Connect with us


Mark, Young Alhaji join forces to crush APC



Spread the love


AFTER series of consultations and negotiations at the weekend, Alhaji Abubakar Usman, Dan Maishannu, popularly known as Young Alhaji, decided to give his support (at the moment in principle) to former Senate President David Mark for the rerun senatorial election in Benue South Senatorial District, Benue State.
National Daily was reliably informed that the meetings between Mark and Young Alhaji at the weekend were the first time both political gladiators in Idoma nation were interacting directly since they began the contest for the representation of the people in the same district.
Some of the loyalists of both political actors who witnessed the meetings told our reporter that the negotiation was facilitated by an advanced team of political and community leaders in the Idoma nation mobilizing support for David Mark.
The team had made overtures to Young Alhaji earlier, dialogued with him before clearing the way for direct consultation and trade- off with Mark.
Former Senate President David Bonaventure Alechenu Mark may be fighting the battle of his life in two ways, notably, to save his political career from ruinous and unceremonious end and to protect the Idoma nation from subjugation and domination by the Tiv. These are the guiding beliefs that compelled Idoma leaders towards working for the unity of the sons and daughters in their clime to support Mark.
Apparently, Mark was given rousing welcome by mammoth crowd when he arrived Otukpo, Benue State, at about 5.00pm last Thursday from Abuja. State Chairmen of all political parties in Benue State, including the All Progressives Congress (APC) were there to welcome Mark. They had expressed that the issue is not about political parties but about the determination to forestall the domination of Idoma nation by external political forces.
Moreover, Young Alhaji had to set aside his reservations over the ill-treatments he received in contesting for power with Mark in the past. He noted that it is in the interest of Idoma nation that he has to change his mind and agree to work with Mark in the senatorial rerun election whenever the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) announces the date.
The various political and community leaders had told their people that “the issue in contention is not about David Mark but about the interest of the Idoma nation, saying “they should allow Mark to have honourable exit in 2019.”
National Daily investigation revealed that the rising political consciousness in Benue South Senatorial District was stimulated by the overall assessment of the political games against Mark since the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the Presidency in the 2015 general elections.
The Idoma people have developed the sentiment that since that loss by the PDP which transited power to another set of political actors at the centre, APC leaders in Benue State, namely, Senator George Akume and Senator Barnabas Gemade have been using their influence at the federal level to consolidate their hegemony of Benue politics and the domination of the Tiv nation.
Moreover, Mark is also believed to be on target by APC leaders who have been at war with Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki who had the unalloyed backing of PDP senators to assume the leadership of the National Assembly.
Though, Mark has been noticed to be silent and relatively passive in the Eighth Senate, sources disclosed that he provides Saraki with the necessary stratagems to acquire and sustain power as well as keep his opponents under effective check.
Mark was said to also be the main plank on which PDP senators rely on in their power competition with the APC senators in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly. Similar attributes were said to be extended to the House of Representatives from Mark’s political virtues.
These political calculations were revealed to have put the APC leaders under pressure to purportedly ease out Mark from the National Assembly to be able to get at Saraki. Mark was said to be the one solving the mathematics of power and plotting the graph of the game.
Community leaders in Idoma land accused the APC of manipulating the judiciary to get judgments that would oust their perceived enemies from offices. This, they said, reflected in the Appeal Court judgment which annulled the election of Mark and ordered INEC to conduct another election within 90 days. Even Mark, on arrival in the state, told his kinsmen that the nullification of his election by the Appeal Court is bizarre. The statement was said to have reinforced the sentiment of the Idoma people.
Fortunately, Young Alhaji is not contesting in the election. He is renowned to have armies of supporters and extensive goodwill that can determine the outcome of an election in Idoma nation. Young Alhaji has also been under intense pressure from the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to align with the party in the election against Mark.
Unfortunately, he has been having prolonged imbroglio with Senator Akume. Accordingly, in choosing between two perennial enemies, Young Alhaji opted for Mark, his kinsman, against Akume. One of his loyalists told the National Daily that he considered the cohesion of the in-group in protecting the interests of the Idoma nation more than succumbing to the temptation of aligning with external forces to devastate his political clime because of the proverbial ‘pot of porridge’.
Sources from Otukpo had it that “the re-ordered senatorial election in Benue South is a litmus test for Young Alhaji to show that he is a true political leader of his people in Idoma nation, that he has the capacity to lead the Idoma nation from 2019 after Mark’s exit.”
Young Alhaji is expected to reinforce Mark’s political machine through his legion of supporters at the grassroots. He is widely celebrated as the “commander of the grassroots population” who shares in the pains of the poor through his humanitarian gestures.
The people are already suspicious of INEC which they perceive to be purportedly aiding APC to win elections at all costs, basing their suspicion on the Kogi State Governorship election and the controversial Governorship Election in Bayelsa State.
As at the time of filing this report, the consultation between Mark and Young Alhaji continued.
The National Daily gathered that all political machinations or the build up to the election are currently concentrated at the level of consultations with additional activities of working out the campaign frameworks and logistics. Active politicking was revealed to commence after the Christmas festival and New Year holidays.
It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division, had, penultimate week, nullified the election of the Mark, ordering the INEC to conduct fresh elections in the Benue South Senatorial District within 90 days.
Daniel Onjeh, APC’s candidate in the March 28, 2015, National Assembly election, had challenged the victory of Mark at the Benue State Legislative Houses Elections Petition Tribunal, seeking the cancellation of the election and an order for conduct of fresh election but lost.
It was gathered that Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, leading the tribunal, on October 7, 2015, threw out Onjeh’s petition “on the ground that evidence tendered before the tribunal were documentary hearsay evidences.”
However, Justice Peter Ige, leading other judges in the Appeal Court, Makurdi, delivered unanimous judgement, quashing the judgement of the tribunal; upheld the appeal of Onjeh that “Mark’s election failed substantially to meet with the provisions of paragraphs 39 and 40 of the INEC approved electoral guidelines and sections 73 and 74 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.”
The Appeal Court had raised objection to the failure of the tribunal to admit evidences tendered by the appellant to canvass his case and in another instance refer to the same evidence to arrive at its decision.
According to Justice Ige, the lower tribunal cannot be seen to blow hot and cold at the same time. The appellant has established his case on the balance of probability. It is our considered view that the appellant’s appeal is meritorious.
He maintained that the appellant showed by oral evidence that collation of results was still ongoing a day after the declaration of results of the election in seven local government areas of the district.
“Thus, the judgement of Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu led tribunal of October 7th, 2015, dismissing the petition is nullified. Therefore, the election of Senator David Mark is hereby set aside. INEC is by this judgement to conduct fresh senatorial election in the Benue South district within 90 days,” Justice Ige had declared.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.