DAVID MARK’S ELECTORAL REBAPTISM AS INGREDIENT FOR A UNITED NATION By Matthew Abah-Enyi Email:windsoundafrica@gmail.com

Sen. David B.A. Mark Senator representing zone C Senatorial District of Benue State and Former Senate President

Sen. David B.A. Mark
Senator representing zone C Senatorial District of Benue State and Former Senate President

Comrade Daniel Onjeh

Comrade Daniel Onjeh

The Southern Zone of Benue state’s Senatorial electoral college, popularly known as zone C is home to a number of Nigeria’s Political Socrates. At the most precarious moments of Nigeria’s fourth republic democratic history, the men who stood up and danced gallantly where the proverbial Angels refused to thread, throwing caution for personal preservation away for the sake of Nigeria, are, without fear of fact-based contradiction, from the zone. As a way of telling the first story first, at a time former President Olusegun Obasanjo had unwittingly assumed that there were no other messiahs on the nation’s political horizon except himself; and all Nigerian politicians had lost their balls under the aura of political appointments, and therefore went for the nation’s democratic jugulars, a

Chief Audu Ogbeh Minister of Agriculture and Former PDP Chairman

Chief Audu Ogbeh
Minister of Agriculture and Former PDP Chairman

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

morale colossus rose his head from the zone and engaged him in the duel of “death”. Chief Audu Ogbe, Chairman of the ruling party then,, could not stomach the personalization and disfiguration of his party and nation’s democratic doctrines for the sake of preserving his alluring pecks of political power. He did not do what even a brave warrior with an iota of caution would have done for the simple reason of its envisagable futility on the then president. He did not seek a nocturnal audience with Obasanjo to disgrace himself with a “personal advice”. He wrote an open letter to the president, putting his fingers squarely on the number of assaults the president had unleashed on the nation and the party’s democratic norms and constitution to the chagrin of the entire world and demanded that they be corrected. Rather than wait to be brought out on the leach and dealt with in accordance with Obasanjo’s “Odi theory”, he gallantly resigned from his office as

Mohammadu Buhari President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Mohammadu Buhari
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

party chairman. And that was the beginning of

Late President Yar'adua

Late President Yar’adua

the demystification of President Obasanjo. The rest, including alleged third-term project is now history.

Then came the mystification of the Nigerian Presidential health, when late president Umar Yar’Adua, like all other mortals, took ill. For reasons that befuddled the ordinary mind, a cabal appeared and cordoned off the president and the presidency from the rest of Nigerians. The nation again headed blindly towards the magnetizing edge of the precipice, forcefully demarcating the citizens along ethnic and religious lines as if it was not all Nigerians that willingly gave the president their mandate to rule. Political leaders from all of the self-preserving blocks into which the crisis had plunged the nation all donned the wisdom-cap of avoiding the political land-mine of addressing the national leadership vacuum created   by the ailing or deceased president’s absence. The nation waited with batted breath and the vultures that always hover in the air, watching and praying for the nation to lay her head down in submission to death, could hardly wait for even that to happen before descending on the carcass.

Then again it happened. The number 3 citizen of the nation then, President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, David Bonaventure Mark, who, by the prevailing calculations of the average Nigerian politician, had everything to gain by joining the “wisdom train” and remaining silent, instead resorted to what only his military background and war-front acquired instincts could have imposed on his mind-to defend the mother-land against an invading invisible army. His weapons were the powers conferred on him by the constitution of the endangered nation as President of its Senate. He honed and delivered with military precision the now legendary “doctrine of necessity” that brought in former President Goodluck Jonathan to occupy the seat of the president of Nigeria in full acting capacity, thereby saving a nation and its people from a calamitous volcano waiting to explode. The rest is another chapter of Nigeria’s history.

Since the advent of the present administration led by President Mohammadu Buhari, a gale of winds has threatened to expose the chicken’s rump as far as the issue of representative democratic good governance in Nigeria is concerned. While the institution of Presidential Democracy thrives upon its tripods of the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial arms of government, the real soul of the system is embedded in the power it vests on the people as the ultimate decision-makers on the important choice of who becomes what within the institution of government. That unassailable right vested on the people can only be realizable IF AND ONLY IF a thriving and viable opposition party exists as an alternative to the party in government. The gale of defection which has swept over the People’s Democratic Party since the All Progressive Congress successfully wrestled powers from the former is, to say the least, quite frightening to the minds of all patriotic Nigerians who still remember the quality of opposition politics that eventually led to the first intra-party transition of political power in Africa’s largest democracy. The popular explanation is that the average Nigerian politician has no regard for the ideological principles and precepts that should define political decisions and activities in a given state. If there is any other virulent adversary that stands eye-ball-to-eye-ball in unblinking challenge to   Nigerian’s socio-economic progress, it is the one of political harlotism that pervades the land. The absence of principled politicking in any given society is the cauldron pot of socio-political disunity. It is even more so to the component parts of the converging nationalities in an era and clime where previous geographical demarcation fiascos by wielders of undemocratic state-power have enslaved some nationalities to their neighbors, which only principled political activism can correct. The former President of the senate’s principled decision to remain with, maintain leadership and rallying point of the present opposition party at the well known expenses in the forms government patronage(s) at the federal and state levels if he were to abandon the ship of opposition is an expensive gift to the nation and an ingredient of political progress of inestimable value.

Back home in his Idoma land, with an Octopus of the caliber of Chief Audu Ogbe in the ruling party and with him leading the undoubtedly costly opposition, the Idoma people’s longstanding of socio-economic and political persecution can only benefit from their united actions for their motherland from their God-destined political party diversity. What is needed is a God-guided finishing to a long awaited divine strategic positioning.

Senator Mark’s confirmation of his earlier victory is certainly not unlike what needs to happen after the sacrament of baptism in the House of God, a confirmation. But for the reason of all that were acclaimed to be wrong with an own party-supervised election in Nigeria even with the advent of the card-reader technology, the Senator can perhaps see his return to the senate as an honor-enhancing rebaptism.

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