Sunday, 31 January 2016

BENUE SOUTH RERUN: WHY I LEFT DAVID MARK - By Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi

Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi

My attention has been drawn to a video that went viral since Saturday night, January 30, 2016 and was put out by David Mark Fans Club. It was a direct reaction to my live programme on Harvest FM “Democracy and the People” which aired on Friday, January 29, 2016 in which I put things in their proper perspective and exposed how Mark has taken the Idoma and Igede Nation for a ride all these 16 years as all his promises he made has not been fulfilled.
Before my appearance on the programme in my capacity as the Director, Media and Publicity of the Onjeh Campaign Organization, Mark’s people have been making contact and were ready to offer me same position but I rejected it.
My position on David Mark is the same as any other Igede or Idoma person who was with him but left. In my own case, I left him immediately after the Court of Appeal judgement. At the time the video was made in 2015, I was one of the Field Commanders for Mark’s re-election who went to all nooks and crannies of Zone C to plead with the people to give Mark the last chance especially as we all bought the Apa State creation dummy sold by David Mark to the Idoma and Igede people. 
When the result of that election came out, it was clear that the popular will of the people was against David Mark as they rejected him at the Polls in spite of the humongous sum he deployed. The people of Benue South demonstrated with their votes (not the figures fraudulently allocated to Mark) that they have rejected him completely because they are tired of being deceived and not seeing commensurate development in their zone despite the position occupied by Mark for donkey years. It is instructive to note that the video features the former Deputy Governor Chief Lawani sitting next to Mark, the same Chief Lawani who is one of his erstwhile close associates that decamped to the APC on Saturday, January 23, 2016. The video shows the desperation of the Mark Campaign Organization since they could not refute my assertions and allegations on the radio programme. Most of the people featured in the video are no longer with Mark and the video actually indicts him.
As a young man with a young family, my conscience was picked by the level of rejection of Mark by his own people in the last election. I reflected a long time on the situation and realized the people are right. The rejected him at the Polls and will reject him again February 20, 2016 because they have not benefited from the dividends of democracy. As someone who has been to all parts of the country, Benue South looks like a forgotten part of Nigeria. A trip to my village between Igumale and Agilla always leaves me crest fallen because of the terrible roads and lack of basic infrastructure. The same pathetic situation is also found in Agatu, Oju and most parts of the zone.

Thus, I left David Mark because I realized the Idoma people, the Igede people and I have been living with lies, deceit, deception and delusion for 16 whole years! As a supporter of Mark then, I was one of the conspirators against the people of Benue South. Like a “born again” Christian who puts his hand on the plough and refuses to look back on the sinful pleasures of the world, I too will never have anything to do with Mark who has more to offer me in material terms than Comrade Daniel Onjeh, whom am serving without pay but based on a strong conviction that he will provide quality representation to our people. My rejection of Mark is therefore total just as my support for Onjeh is 100%.


I was one of those misinformed about Onjeh through his demonization by David Mark and company. I realized after a couple of interactions with him that he is a focused, principled and dogged fighter who has demonstrated leadership abilities as a President of both the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and West African Students Union (WASU). Because the Mark Campaign Organization has no strategy and is desperate, it has been pedaling the extremely dangerous rumour that Onjeh is being sponsored from outside. What a fallacy! The truth is nothing is coming in from outside. People sponsoring him from outside Zone C should have given him N100-N200 million if it is true. I have been privileged listen to the young man (by the Grace of God, the youngest Senator come February 20, 2016) making desperate calls to friends requesting for money. It is the little donations from his supporters, friends and well wishers that he is sustaining the struggle with. He has not gotten a dime from his so-called “outside sponsors”.

Comrade Daniel Onjeh inspires and motivates with his convincing arguments and concern about the heavy challenges facing Benue South. He believes strongly that if the people of Benue South do not reject Mark at the Polls, then they and their children yet unborn will have no future but be condemned to being vassals of the Mark Clan.

For 16 years, there has been only underdevelopment, marginalization, economic and political stagnation of Benue South, and the poor, the vulnerable having been feeling the brunt of misery and helplessness under Mark’s representation and “leadership” are now fully supporting Onjeh.
Comrade Onjeh is not financially endowed like Mark and cannot afford to buy the social media to propagate absolute falsehood, but believes the greatest weapon is the people’s Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) for this will be the first election since 1999 that Mark is stripped off the instruments of the coercive power of the state to upturn results. It is because of the firm resolve of the people of Benue South to change David Mark that resulted in the spectacle witnessed on 23rd January when Onjeh formally flagged off his campaign and many prominent people who were Mark’s political allies decamped to the APC including former Senate President Ameh Ebute, former Minister Dr Sam Ode and General Adoga. The crowd at GSS Otukpo was mammoth and unprecedented. 

The Comrade Senator-in-Waiting was almost crushed by the crowd and the security agents guarding him had a hectic time controlling them. Women were crying, wailing and ululating with joy that their hour of liberation is near. He shed tears on that day because he was deeply touched by the outpouring of affection and support from the ordinary people. Everybody wanted to shake him and identify with him. He was referred to repeatedly as “This Wonder”, “messiah”, etc.
Let the whole world know that the video which is true before I left PDP in 2015 was released as a result of my refusal to go back to the Mark Campaign Organization and as a reaction to my radio programme.

The decision I took was by divine providence just as a committed Christian cannot return to his sinful past, my rejection of Mark, the PDP and their brand of politics of deceit, deception and manipulation of ethnic, religious and regional sentiments is therefore total.
May the good people of Benue South know true freedom, liberty, progress, development and advancement as they consolidate change in Benue South by voting to change David Mark on Saturday, February 20, 2016.
Freedom has come to stay!!!

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