In spite of the barrage of condemnations Sen. David Mark’s Port Harcourt comment on Governor Samuel Ortom received, over the Wheelbarrow saga, the ex-senate president still stands his ground.
Sen. Mark insisted today that contrary to what the Benue State Government, led by Governor Samuel Ortom thinks, the story concerning the wheelbarrow distribution is in market places and even the blind can see the reign of Wheel Barrows as youth Empowerment gimmick in Benue state under the watchful eyes of the governor.
The former Senate President was reacting to a statement credited to the Press Secretary to Governor Ortom, who had noted that Senator Mark was envious of the records of Governor Ortom, which had instigated his remarks in Rivers State about the wheelbarrow scheme in Benue which is a Federal Government Project.
A statement signed by the Media Assistant to Senator Mark, said Mark is not known for pretenses and is ever pointedly frank and blunt as he calls a spade its rightful name no matter whose ox is gored.
According to the statement, Senator Mark did not say anything new or beyond what Nigerians already knew about the Ortom’s Wheelbarrow issue when he spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers state at the commissioning of Brick House ( Government House) on Tuesday.
It said, on the contrary, as a true statesman Mark merely held the mirror so that the society can see its reflection and even if the government does not like what they see, breaking the mirror will not change anything, and casting aspersions or embarking on a fruitless voyage of character assassination would also not change anything because the truth is constant.
The statement further adds that Dr. Ortom does not only deserve pity but needs help because the sorry state of affairs in Benue state have unarguably overwhelmed him and no one will envy his record of volumes of unpaid salaries to workers, leading to industrial actions, the unabating insecurity in the land leading to loss of thousands of lives and property to the state of despondency.
It noted that Mark was a state governor in his early 30s, a minister and the then youngest member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council and it is on record that Mark is the longest serving Senator in Nigeria and was president of the Senate for eight uninterrupted years.
It said if Ortom feels strongly about the concerns of Nigerians over his less than honest performance and not just that Senator Mark merely reechoed what the people already know, he should rise up to the challenge and serve the people of Benue state diligently and honestly as anything short of the welfare and security of citizens of Benue state amounts to a disservice to the state and clearly unacceptable to Senator Mark.It insisted that the situation in Benue today should challenge any responsible government to roll up its sleeves and go back to work instead of perceiving the peoples’ comment from the prism of politics.