It is turning out to be dirty dance of masquerades as Benue’s two most prominent sons, Governor Samuel Ortom and former Senate President David Mark, chose to dance naked in the public domain.
Mark fired the first salvo in far away PortHarcourt, Rivers State, last Tuesday when he teased during the commissioning of the remodelled Brick House, the former Government House in the state, Mark said, “Whilst people are here commissioning roads, commissioning projects and all other development projects brought to Rivers state, in my home state, they are giving out wheel barrows to empower people.”
Firing back, Ortom, through his spokesman, was unsparing and uncivil at Mark’s poke.
His response: “We listened to the comments made by the Senator representing Benue South Senatorial district, David Mark, at a function in Port Harcourt where he compared developments in Rivers and Benue states.
“Mark accused Governor Samuel Ortom of ‘giving out wheelbarrows to empower people’ when, according to him, other states are commissioning projects.
“We do not intend to belabour the issue of wheelbarrows which we have already made clarification that the carts were donated by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, NCFRMI, for victims of armed herdsmen attacks in the state. ”Perhaps only Senator David Mark is not aware of this fact.
“Mark’s statements smack of a man who has obviously been disconnected with the very people who voted him.
”His utterances also exude envy against Governor Ortom who is succeeding where Mark has failed.
”In Benue South which Senator Mark represents, the Ortom administration has embarked on a number of projects for the people.
“Agatu which is a local government area under David Mark’s senatorial district affected by herdsmen attacks is today peaceful owing to the security initiatives of Governor Ortom.
‘’ The people of the area have not hidden their joy and have been appreciating the Governor for ensuring the return of peace.
”We are not aware of any effort Mark has made to curb the crisis as a serving senator representing the people of that part of the state.
“Senator Mark certainly owes the people of Benue South an explanation on why the Otukpo-Enugu federal highway is still a death trap after many years that the contract was awarded by the government.
“Mark used the road project and his perennial promise for the creation of Apa state as campaign lullabies just to ensure his return to the red chamber of the Senate on five occasions.
“It is rather unfortunate that Mark has failed to see the deliberate underdevelopment of the state by the government of his political party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, particularly the part of the state which he has represented as senator for nearly 20 years.
“Township roads in Otukpo where Mark lives anytime he is in the state were abandoned by the PDP administration with Senator Mark doing nothing for as many years.”
A comprehensive response was being expected from the Mark camp mid-week.