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Onaiyekan to wade into Bello, Melaye feud

From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja

The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has said he would wade into the feud between Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and Senator Dino Melaye.

Onaiyekan who spoke exclusively with Daily Sun, said the frosty relationship between Bello and Melaye is not helping the state, saying the crisis was taking its toll on the masses.

Onaiyekan however said from the look of things, it was not clear if the governor was ready to welcome intervention from the clergy.

Recall that Bello and Melaye who were political friends at the inception of Bello’s administration in January, 2016, suddenly turned political foes as a result of political differences.

The crisis later snowballed into Melaye’s alleged certificate forgery, the ongoing recall of the former student activist from the National Assembly, assassination attempt on Melaye’s life, amongst others.

A former Member of the House of Representatives, Melaye currently represents Kogi West (which includes Kabba, the hometown of Onaiyekan) in the National Assembly.

Onaiyekan said: “I have not seen any of them. They have not brought their case to my court.

“The only plan I have in mind is to talk to Dino Melaye, who represents me in the Senate. But we have not had time to meet.”

Asked if he would also talk to Bello, the former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria said he was going to try.

Onaiyekan added: “I was thinking about it too. I was asking my colleague, the bishop of Lokoja who is sharing fence with the governor whether he has visited him.

“But apparently, the attitude of the governor did not seem as if he would welcome any intervention from somebody like the bishop of Lokoja. That is what I am getting from him.”

Onaiyekan further said: “And it doesn’t  seem as if the Anglican Bishop of Lokoja is having any impact on the situation.

“Obviously, the quarrel between Melaye and the governor is not helping the state. We wish we could have a window of opportunity to intervene for the sake of the state because the poor people are suffering,” Onaiyekan concluded.

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