The cancellation of the election of the immediate past senate president, Senator David Mark in Benue south senatorial zone by the Appeal Court has created serious political curiosity and tension in the state. While it is obvious that David Mark was not the only senator who probably lost an election, the reverberation from the annulment is a clear indication that the embattled Mark is a big factor in Benue politics. Events preceding the re-run election in the Benue state senatorial zone scheduled to take place this Saturday has attracted the attention of friends and lovers of the zone as Senator David Mark of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP slugs it with Comrade Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressive Congress APC. The rerun contest has remarkably been shadowed with ethnic connotations given the alleged determination of politicians from the Tiv speaking area to influence the election against Mark. Sen. David Mark While zone A and B districts are purely made up of the Tivs, Zone C is dominated by Idomas, a minority that has never tasted the position of governor since the creation of the state. Senator Mark has been in the Senate since the advent of democratic rule in 1999 and by the time the North-Central region was to produce the Senate President Senator Mark invariably was the most qualified for that office from his zone, being the most ranking Senator. The allegation from the camp of Senator Mark is that the drum beat of Comrade Onjeh’s campaign is being beaten by Tiv political elites. It is to David Mark’s credit no doubt that location of the new site of College of Health Sciences (i.e. Faculty of Medicine, University of Agriculture Makurdi) whose foundation has already been laid in Otukpo, the federal technical college, federal government college Otobi in the zone are all the effort of Mark’s representation at the upper house. Idomas may not forget Mark’s laudable projects such as the Oweto-Loko bridge / road which is almost at its completion level; the Otobi Dam and very many others. He single-handedly built and donated a structure worth N60 million for the National Open University in Otukpo and then a scholarship scheme worth over N900 million he has consistently doled out to the good people of Zone C and many other eligible students since 1999. It is true that David Mark is not an angel and may not have satisfied every Idoma son and daughter but there is no denying the fact that his representation of the Idoma nation at the upper legislative chamber has brought the minority Idomas to recognizable strata in the society in various ministries and agencies of the Federal Government. Idomas should prove to Mark that they are with him as they have always been, and this will challenge him to serve them better. Senator Mark should see himself and the mandate not as a right but a privilege to champion the course of his constituency particularly the youths and not to be disheartened because of those whom he helped and have deserted him. All forms of hate campaign aimed at maligning and creating enmity among Idomas from the various constituencies should be eschewed. The unity and civility which is the identity of Idomas certainly will be tested as they go to the poll on Saturday. No one should volunteer him or herself to be an agent or victim of election violence. Losers and winners should embrace and work together to deliver the dividends of democracy to Idoma nation.
OPINION: Why David Mark’s re-election is an issue Reviewed by Link Naija on 22:05 Rating: