National Assembly fracas: Physical attack on me, a sacrifice —Senate President David Mark

Posted by News Express | 22 November 2014 | 3,852 times

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Senate President David Mark has described the physical assault on him by a fellow lawmaker as a price and sacrifice for leadership.

Mark yesterday provided an insight into his visit to the Green Chamber of the House of Representatives, in the heat of the pandemonium that occurred at the National Assembly on Thursday, where he got physically assaulted by Abdul Malik Usman Cheche (PDP, Niger State).

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, Mark explained that he was in the House “to ascertain the safety of Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and his colleagues, having received reports that canisters of tear gas were targeted at the lawmakers.

He said: “I also went to confer with Mr. Speaker on the need to suspend plenary in both Chambers, in order to restore sanity to an environment that had turned restive and becoming uncontrollable.

“My intention was to safeguard the sanctity of the hallowed Chamber, and to guarantee the respect of the legislature. I consider the unwarranted and needless attack on my person by Hon. Abdulmalik Usman Cheche as a price and sacrifice for leadership. It is a sacrifice I am prepared to accept.

“I was physically stopped at the gate and booked from accessing the National Assembly complex for about an hour. I was also tear-gassed at the lobby of the White House, as I made my return from the Green Chamber.

“In all these, I bear no ill feelings. AbdulMalik is my colleague. I have forgiven him. I believe we can continue to work together in the interest of peace and sustenance of democracy.

“Like I have repeatedly said, I will do anything necessary to keep the sanctity of the parliament as an institution, and safeguard the respect of every legislator."

Mark, however, called for caution among politicians across political parties, to exercise restraint in their conduct in the build-up to next year’s general elections, saying Nigeria must be there for everybody, before anybody can aspire to become anything.

His words: “I therefore urge all political actors to always remember that we must first have a nation before we can achieve our various individual ambitions. We must at all times restrain ourselves from actions that cannot add value to our hard-earned democracy.

“We should remain guided by the rules no matter how strongly we perceive our positions to be the most appropriate.”

Meanwhile, both Speaker Tambuwal and Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State have appealed to Senator Mark to forgive the lawmaker of his unruly behaviour on Thursday.

Governor Aliyu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel Ebije, described Cheche’s action as despicable, notorious, embarrassing and dishonorable.

•Adapted from Newswatch Times. Photo shows David Mark.

Source: News Express

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