Senate President, David Mark
Says defectors are fair weather friends *I’d rather resign from politics than defect, says Aliyu
By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and Aisha Wakaso in Minnaâ€¨
Senate President, David Mark, on Wednesday dispelled rumours making the rounds that he was contemplating dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying he would rather be the last man standing in the party.
This came as Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, yesterday stated that he would rather resign from politics than defect from the PDP, adding that all those defecting to the APC was as a result of stomach infrastructure.
Aliyu described them as people who are suffering from poverty of integrity, morality and principle.
Mark, who affirmed his unshakeable loyalty to the ruling party which was defeated in the March 28 presidential poll by the APC, said he would never betray the party which provided him with the platform to attain the height he occupies today.
Mark who made this remark during a special church service in commemoration of his 67th birthday at St. Mulumba Catholic Chaplaincy, Apo in Abuja, described those dumping the party because it lost elections as fair weather friends, saying the victory of APC at the poll is the will of God.
He insisted that he would remain in the party and be part of those who would champion the course of rebuilding the PDP.
“The outcome of the presidential election in favour of APC is the will of God and majority of Nigerians. We, in the PDP, have accepted the result in good faith.
“I have no reason to jump ship. I will not leave the PDP. I will be the last man standing for the PDP. The party gave me the platform to be where I am today.
“I will stay in the PDP to contribute my quota to the rebuilding and restructuring of the party. This is democracy. Winners emerge and the losers go back to the drawing board and rejuvenate,” Mark said.
He slammed members of the party who are trooping to the new bride, APC, describing them as inconsistent people who would equally find their ways back to the party when it regains its lost glory.
Mark, who affirmed his unalloyed belief in PDP’s manifesto, pledged to work hard to ensure that the party is brought back to its feet again. He observed that what was sacrosanct was the assurance that democracy had come to stay in Nigeria.
“Those drifting to the APC now are fair weather friends of the PDP. They are seeking new green areas. When the PDP bounces back, they will seek another return to the PDP.
“I believe in PDP manifestos. I will work hard to bring the party back on track. What is important is that we have established democracy in Nigeria,”he added.
Also speaking at the occasion, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, extolled the virtues of the senate president, saying he had piloted the affairs of the Senate so far with wisdom.
According to him, his continued contributions to the socio-economic and political development of the country could not be undermined.
In the same vein, his age-long friend, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, prayed God to grant Mark good health, long life and courage in the years ahead.
Also, Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, commended the Senate president for providing what he described as resourceful leadership as well as harmonious working relationship between the management and leadership of the Senate.
Meanwhile, Governor Aliyu, while receiving guests at his office on Wednesday in Minna, said the electorate should not be deterred by the defections from the PDP, adding that those who should worry are members of the APC who will soon have problems of political profiteers in their hands.
“I rather resign from politics than defecting from PDP. Those defecting from PDP based on the outcome of the presidential and National Assembly elections lack principles of integrity and morality, they are indeed stomach politicians.
“For principles of integrity, morality, we have chosen to remain in PDP. I heard people insinuating that I have dumped my party candidate for the APC candidate. It is a lie, I will never do such a thing,” he said.
Speaking on the forthcoming election, he said the state’s APC accusation against the PDP over plans to rig in the election had shown that “they are indeed the very ones trying to rig and cause civil unrest. On our own side, we will abide by the rule to ensure nobody or party is cheated. The election must indeed reflect the wishes of the people.”
Also, Alhaji Seidu Abubakar, a former Chairman of Wushishi Local Government Area who led a group of former local government area chairmen in Niger State to the governor on the visit, said they had chosen to remain in the PDP based on principles and conviction.
“Despite the after effect of the presidential election, we remain undaunted. The Buhari effect has come and gone. The next election will not be APC’s show anymore because we do not have Buhari’s among the governorship candidates of the APC,” he said.