Former Senate President and one of Nigeria’s longest serving senators, David Mark recently donated a 3000-seater church to his community’s Catholic parish in Otukpo, Benue.
According to Mark, he donated the church to appreciate “the Almighty for his mercy, grace and blessing on me and my family, I can never quantify or measure His kindness and blessing. I will serve God and humanity for the rest of my life.”
This statement from Mark is reminiscent of what how Nigerian politicians can be incredibly obtuse to the problems of their constituents, and how they go out of their way to solve problems that actually do not exist. The fact is that Mark’s constituents have been as loyal and committed to keeping him in government as any other senator. For as long as Nigeria has been democratic, Mark has held some kind of office as a representative of Benue. No Nigerian Senator has been able to replicate Mark’s political stride as a Senator from 1999 till date, and yet, Otukpo and Benue as a whole has remained in abject poverty.
His constituents have an inexplicable confidence in the man, which is why he has held on to the Benue South senatorial seat since the return to democracy in 1999, even his failed permutations to emerge as a third term Senate President couldn’t deter his people, his bye election victory was a further confirmation of the love people of Benue South love Mark.
However, to whom much is given, much is expected. Senator Mark has given next to nothing to his Senatorial district and to Benue in general. The state of roads in Benue is pathetic and it is unbelievable that a state that produced a two term Senate President of Nigeria will be in such precarious state.
The state of health and other social amenities in Benue has not fared better, and the protracted insecurity in Benue recently claimed the lives of hundreds of Benue indigenes, some of which are Mark’s constituents.
Mark is yet to make good on his pledge to serve humanity by investing his money in healthcare, education and security which would have in no small means helped to change the state of things in Benue. His decision to spend such money on a 3000-seater Church shows Mark is oblivious to the current reality of his environment and is ‘serving’ his constituents wrongly. Mark has no business building a church. Will he also build a 3000 capacity mosque to appreciate his Muslim constituents to create the necessary balance?