We listened to the comments made by the Senator Representing Benue South Senatorial District, David Mark at a function in Port Harcourt where he compared developments in Rivers and Benue States.
Mark accused Governor Samuel Ortom of “giving out wheelbarrows to empower people” when, according to him, other states are commissioning projects.
We do not intend to belabour the issue of wheelbarrows which we have already made clarification that the carts were donated by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, NCFRMI, for victims of armed herdsmen attacks in the state. Perhaps only Senator David Mark is not aware of this fact.
Mark’s statements smack of a man who has obviously been disconnected with the very people who voted him. His utterances also exude envy against Governor Ortom who is succeeding where Mark has failed. In Benue South which Senator Mark represents, the Ortom administration has embarked on a number of projects for the people.
The Oshigbudu-Ogbagaji road which Governor Ortom recently completed was abandoned by the previous administration, yet Senator Mark kept sealed lips. Other projects in the zone being carried out by the present administration include the Otukpo-Utonkon road, the Oju-Obussa road, construction of feeder roads in various communities of the zone to link them with townships, electrification of communities in local government areas of the zone, construction and equipping of hundreds of classroom blocks in different primary schools, construction and equipping of primary health centres in all the nine local government areas of the senatorial district, activation of the Otukpo water scheme and provision of boreholes in rural settlements.
On Monday, May 22, Governor Ortom hosted an expanded town hall meeting at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi which was attended by stakeholders from all walks of life and Senator Mark was also invited but he again failed to attend. The Governor briefed the people of the state on his two-year scorecard and received a standing ovation for his performance.
Agatu which is a local government area under David Mark’s senatorial district affected by herdsmen attacks is today peaceful owing to the security initiatives of Governor Ortom. The people of the area have not hidden their joy and have been appreciating the Governor for ensuring the return of peace. We are not aware of any effort Mark has made to curb the crisis as a serving senator representing the people of that part of the state.
Senator Mark certainly owes the people of Benue South an explanation on why the Otukpo-Enugu federal highway is still a death trap after many years that the contract was awarded by the government. Mark used the road project and his perennial promise for the creation of Apa State as campaign lullabies just to ensure his return to the red chamber of the senate on five occasions.
It is rather unfortunate that Mark has failed to see the deliberate underdevelopment of the state by the government of his political party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, particularly the part of the state which he has represented as senator for nearly 20 years. It is within the same period that Mark rose to become President of the Senate, the number three helmsman in the country for eight uninterrupted years and had ample opportunity to address the development needs of the people.
Township roads in Otukpo where Mark lives anytime he is in the state were abandoned by the PDP administration with Senator Mark doing nothing for as many years as their government lasted in power until the All Progressives Congress, APC, administration assumed office and concerted efforts at addressing the neglect of the town commenced.
Senator Mark might not have known about the poor nature of the roads in the senatorial district he represents because for about sixteen years, he flew from Abuja to his golf course in Otukpo via a chopper.
On the comments attributed to Mark’s host, Governor Nyesom Wike, we will ignore him again in compliance with the directive of Governor Samuel Ortom.
Chief Press Secretary
May 24, 2017.