Nigerian senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi State sat for a chat with Friday Olokor of Punch, and opened up about his love for cars, that he had never stolen from the government, and the source of his wealth…Read excerpt of the interview below:
Why do you love cars?
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.
Senator Dino Melaye while responding to a question posed on ordering for more cars despite some members of his constituency unable to feed, said:
Yes, 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.
Where is Mrs. Melaye and what can you say specifically about your marital life?
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.
Why do you find it difficult to settle down with one 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.
Are you ruling out the possibility of reconciling with your wife?
I don’t have a wife.
Many believe that you are young and therefore they query the source of your stupendous wealth. How did you get your money?
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.
Before you became a senator, were you already a millionaire?
I have not acquired anything dramatically new since I became a senator. The houses I have in this city (Abuja), I acquired before being sworn in as a senator. Hard work pays and the Holy Book says God shall supply my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To me, that is very fundamental. My source of wealth is heavenly, my purse is divine and it won’t dry up.
What motivated you to go into politics?
My drive in politics is to make life more bearable for Nigerians. My interest in politics is for developmental reasons. I am in politics to right the wrongs of the society. I am in politics to offer palliatives to Nigerians. I am in politics to make sure that the youths of this country get their fair share in power sharing and resources of this country. My drive has always been revolutionary books which affected my life. Early in life I read books on Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. and that has helped in revolutionising my life and resulted in a positive effect on me politically. So my driving force is my orientation, my indoctrination from most autobiographies that I have read and more important God.
Read the full interview here.