OrderPaperToday – The Christmas New Year celebrations held lots of fun for two federal lawmakers of unequal standing: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Sen. Dino Melaye.
Dogara’s 50th birthday was on the 26th of December 2017 while Melaye’s 44th was celebrated on the 7th of January 2018. Both men marked their birthday anniversaries separately in remarkable fashion. The events were the talk of the town; although the tenor and tone of the celebrations attracted varying commentaries. While one was weird and wired with queer-some exuberance; the other combined the allure of sobriety and glamour of a state-like gig. Like almost all things Nigeriana, both outings however had invocations of godly fervor laced into the party mix; just as orphans and victims of boko haram war in the north-east benefitted some crumbs from the lavish tables.
For the speaker, he commenced the events with a charity football march which had in attendance Senators led by Bukola Saraki, President of the Senate; and scores of members of the House of Representatives. Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, headlined the novelty contest which also had in attendance business mogul, Femi Otedola. The match was a bid to raise funds for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the less privileged in society.
For the ‘God part’ of the events, Dogara took to Living Faith Church, Goshen in Nassarawa State for a thanks giving service witnessed by family, friends and colleagues, including Vice President Yemi Osibanjo. He also led a visit to a motherless babies’ home in Karu, Abuja’s popular suburb in Nassarawa. The grand finale of Dogara’s birthday blitz was an evening of glitz highlighted by the launch of his biography written by Dele Momodu, popular media guru and columnist. The sum of N300 million was raised at this event. No doubt, Mr. Speaker must have had a fulfilling golden jubilee anniversary!
So too for Senator Melaye who also had a bash to remember. Like Dogara, the controversial senator also went to Church to appreciate God for an additional year to his life. He also visited and donated several food items to an IDP camp and orphanage in Abuja. But the big twist to Melaye’s celebratory binge was a night bash that left tongues wagging on social media and beauty salons. The Kogi west senator hosted a pirate-themed party attended by family, friends, politicians, musicians, nollywood actors and sundry others. Pictures of his “Pirate of the Caribbean” party flooded the social media and the event was discussed for several days. Costumed in the fashion of the movie character, Melaye mimicked Jack Sparrow with his eye patch and sword; and jocularly branded himself “Captain SDM, the Lion of the Senate.” Certainly, the senator knows how to set a party rolling. But between Dogara and Dino, whose birthday bash would you have loved to attend?
Additional contribution by Titilope Fadare