BENUE SOUTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT, DISTINGUISHED SENATOR DAVID MARK

 

 Senator (Dr) David Alechenu Bonaventure Mark,GCON,fnim is a social pragmatist, a magnet that moves both friends and foes into his enchanting orbit, a man whose flame and fame continues to illuminate, a patriot, a true nationalist, a detribalized Nigerian, a social and political strategist of no mean standing. His socio political charisma ripples through the entire length and breadth of this great nation and beyond. He is a lover of democracy and the rule of law and above all, a man of immense political sagacity.
Senator David Mark was born on the 8th day of April 1948 in Otukpo Local Government of Benue State of Nigeria. His early education started at St. Francis Catholic Practising School, Otukpo from 1956-1961. He then proceeded to the prestigious Nigerian Military School, Zaria from 1962-1966 thereby setting the tone of his ambition for a military career. Young David Mark graduated from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Regular 3 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1970.
He proceeded for further professional training in the United Kingdom and India from 1971-1976 and bagged a Bachelors Degree in Telecommunications. Between 1978 and 1979, he was a student at the Command Staff College and in 1990-1991 was at the National Defence University in Washington DC and later at Harvard University Boston, USA 1991-1992.
He held various Staff, Command and Administrative appointments during his service in the Nigerian Army. Some of these include: Directing Staff, Command and Staff College, Commander Corps of Signals and Faculty Director, National War College (NWC) now National Defence College (NDC).
Senator David Mark also held extra-curricular appointments while in the military. He was appointed the Chairman of the very challenging Abandoned Properties Implementation Committee in 1976. In his capacity as Chairman, he effectively supervised the implementation of the Federal Government White Paper on the controversial abandoned properties in the old Eastern Region now the South South (Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers) and South Eastern States (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo). In 1984, Lt-Colonel David Mark was appointed Military Governor of Niger State. His tenure as the Military Governor of Niger State was characterized by brilliant ideas, bold actions and courageous initiatives which set Niger State on the path of development.
In his desire to achieve concrete results, he was always against red-tapism, unconventional rules and any form of mundane considerations. He was a fearless tactician, intelligent, witty and a man of character who was always determined to achieve good results by all means possible. As Minister of Communications in 1988, he revolutionalised the communications sector in Nigeria by introducing mobile phones and digital telephone system in the country. He reorganized NIPOST and started the city coding system. The Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL) was removed from the Civil Service Structure and staff welfare package was improved significantly. He also built two ultra-modern digital earth stations in Lagos and Enugu from internally generated revenue without recourse to the Federal Government fund. David Mark thus began a journey into national consciousness.
Following his retirement from the Army in 1993, Senator David Alechenu Bonaventure Mark returned to Nigeria from self exile in 1998 to a tumultuous and thunderous home coming reception by his Idoma people. They instantly declared him their political leader and he immediately responded to the yearnings and aspirations of his people. He joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and had the honour and privilege to contest election into the Senate. He was successfully elected as the Senator for Benue South Senatorial District in 1999. Senator Mark was returned by his people in 2003, 2007 and 2011. In the 4th and 5th Senate, he was Chairman of the following Senate Committees:
- Communication
- Banking and Currency
- Police Affairs
- Science and Technology
He also served as Member in the following Senate Committees:
- Governmental Affairs
- Internal Affairs
- Police Affairs
- Security and Intelligence
- Cooperation and Integration in Africa
- Defence
- Local and Foreign Debt
In June, 2007, Senator David Mark emerged as the Senate President of the 6th Senate thereby making him the Twelfth President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Francis Bacon once said that “a wise man will make more opportunities than he finds”.
A new phrase was added to Nigeria’s political lexicon on Tuesday, 9th February, 2010. The date will continue to be a strong reference point in Nigeria’s political analysis; Senator David Mark tested extant laws of the land in order to forge a bailout for Nigeria’s continuous existence as one nation through the Doctrine of Necessity. That singular act ended the political uncertainty or logjam that had gripped the nation prior to the emergence of a new Leadership.

On the memorable day of the 7th of June, 2011, H.E., Sen. (Dr.) David A.B. Mark, GCON, was re-elected unopposed as the President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly for the 2nd time. Thus, for the 2nd time in our great nation, history was made again. The overwhelming and unparalleled support that led to his emergence as Senate President, cut across the six zones and different political affiliations.
He is a pragmatist, an outstanding Senator, fiercely devoted to the social, economic and political engineering of Nigeria, a shrewd and excellent politician, one of the best managers of our democracy, a man who brought to bear the political Doctrine of Necessity. He has all his life displayed vigor without vanity, strength without insolence and courage without ferocity and all the virtues of a natural leader without his vices
In the Senate, Senator David Mark is widely popular for his belief in true democracy and rule of law. His political and social ingenuity in handling bills and voice votes has always been to the admiration of his colleagues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and to Nigerians who keenly watch his democratic dexterity over their TV sets. To him the AYES have it while the NAYES always stay convinced.
The Senate President handles the affairs of the Red Chamber with a deftness that carries every one along; he leaves no one in doubt as to the fact that the success of the Assembly lies in the team work that pervades the Senate. The true essence of participatory democracy is at play on a daily basis.
Under his leadership as President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly, the Legislature broke the 50-year old jinx by successfully amending the 1999 Constitution. By that singular act, he helped set a precedence of procedure such that even those who will come after this political dispensation will not have much difficulty in altering the Constitution positively.
Thus is the political will and sagacity he possesses.
If political public office is service to the people, Senator David is an epitome of extraordinary energy, achievement and dedication. He has developed an impressive humanitarian enterprise for the people in his constituency. As a Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District made up of nine Local Governments, he has established cottage industries, ranging from garri, soap and tailoring institutes for the youths.
As a great believer in education, Senator David Mark established a scholarship scheme since the 1970s, which awards scholarships ranging from primary to university level education. In addition, Senator David Mark has renovated many schools.
As a sports enthusiast, he has in place an annual David Mark Secondary School football competition for the youths. As an avid lover of the game of golf, Senator Mark has an 18-hole Green Golf Championship Course at Otukpo open to the public free-of-charge. This has not only given sports a boost in the State but has also given employment to several people.
A communicator and lover of effective and grassroots communication, Senator David Mark established a radio station, Joy FM 96.5 in Otukpo; again offering employment to well over 50 Nigerians in his constituency. This has promoted grassroots communication, education, enlightenment, peace and harmony among the people.
This is, therefore, a man of undoubted national acclaim and an asset. Little wonder then, that he has been decorated and honoured with several awards across the country among which are:
- Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger [GCON].
- psc+ fwc fss.
- Doctorate Degrees from the Nigeria Defence Academy, his alma mata, Enugu State University of Science & Technology, Rivers State University of Science & Technology, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, National Open University of Nigeria, among others.
- Fellow, Nigeria Institute of Management [fnim].
- Public Officer of the Year, 2011 Award by African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc (publishers of Tribune Newspapers).
Senator David Mark has also been decorated with several chieftaincy titles too numerous to mention here. However some are:
- Okpokpowulu K’Idoma – Benue
- Zarumman Kaura Namoda – Zamfara
- Egidibiyeye of Iyala – Cross River
- Dan-Isa Lokoja – Kogi
- Amulutoro of Egbaland – Ogun
- Ochokpa of Doma – Nassarawa
- Dikemba of Nri – Anambra
- Enyioha Mbaise – Imo
- Magayaki Nikyob – Kaduna