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Mark ‘won’t join APC to remain senate president’

Mark ‘won’t join APC to remain senate president’
April 08
13:50 2015

David Mark, president of the Nigerian senate, says he would not defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in order to return as the senate president.

Though he won his constituency, the dismal performance of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 28 election means Mark and other principal officers of the upper chamber of the national assembly will lose their positions in the coming legislative dispensation.

PDP has 45 seats out of the 109 seats, so APC, which has the majority, would produce the president of the eighth senate in line with the tradition of the assembly.

However, speaking at St. Mulumba Catholic Chaplaincy, Apo, Abuja, during a mass to mark his 67th birthday anniversary, Mark described those who have been leaving the PDP as “fair-weather friends”.

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“I have heard, by way of rumour, to start with, in social media that I am decamping to APC,” he said.

“Social media is awash with that. If I will be the last man standing, I will remain in PDP. The rumour is just an unnecessary fabrication.

“Nobody has spoken to me from APC. I have no reasons whatsoever to leave PDP, no reasons. I have risen to where I am on the platform of PDP. PDP has a manifesto and I believe in it.

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“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.”

Commenting on the outcome of the election, Mark expressed delight that the poll did not plunge the country into crisis, criticising prophets who made negative predictions about the general election.

“There were so many prophecies; so many, but the problem is that all these prophecies, when things don’t go their own way, they find another way of coming back to us that they mean this or that and they spoke in tongues and we didn’t hear,” he said.

“As a nation, we have risen well beyond the wishes of all these prophets of doom. But what is really more important is that we have established democracy in this country, strong roots of democracy because that is what this election has shown that PDP the ruling party is no more the party at the centre even though we are going to win many more states than the APC.”

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Similarly, Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy senate president, said that he would remain in the party.

“I have heard a lot of permutations on the possible mass defection of Ndigbo to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the coming dispensation. While I will not hold brief for all the PDP stalwarts of south east origin, especially because our constitution provides for freedom of association, I can assure you that on PDP we stand,” he told stakeholders at his home in his Enugu west senatorial district.

“At least, count Senator Ike Ekweremadu out of any defection to the opposition. PDP leaders in the south east are committed to further re-positioning and strengthening the party. We may not have the presidency, but we are strong in the states and remain the party to beat. On PDP we stand.”

While Mark was elected in 1999, Ekweremadu joined the senate in 2003.

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