A coalition of entire Igala youths in Kogi State on the auspices of Igala Youth Consultative Forum (IYCF) has declared the Senator representing Kogi West in the Senate, Dino Melaye, as the 'most important citizen' of the state for the year 2017.

The group, which made the declaration on Wednesday night when it visited Melaye at his private residence in Abuja, also decorated the federal lawmaker with Igala regalia as a mark of honour including christening him a new name called Edu (meaning Lion in Igala language)

National Leader of the group, Citizen Akwu Umar Goodman, said IYCF was proud of Melaye, hence the need to identify with his success story in the area of representing the whole Kogi state in the National Assembly.

"We are here today to identify with a success story. You are on a national assignment and we are here too for our state assignment. Given your contributions, we are proud of you. You have scored many goals including the one you scored few days ago.

"Dino Melaye, the people you are seeing here represent all corners of Igala nation. What we are doing now, we have not done it before - going to someone's house to say thank you. You are the voice of the voiceless, the voice of the masses and voice of Kogi State.

"We have declared you the most important citizen of Kogi state 2017. What would have happened if you are not in the Senate? That shows how important you are. You have received many trophies and laurels this year but we don't have any but we are here with our symbol to honour you," Goodman said.

He added that the group had also declared 'Ayegba' support for Senator Melaye even it urged him not to relent in his good works, noting that "Kogi state has been bastardized. We have come here to identify, to socialize with you because of what you stand for, because you care for your people."

Responding, Melaye told his visitors that he was excited to be honoured by important people, saying the gesture will spur him to do more, including the cause to liberate Kogi state from maladministration.

"The battle to liberate Kogi State from the maladministration of Yahaya Bello is a battle of no retreat, no surrender. We will not close our eyes to his shenanigans.

" I appreciate the Igala nation, I appreciate the rich culture of Igala people which preaches honesty. I am a friend of the Igala nation," Melaye said.