Reconciliation is under way between the APC Senator representing Lagos Central, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and her colleague, Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) following the intervention of Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Elombah.com learnt that Saraki met with both Tinubu and Melaye separately for a period of two hours each to stop the worsening crisis between the two senators, who are of the same political party, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
According to sources, Saraki first met with Senator Tinubu for two hours before meeting with Senator Melaye in his new Senate wing office.
Women’s rights activists had urged the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday to take action after a male senator was reported by local media to have threatened to assault and impregnate a female colleague.
Senator Dino Melaye told his female colleague Senator Oluremi Tinubu that he would assault and impregnate her after a dispute during a closed session of the Senate last week, according to a coalition of 46 Nigerian civil society groups.
“I will beat you up, impregnate you and nothing will happen,” Melaye was quoted as saying by Nigerian media.
In a public statement last week, Melaye said he had been provoked by Tinubu, who he claims called him “dog” and “thug”, but denied using abusive or degrading language against her.
“It is fallacious, malicious and a lie that I said I will impregnate Remi Tinubu. Biologically it is even impossible to impregnate her because she has arrived at menopause,” he said.
The incident comes just months after the Senate threw out a gender and equality law that pledged to eliminate discrimination in politics, education and employment, protect women’s rights and tackle violence against women.
The rejected bill also called for women to be able to participate in politics without any restrictions or barriers – in a country where only seven of the 109 senators are women.
The Legislative Advocacy Coalition on Violence Against Women (LACVAW) said it would protest outside the National Assembly and deliver a petition demanding a response from Nigeria’s Senate.
“(Melaye’s language) empowers abusive men outside the Assembly to believe that violent and threatening behavior towards women can continue unabated,” the coalition said.
“Melaye’s assertion that ‘nothing will happen’ after his abuse of Tinubu is a blatant manifestation of the general impunity pervading violence in Nigeria, especially against women,” the LACVAW said in a statement before it delivered its petition.
But the Senate President was said to have told them that they should stop the war of words and sheathe their swords for the unity of the Senate, just as he was said to have also urged them to look at their individual integrity as well as that of the Senate.
Senator Saraki was said to have told them that as members of the same party, it would not augur well for the party, its leadership and members because people look up to them.
At the end of the meeting, Vanguard gathered that both Senators Oluremi Tinubu and Dino Melaye agreed to put the problem behind them for national interest.
Before Saraki’s intervention, the flaming squabble between the two senators got messier, yesterday, as more people got entangled, joined to fight proxy wars for the duo.