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Published On: Tue, Nov 4th, 2014

David Mark’s birthday gifts of confidence

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Sen David Mark

Sen David Mark

By Onjefu Okidu

Although, David Mark has been part of large open and in-house gatherings, arguably, one of the things he is rarely seen doing is putting himself on the podium of achievement before a real or rented audience or reclining in a “talking book” chair and that of other news media reeling out bags of achievements. Apparently, he allows his achievements to speak for him. Although, in Nigeria today, it is not improper for one to blow one’s trumpet since nobody will blow another’s trumpet as everybody is busy blowing his own, David Mark’s predisposition still conveys a message that it is not proper for one to blow one’s trumpet. For those who know him a little well this predisposition of his derives very much from his natural personality- slow to speak, slow to anger, quite and very unassuming. He is also recognized as a man of few words who has great distaste for blackmail and behind-the-back talk.

Generally, human beings correlate emptiness with noise making; ‘empty vessels make the most noise.’ In other words, the cow which moos a lot gives little milk. Even though, he has suffered and continues to suffer a great deal of adversarial press, like most true democrats, he has not allowed himself to be dragged into past times of empty vessels. Despite Mark’s stillness in this regard, it is thrilling the way and manner the legislature, executive, judiciary and indeed the entire Nigeria hold him completely in confidence as the president of the Senate. In many events inside and outside the senate his constructive leadership has continued to generate a high level of confidence. As expected, the confidence is greatest in the Senate.

While celebrating his 66th birthday, not a few Senators openly expressed an honest confidence in his leadership through comments on gifts, in the media and in the red chamber. In fact, a plenary session was wholly committed by senators to renew their confidence in his leadership. Apparently unmindful of what was going to happen, David Mark opened the day as usual for business and the red chamber erupted with birthday song and applause. It was 11 am on April 7, 2014 – a day that certainly deserves to go down well in history.

First to eulogize Mark was his Deputy, Very Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who moved a motion vide Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Orders (2011, as amended). According to the Sun of April 8, 2014, Ekweremadu described his boss as a “democrat par excellence” and a “soldier of democracy. Chairman, Senate Committee on Investment, Distinguished Senator Nenadi Usman, commended Mark for relating well with senators and having good relationships outside. Vice Chairman of Senate Women Affairs Committee, Distinguished Senator Aisha Jummai AlHassan said there were no regrets at all. Minority Whip, Distinguished Senator Ganiyu Solomon, who has been Mark’s colleague since 2007, said the constancy of David Mark as the Senate President had to do with his “sterling leadership qualities.” Deputy Senate Leader Abdul Ningi described Mark as the best Nigerian political actor in recent times.In a fundamental sense, all Senators who spoke agreed Mark’s leadership was a tour de force.

In his remarks, while appreciating the support of his colleagues, Mark pointed out that life should not be a whirlwind of killings, abductions and destruction but something tied to the whole of existence and helping to transform it. The rest of the remarks was analytic and, at some points, conjectural.Outside of the red chamber there have been prolonged cheers, whoops, applause as inside.

While congratulating Mark on his 66th birthday, President Good luck Jonathan expressed deep confidence in his (Mark) patriotic dedication to national unity, peace and progress as demonstrated in his leadership of the Senate. President Jonathan also expressed confidence in the Senate President’s unflinching support and contributions towards the successful implementation of the Federal Government’s Agenda for National Transformation.

As reported in the National Mirror, a media practitioner and publisher, Sufuyan Ojeifo, in expressing confidence in Mark on his 66 birthday pointed out; “The extra-caution that he (Mark) exercises in the management of Senate funds is largely contributory to the peace that has defined the ambience of the Upper House. By not acting avaricious, he has been able to stand on firm ground, far away from the proverbial ‘banana peel.”

Members of his Senatorial District though were confident through the four previous polls, while congratulating him reinforced their confidence by pointing out his tireless and fruitful efforts at nation building.This by extension fundamentally informed his recent endorsement by PDP stakeholders in the zone as the sole senatorial candidate for the 2015 elections. The endorsement according to them was for the common good of the Idoma nation which cannot afford to downplay the prominence the office of the Senate president has brought to the tribe.

Nigerians were not the only ones made confident by David Mark’s birthday, foreign diplomats and governments were not left out. Through hard card messages, text messages, e-mails, facebook, twitter and other channels they expressed their confidence in the ability of David Mark to bequeath a strong, independent, viable and sustainable Senate.

Onjefu Okidu via


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