10”. A few weeks ago, he made news again when he was spotted in a Rolls Royce worth N180million. Recently, Senator Dino Melaye spoke to PUNCH on various issues and one of the questions was on his acquisition of expensive vintage cars as the recession bites hard in Nigeria.
Responding to how he acquired his stupendous wealth, Melaye said, “I don’t know about stupendous wealth. I don’t know about being wealthy, but I will say I am a comfortable Nigerian and I have never got any contract from the government contract in my life. I have also never taken any political appointment in my life or a position where I have control over government funds. I have never had government imprest and I challenge anyone who has any criminal allegation against me to actually come out and present it.
“With the vigour with which I fought the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, if I had any skeleton in my cupboard, by now it would have been exposed. For a man who buys very expensive cars with his name labelled on the number plate, it is enough to tell you that he is clean. I am a very transparent Nigerian, a very open and honest Nigerian. I have never stolen from government and I can say it without fear. I challenge anyone to prove me otherwise. But at the same time, God is the ultimate giver of legitimate wealth and anyone who really wants to tap into the anointing of getting resources from God should please consult me.”
On his love of cars, Melaye added that, “I love automobiles and everybody can be passionate about a particular thing. Some can be passionate about homosexuality. They can spend any amount of money to sleep with a man. Some are passionate about occultism. They can buy blood at any amount of money. Some are passionate about diamonds; you can ask Diezani (Alison-Madueke). My passion is automobiles and there is no crime in that and I am very proud of it. Once the automobiles are not products of crime and they are not got from any ill-gotten wealth, then a man should be proud about what he is passionate about. I love automobiles and I am waiting for the next collection.”
The journalist further asked why Melaye is acquiring more cars “when many Nigerians, even those from your constituency and senatorial district cannot feed and there is poverty everywhere”, the Kogi senator said, “My cars cannot underwrite the recession problems of this country. Even if you sell my cars now, it will not make Nigeria to come out of recession.” On his marital status, he disclosed that, “I am single. I have three children. But I am not married. I won’t remain single forever. Very soon I will invite you (to my wedding) and I assure you (that the person I will marry) will be a Made-in-Nigeria woman. I have always been married to one woman and all my children are from one woman. I have only been married once. Whatever marriage I am going into now will be my second marriage. If you are anxious to know, I will invite you.I don’t have a wife.”