Mark to PDP, Others: Stop Overheating The Polity
Senate President David Mark yesterday berated political leaders for overheating the polity and distracting the onerous task of governance.
The Senate President fell short of calling names but recent events in his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have polarised the Nigerian Governors Forum, setting the Presidency and the PDP leadership against some governors.
Mark who blew hot during a special plenary session to mark two years of the seventh senate, described the ongoing political crisis as a display of “unpatriotic” attitude at a time “with so much work yet to be done”.
He observed that creeping personal ambition of political leaders is threatening the provision of good governance two years ahead of elections.
“Now, it is time to speak out once again. Elections are two clear years away. Yet the collision of vaulting personal ambitions is over-heating the polity and distracting the onerous task of governance,” the Senate President said.
“With so much work yet to be done, we as elected officials, should focus on governance and justify our present mandates,” he added.
For several months, the PDP has been enmeshed in crisis with the presidency and the party’s hierarchy in open confrontation with some top party leaders, particularly state governors.
The election of the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum in which PDP’s candidate Governor Jonah Jang was reportedly defeated was symptomatic of the deepening crisis within the party just two years to elections.
The fallout of the election also culminated in the suspension of Governor Rotimi Amaechi and his Sokoto State counterpart Aliyu Wamakko from the PDP, and the pulling out of the Bauchi State governor, Malam Isa Yuguda from the Northern Governors Forum.
Senate President Mark berated the architects of the crisis in the polity saying it was ‘unnecessary, diversionary, divisive, destructive, unhelpful and unpatriotic.”
“Into this vitriolic mix is being thrown a spate of mindless and distempered effusions that add no value whatsoever to the quest for national cohesion and development.
“Those beating the drums of war should realize that no nation can survive two civil wars in one lifetime. These trends must stop, and we must all remember that the nation is greater than the sum total of its parts” he added.
Commenting on the current military campaign to uproot insurgents in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, Mark warned that it should not be misconstrued as a war against the communities involved or Islam.
He said: “Let me say categorically that the Nigerian Armed Forces are not at war with the communities in which the terrorists have entrenched themselves, nor are they at war with Islam, rather we are at war with Boko Haram and its affiliates, a terrorist network preaching the ideology that violence against Nigerians and foreigners, Muslims and Christians, is justified in pursuit of a depraved cause.”
Mark described the Senate as a stabilizing institution in the ongoing democracy saying, “our self examination shows that the 7th Senate has maintained the lofty and patriotic tradition of stabilizing the nation.”
He assured that the interventions of the upper chamber in critical matters will continue to balance the polity and moderate national discourse.
Mark cautioned that Nigeria cannot afford to be in a permanent state of war as every citizen anxiously awaits quick but decisive victory in the ongoing military operation.
He called on President Jonathan to properly fund the military operations in the three states under emergency rule, and also work toward building confidence in the local citizens from whom the insurgents recruit their foot soldiers.
“Our response to terrorism cannot depend on might and military force alone. The bigger challenge is to win the hearts and minds of the locals from whom the fanatics recruit their foot soldiers,” he said.
Mark also observed that “to win hearts and reshape attitudes, we must identify and address the root causes of this extremism and sectarian hate.”
For the umpteenth time, the Senate president also said yesterday that the Senate will resist attempts to cast the legislature as a rubber stamp in the process of governance.
Listing the achievements of the 7th Senate, Mark said: “The bill progression chart shows that the 7th Senate has so far passed 31 bills. A total of 110 bills were read for the first time, while 36 bills scaled a second reading.”
credits: Daily Trust