Academics have said that Dino Melaye’s donning of academic gown to the Senate plenary session on Tuesday is a “juvenile attempt” at proving that he attended the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Senator Melaye had stormed the National Assembly Plenary Session on Tuesday (today) in what academics described as “ceremonial” gown, rather than an academic robe.
The senator representing Kogi West has been under fire in the past week, as critics allege that he did not earn an academic degree from the ABU as claimed.
In his defence, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, had deposed before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on Monday that Melaye earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from ABU, with a Third Class.
Speaking to The journalists online, Professor of History and a former Dean of Faculty of Arts at the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, Abolade Adeniji, said if Melaye felt that his appearing in what he thought was an academic gown would confirm his claim that he attended ABU, it is “juvenile.”
Adeniji said, “This is a juvenile attempt at justifying his claims that he attended ABU. He has only made a fool of himself.
“What the senator has done is unusual, and this should be a source of concerns to his fellow senators.
“The senatorial position is an exalted one that should not be trivialised the way Senator Melaye is doing.
“The appearance he assumed today is not for an adult, much less a senator. He looks so cheap. It’s a political drama that was meant to prove that he has a degree.”
Another academic, the Dean of Arts Faculty and Associate Professor of English Language at LASU, Dr. Adeleke Fakoya, said the gown that Senator Dino Melaye wore “is a ceremonial one.”
“This is a ceremonial gown and not an academic robe. It is a ceremonial uniform usually worn during formal ceremonies in any Ivory Tower.
“Even then, you can only wear such ceremonial robes if you are a part of the procession in the academic environment; never in the context in which Senator Melaye wore it today.
“The type of gown that the senator wore in that photograph is usually worn by vice-chancellors, registrars, deans, etc.
“If Melaye intended it to prove that he graduated from ABU, then he missed it big time because the type of gown he is wearing is not for someone being conferred with a first degree, to start with.
“It is a ceremonial costume that should not be worn in frivolous manner as this senator has done. It’s either hired or stolen.”
On the implications of Senator Melaye’s action, Fakoya said it wouldn’t change anything.
He said it’s like the case of a church leader who chooses to wear a Pope’s gown.
“It won’t make that person a Pope, because we know the processes involved towards becoming a Pope.
“Ditto for academics. You must earn what you claim to possess, academically or by way of honorary bestowal.
“The onus is on anyone to justify his claims to any degree, instead of treating sacred objects with frivolity as we have here.”