Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 17 April 2018 | 1,272 times
Former Senate President David Mark, was celebrated at the weekend with a thanksgiving service to mark his 70th birthday. It was for him an unforgettable event, during which effusive encomiums were showered on his by eminent leaders, including President Muhammadu Buhari (who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly, Senator Ita Enang, Senate President Bukola Saraki and a former Minister of Defence, General TY Danjuma (rtd.), among others.
Speaking at the occasion Mark said: “I have resolved to serve God and humanity ceaselessly for the rest of my life.
“I will intensify my prayers and do the work of mercy for peace and unity of Nigeria where genuine friendship and brotherhood, devoid of parochialism reigns.
“When I was growing up, I made friends across board devoid of ethnicity, tribe or religion. And we saw ourselves as brothers and sisters with a common destiny. But what we see today is a celebration of ethnic or religious champions in our national life.
“This is not the Nigeria of our dream. We must rise up to re-orientate our people in order to reverse the trend for good. We must see ourselves as one people with a common destiny and purpose.”
Mark stated that a better Nigeria is possible where everyone would be free to live and pursue his or her legitimate ambition in any part of the country without fear of intimidation or molestation “if we see ourselves as brothers and sisters.”
President Buhari in his tribute described Mark as a brave soldier and astute politician who has made positive impact in the development of the nation.
Chairman of the occasion, General Danjuma, said that Mark was one of his dependable subordinates in the Army and that he was not surprised he rose very well in politics.
He noted the indomitable spirit of Senator Mark, which he said is needed to navigate through the murky political water in Nigeria.
The President of the 8th Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki also showered encomiums on his predecessor for the foundation he laid in the Senate as well as his contributions to national development.
Saraki requested Mark to always make his knowledge and wealth of experience available for upcoming leaders to profit from, pointing out that “Mark is a rare gift to Nigeria,” he said.
Also speaking, the Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal described Mark as a patriotic and relentless public servant who over the years demonstrated unquestionable loyalty to his fatherland.
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Uche Secondus praised Senator Mark for his steadfastness, recalling that in the wake of the gale of defection that hit the party after its defeat in 2015, the former Senate President stood firm, when he said he will remain in PDP no matter the odds.
Senator Mark had insisted that he will not abandon PDP, saying: “I will remain the last man standing, even if others decamps.”
Mark’s classmate, General Alwali Kazir who spoke on behalf of Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Course 3 Alumni Association commended Mark for his unblemished service to the nation.
Also speaking at the event, former Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) General IBM Haruna commended Mark for living a disciplined life and carrying the touch of the Boys Company now called Nigerian Military School.
He tasked leaders in the country to make Nigeria a veritable united country adding that only a united country would justify the dreams of the founding fathers.
Some of the eminent Nigerians who attended the event included four former Presidents of the Senate, Iyorchia Ayu, Adolphus Wabara, Anyim Pius Anyim, Ken Nnamani, the incumbent Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Senators of the sixth, Seventh and current Assembly,
Governors, past and present members of the House of Representatives, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, top businessmen and government functionaries.
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