Monday, 22 February 2016

BENUE SOUTH RE-RUN VICTORY: Mark calls for reconciliation

Immediate past Senate President, who was declared winner of last Saturday’s senatorial re-run election in the Benue South district, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Senator David Mark, yesterday called for reconciliation among the people of the area, promising not to betray the confidence reposed in him by electorate. Sen. David Mark voting during the rerun election for Benue South Senatorial District election on Saturday, February 20, 2016. This came as All Progressives Congress, APC, denied congratulating Senator David Mark on his victory.

However, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its Governors have congratulated David Mark, on his victory,. Mark who spoke at his Otukpo residence, said his victory was another call to service that required the collective efforts of the people to ensure a greater Idoma nation. He said: “Now that the elections are over, I beg those who fought me to join hands with me to build the Idoma nation, because this victory is for each and every one of us irrespective of our political, religious or tribal differences.”

 Recall that Mark polled a total of 84, 192 to defeat his challenger, Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress, APC who garnered 71, 621 votes. He won in five local government areas while Onjeh won in four. APC denies congratulating David Mark Meanwhile, APC has denied congratulating Senator Mark on his victory. While debunking a report credited to an online publication, APC National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni said: “The APC has not issued any congratulatory message on the Benue South Senatorial rerun election.” The statement which did not recognize Sen. Mark as having been duly elected referred to him as “the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in Saturday’s Benue South Senatorial re-run election.” According to Buni, “the ‘congratulatory message’ purportedly obtained from a twitter handle, not emanate from the party. The purported twitter message itself is not credited to any APC official.

The general public is advised to ignore the false message. The APC reiterates that only the National Chairman and the National Secretary officially speaks for the party”, he added. However, the PDP and Ekweremadu in a separate congratulatory messages, hailed Mark on his victory. Ekweremadu, described the victory as one which reaffirmed Mark’s April 2015 victory in the district. He said: “I congratulate Senator Mark and our loyal party men and women on this well deserved-victory, which reaffirms his previous victory in April 2015. ‘We have always been confident that even if the election should be conducted a million times, PDP and Senator Mark would still win as many times.” PDP congratulates Mark On his part, National Chairman of PDP, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff, in a statement through the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, quoted the chairman as saying that the victory of senator Mark had left no one in doubt of the popularity of Senator Mark. “According to him: “It is instructive to note that the PDP had won 70 percent of all the polls conducted since May 29, 2015, a development that underlines the fact of its deep roots and popularity as a brand, irrespective of the“transitory setback of the 2015 general elections. “In this regard, the leadership of the party; the National Working Committee, the PDP Governors’ Forum, the National Caucus, the PDP Caucus in the National Assembly and the Board of Trustees, BoT are working very hard to ensure that we have a strong party poised to regain power in 2019.“ PDP Govs hail Mark Similarly, Governors elected on the platform of PDP, hailed the re- election of Senator Mark.

The forum noted that the victory were an indication that the PDP remained committed to the maturing of democracy and its dividends in the country. In a statement by the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and signed by Mr. Osaro Onaiwu, coordinator of the forum, the forum urged Nigerians to trust the party in upcoming elections against the backdrop that the present regime had demonstrated what they described as incompetence in addressing serious economic issues. “The PDP Governors Forum commends the good people of Idoma nation for resisting every act of violence and rascality by voting for an individual that means well for them and can serve them better.”

While congratulating Senator Aidoko, the governors said, “We also congratulate Senator Attai Aidoko and all those who emerged as winners in the rerun. Your victories are testimonies that the PDP remains formidable and we will build on these victories in our service to the people.” Also, a chieftain of PDP, in Delta State, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, described Mark’s victory as the centre of unity between the North and Southern part of Nigeria. Onuesoke, who was present at Otukpo to observe the election himself as a director, Network for Good Governance ,n4gg, made the commendation while speaking to newsmen in Otukpo, Benue State said the choice of David Mark by the electorate was the right thing in the right direction because the National Assembly of today needs the experience of leaders like David Mark.

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