Stop overheating polity, Mark tells politicians


Against the backdrop of the already charged political atmosphere in Nigeria ahead of the 2015 general elections mostly characterised by toxic letters and verbal missiles from one politician to the other within and across party divides, the President of the Senate, David Mark has counselled all politicians on the turf to reduce the heat just as he saluted Nigerians for their perseverance and resilience of keeping the nation one over the years in spite of the daunting challenges.
Mark made the call in a goodwill message to Nigerians on New Year and centenary celebrations.
The Senate President’s message of warning to politicians came on a day the Anglican Bishop of Enugu, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, predicted doom for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014, if the likes of Chief Tony Anenih and Dr. Bamanga Tukur do not retire from active politics.
Anenih is the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, while Tukur is the National Chairman of the party.
Bishop Chukwuma, who is also the Chairman, South East chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to buckle up and demonstrate stronger political will in tackling the myriads of challenges facing the country or fail in his second term bid in 2015.
The clergyman outlined the challenges to include incidence of corruption in the polity, unemployment and epileptic power supply.
According to Mark, who is himself a PDP chieftain, the challenges have to be tackled by the leaders and laity alike.
He said Nigerians and in particular politicians across the party divides must at this moment in the nation’s history, “remember where we are coming from as far as democracy is concerned and how and why we got it right in May 1999, the journey of which he said must not be derailed regardless of political aspiration of anybody or group of people in the country.
“The situations on ground in the country presently calls for restraint from all stakeholders and in particular, politicians who must guard against overheating the  already charged polity through their actions, inactions as well as utterances because  no matter the level of anger in a man’s mind, he should respect the rules of the game and rights of another.
“For me, I crave for a country where every citizen is a stakeholder, where there is justice, peace, equal opportunities and where no one is oppressed or marginalised. After all, God did not make mistake in keeping us together”, he said.
Mark who reminded Nigerians of the nation’s political history in the message added that “since we got it right in 1999, we must not in any way do anything that would take the nation back to the dark days again.”
On the New Year and centenary celebrations today, he saluted Nigerians for their perseverance, resilience and total commitment to the ideals of nationhood in spite of the daunting challenges facing the nation today.
He praised the indomitable spirit of the citizens and urged them to continue to work assiduously for the peace and unity of our country, noting that Nigeria remains one of the best nations in the world.
“I do not know of any other country that is so blessed with human and natural resources. All we need do, therefore, is to honestly harness these resources for the good of all,” he added.
Mark stressed further in the message that the security, socio-political and economic challenges currently facing the nation are not insurmountable saying other developed nations of the world at various times passed through such difficulties as well.
According to him, “The only difference is that the people themselves resolved to identify the problem and proffered a common solution. This is what we need in our own case, to reason together like one people and to solve our problems like one people.”
In his own New Year message, Chukwuma expressed dismay that the duo of Anenih and Tukur as well as other elders above 75 years had refused to heed his advice to quit active politics, noting that the present crisis facing the party would be a child’s play to what would happen to the party in the coming year.
“If those elders I warned before to retire don’t retire, then the party will be in trouble in 2014. At 80, Anenih should retire; Bamanga Tukur should retire. These people should now serve as elders and advisers. If they do that, then PDP will get its dignity back, but while you still have these analogue leaders and elders in the party and the polity, forget about PDP in 2015,” he said.
He urged President Jonathan to be focused in the coming year to avoid attracting the wrath of the greater percentage of Nigerians, saying since the bulk stops at his table, all blames for every failing in government would be laid at his doorstep.
“The letter between Obasanjo and Jonathan is a boomerang of Obasanjo’s selfish act in enthroning a president of his choice for Nigeria. There are many better leaders out there than Jonathan who would have been elected, but Obasanjo selfishly, because he thought he could control him manoeuved Jonathan into leadership by first putting sick (Umar Musa) Yar’ Adua there. Because he couldn’t control him anymore, he started writing letters.
“That is why Jonathan must be focused in 2014 in order to prove himself for 2015. Failure to do that and if he gets distracted and wouldn’t prove himself, and Nigeria continues with the way it is today with corruption, no light, poverty, unemployment, I beg him, he should just step aside. Let us seek for a better leader in 2015,” he said.



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