RIPPLES OF MARK'S ENDORSEMENT BY SUSWAM
The recent public endorsement of the Senate President, David Mark by the Benue state Governor, Gabriel Suswam for the Benue South senatorial seat in 2011 is already causing ripples in the camp of his rival contestant, General Lawrence Onoja.
The Senate President, David Mark, a few weeks back, in Otukpo the ancestral home of the Idoma people declared his intention to run as senator representing the zone for the fourth time.
The event was well attended by leading politicians including the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Speaker House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ikweremadu and 19 Governors as well as political big wigs across the country.
Describing Mark as a son after his own heart, Governor Suswam noted that going by his great and unparalleled achievements both at the senate and Nigeria as a whole, it would be unfair for anybody to want to come out and contest the seat with him (Mark) in 2011.
Suswam went further to state that he has never been known to sit on the fence on any matter and urged the Idoma people to do themselves, the state and the country good by returning Mark back to the Senate in the next election.
While maintaining that a man must die for a cause, the Governor explained that the doctrine of necessity which brought the country to where it is today was a brainchild of Senator Mark and stressed that the only way to show gratitude to him is to overwhelmingly vote him back to the senate.
Suswam said the Senate President had done so much for the country for anybody to say he wants to contest with him and urged people of the zone not to make the mistake of voting in any other candidate out of primordial sentiments. 'I have always stood for a cause and I will not be standing on the fence on my support for David Mark. A man must die for a cause. David Mark is my son after my own heart. Let us support the aspiration of this great son of mine.'
Speaking for the Idoma people at the event, Chief Obande Obeya, a PDP chieftain maintained that David Mark has no opponent in the zone, positing that the perceived opponent he has is the handiwork of some military ex-generals who are not happy that Mark is the senate President. 'Envy will not help us. With what Senator Mark has done in the senate in the last four years, no one should contest against him at all. Some are threatening that they will go to court if we make any mistake, but we will not make any mistake and there will be no reason for them to go to court.
In his declaration speech, the Senate President Sen. David Mark told the people that he was seeking another term at the Senate to consolidate on his democratic dividends for them, noting that he had listened to the voices of all shades of Idoma people whose pains and joy he bears in arriving at the decision to contest again for the seat.
However, the camp of General Onoja seem to be mustering every courage that is left to ensure it realizes its dream of slugging it out with the senate president and clinching the senatorial seat.
In a telephone interview with Daily Sun, Director, Media and Publicity, General Lawrence Onoja Campaign organization, Hon. Adoka Adaji said Onoja's camp is not worried by Governor Suswam's endorsement of Senator Mark.
He maintained that though Suswam is the Governor of the state, he cannot choose who becomes the next Senator for the Benue South Senatorial District pointing out that the responsibility of deciding who is the senator for the zone lies exclusively with the Idoma people.
Adaji opined that 80 percent of those who attended Senator Matk's declaration have no voting rights in the zone, since they are not from Idoma land and urged Onoja's supporters not to be deterred by the endorsement.
While insisting that his principal is still very much in the race, Adaji hinted that the campaign organization would be embarking on a tour of all nine local governments in the zone as from next week. But with the endorsement bestowed on Mark by the incumbent Governor of the state for the Benue South senatorial seat, the stage is now set for the contest between two Generals for the soul of the Benue South senatorial seat. Whoever will win or lose depends on the outcome of the PDP primaries.