nator David Mark, a man that is highly respected among his colleagues for his rare sterling leadership qualities, has no doubt endeared himself into the hearts of many Nigerians.
No wonder the Senate as a mark of honour stood still for him on April 8, 2014, the day he clocked 66 years of age. The Senators took turns at the plenary to eulogize him, after the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu set the stage through a motion.
Noting that it was imperative to say that the occasion of Mark’s birthday speaks far more than the number of years he has lived, the Deputy Senate President who has worked closely with Mark as his second in command in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly said: “He is one of the few Nigerians who have played very active roles in the nation’s political life both under the military and under democracy. I have often liken him to the biblical Paul. You recall that Paul was on the other side of faith and once he got converted on his way to Damascus he became not just one of the greatest defenders of the faith but the most fervent, prolific and travel preacher of the gospel. The Distinguished Senate President has made his mark as a soldier of democracy even suffering persecution and going into exile at a time in defence of democracy. Today he is a preacher and ardent promoter of democratic values. He is a practicing democracy per excellence.”
Ekweremadu continued “Far from the rambunctiousness and swagger that would ordinarily be associated with an accomplished general who has seen it all, Senator Mark turns out to be highly unassuming, quiet, but very sociable and outspoken. He is like the proverbial Amanlize, that Igbo folklore hero who has mastered the art of riding the storm and achieving great things quietly. Unlike Chinua Achebe’s Amanlize the cat in Things Fall Apart who was eventually floored by Okonkwo after seven years winning streak. This fabled Amanlize wrestled both malevolent spirit and men and always emerged victorious. I want to thank the Distinguished Senate President for his team spirit, conviviality, legislative due process and independence and the decorum he has cultivated in the Senate.”
In a goodwill message to the Senate President, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman described Mark as a great democrat, whose contribution to the sustenance and advancement of democracy in the country has been significantly wonderful.
The Senator, representing Kogi Central Senatorial District averred that the leadership style of the soldier turned politician since his emergence as the Senate President in 2007, has greatly helped in ensuring stability in the Senate, beating the “Ghost of Senate’s Banana Peels” that hitherto characterized the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly. He added that the maturity, bravery and sagacity usually displayed by Mark in handling every challenge and burning issue of national importance before the Senate were quite commendable and laudable.