Nigeria has been saddled with a bunch of no good and outdated sort of people as leaders ever since the advent of the present democratic dispensation.
If legislation is about policy making that will impact on the lives of the electorate in a democracy, then no doubt Nigerian legislators have failed woefully because the only legislation they make is the one that will bring in money to their pockets. That is one of the several reasons Nigerians do not take legislators seriously.
When the Senate President, David Bonaventure Mark, was agitating that ‘Nigeria must remain one’, I wasn’t impressed simply because I know David Mark was only pretending to burst his arteries about the unity of Nigeria since it does not affect him in any way, but benefits him immensely.
Then his gaffe on the “Northern Leaders should tackle Boko Haram”, which was a complete put off. For a retired general who is supposed to be knowledgeable with some wealth of experience, it was the greatest misstatement of the century.
As far as responsibility is concerned, this is a dereliction of duty. As a Northerner from Benue state and the nation’s number three citizen, this shows that he himself is lacking in his responsibilities and if Nigeria were a serious country, he should have been impeached for dereliction of duty, negligence and gross incompetence. But then, this is Naija where everything goes.
‘Why couldn’t he go to Namadi Sambo, talk about these things and come up with something, no matter how little, even if it doesn’t work, the whole world will know they tried,’ was my thought then. But rather, he is busy trading blames on others when it is their responsibility and should be the ones looking for solutions. How pathetic.
David Mark continues to make undemocratic statements; as if he is not the head of a so called democracy. His recent gaffe; the call for a legislation banning the use of social media is the bomb. He said, “We need to change our attitude on how we report things about our country and we should emulate the foreign reporters who never report negative things about their countries.”
So Mark wants to sponsor – and pass – a legislation that would impose restrictions on the use of social media in Nigeria. As Babangida’s minister of communication, he told whoever cared to listen to perish the thought of making telephone available to Nigerians, insisting that telephone wasn’t for the poor but for the rich, eaters of hundreds of millions of naira from Nigeria’s commonwealth.
And today, the senator watches even roadside mechanics clutching their phones, reading the internet and seeing how much of a curse to them this government has become.
I guess just as Chinedu Ekeke said in his blog, ‘David Mark saw the shape of things to come from social media last January. The Occupy Nigeria protests jolted him and his co-travellers. Forget the lies they took to the market of how opposition hijacked the protests, he knew that the power of social media was at work. But for lack of patriotism of the labour leaders who sold the protests to Mark and his government, the government would have been brought down. And since then, he has watched the social media project himself and the government in their true picture: enemies of the Nigerian people. He saw the Arab Spring and how social media swept away his mentors in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and others.
David Mark has always represented darkness in Nigeria. The senate he leads is an effective retirement house for former state treasury looters; represent everything a nation’s senate should not be. While the lower house rose to the defense of Nigerians during the fuel subsidy protests, Mark and his senate looked the other way just to preserve the darkness which so much benefits him.
While the lower house set up committees upon committees to perform their constitutional oversight functions on federal government ministries, departments and agencies, Mark’s senate chose silence which darkness brings.
He is preaching how reporters should follow their foreign counterparts. Unfortunately, the Senate president, like the other “leaders” in Nigeria, does not read. That raises another question: what does he do with the newspaper allowance he pays himself? If he reads American or British newspapers, then he would understand that a vibrant media will always question their leaders.
But let’s even assume Mark is right about foreign reporters not reporting the negatives about their countries; and we choose to emulate them, has Mark emulated the same foreign countries in insisting that politicians only earn realistic and sustainable salaries? Part of what he wants us to report is that he doesn’t pay himself ten times the salary of the US president, or that he hasn’t made efforts to frustrate, through his senate, the demand of Nigerians that subsidy thieves be prosecuted. I understand he is a Christian. I would refer him to an interesting portion of the Bible. It is John 1:5:
“The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” New media is the light of the 21st Century; it is shining forth and forcing darkness to give way. In the coming days, weeks and months, we would know who gives way between David Mark and social media. But I am convinced it won’t be the latter.