Ortom bombs David Mark: Your eight-year-tenure as Senate President a huge waste
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom and the former Senate President, David Mark, have engaged each other in a war of words over the wheelbarrows branded in Ortom’s name.
While the Ortom administration said the wheelbarrows were donated by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons for victims of armed herdsmen attacks in the state, a local government councilorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Dan Atayi, had said the wheelbarrows, branded with Ortom’s name, were Photoshopped and not real.
However, on Tuesday, at the commissioning of a Brick House and Chapel at the Rivers State Government House, Senator Mark had praised Governor Nyesom Wike for sponsoring the project.
He then went ahead to compare it with the kind of project that is going on his own state (Benue).
Mark was quoted to have said, “While people are commissioning roads, commissioning bridges, commissioning good projects, in my own state, Benue, we are giving out wheelbarrows to empower people. So, you can compare and contrast.
“This is not my first visit to commission projects in Rivers State. I was here less than a year ago to commission one of the roads. I noticed tremendous improvement in the delivery of democracy dividends.
“When the next election comes, you don’t need to bother with all manner of propaganda; these works would campaign for you.”
Responding to Mark’s comment, Ortom said the ex-Senate President was intimidated by his (Ortom’s) achievements after failing to deliver to the nation while serving as the Senate President for eight years.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Tever Akase, Ortom said, “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 development levels 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, for which we have already made clarification that the carts were donated by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons for victims of armed herdsmen attacks in the state.
“Perhaps only Senator David Mark is not aware of this fact.
“Agatu, which is a local government area under David Mark’s senatorial district and 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.”
Continuing, Akase said, “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 had been 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, 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 man in the country for eight uninterrupted years and had ample opportunity to address the development needs of the people.”Punch