senator-abbaImmediate past senate president, David Mark yesterday reacted angrily to the allegation by one of his former colleagues, Senator Abba Aji, for alleging that he (Mark) misled former President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidential election which he eventually lost to President Muhamnadu Buhari.
Mark, while reacting to Abba Aji’s allegation said he had waited for two days for the former senator to either refute the allegation or claim misquotation in his interview published last week by a daily newspaper.
He has therefore demanded unreserved apology and total retraction of the aspect of the publication in the Daily Sun newspaper of August 5, where Abba Aji alleged that “David Mark misled Jonathan” and say unequivocally that it is not true.
Senator Abba Aji had in the Wednesday , August 5, 2015 edition of the Daily Sun Newspaper reported to have alleged among other things that Jonathan was misled into contesting the election by David Mark as a sole candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) despite enormous misgivings of interested northerners within the party about the idea.
He was also reported to have alleged that Mark as Senate President during the Jonathan administration, undermined the power and relevance of the then Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo, just because he and the then President , were of the same Christian faith.
But Mark in an open letter forwarded to Abba Aji yesterday, not only debunked all the allegations he reported made against him as far as the 2015 general elections were concerned and the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan but also put it to the former presidential adviser, that he is both a serial liar and a political prostitute.
He consequently demanded for an unreserved apology from the former Senator, saying “My dear friend Abba Aji, I demand unreserved apology and total retraction of the aspect of the publication that you mentioned my name and say unequivocally that it is not true”.
The letter reads: “Dear Senator Abba Aji,I first met you in June 2003 when we were sworn in as Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. My knowledge of you is therefore largely as a result of my interaction with you in the Senate. You recall that we served together in the Defence Committee with Sen. Fidelis Okoro as Chairman and the Late Sen. Isaiah Balat as member. “Now to why I decided to write this personal letter to you. I read with total disbelief and disgust your allegation and or insinuations in the Sun Newspaper of 5th August 2015 that “David Mark misled Jonathan.” I waited patiently for two days for you to either refute that invidious and malicious contention completely or say that you were misquoted. As at the time I decided to write this, none of the two has happened.
“You referred to a meeting in which Prof Sam Oyovbarie and Gen. Sam Ogbemudia made contributions. I was in that meeting too. You will recall that the crux of that meeting was whether or not Jonathan was to be allowed to contest (2011 elections). It was argued that since the Late President Yaradua was from the North, any candidate to complete his term must also come from the North. After a lengthy debate the conclusion was that “although Jonathan was not from the North he also was to be allowed to contest”.
I”f after this, you met elsewhere to also conclude or decide that Jonathan was to be the sole candidate, I certainly was not a party to that meeting nor was I privy to that decision. I was therefore very shocked when you queried why others were allowed to purchase forms in the caucus meeting. When did you decide that Jonathan was to be the sole PDP Presidential candidate? If anything, it is you the personal aides who floated and promoted that idea. The first meeting merely agreed that though it was the turn of the North, President Jonathan was also to be allowed to contest.
“My understanding was that the emphasis was on allowing someone outside of the northern geopolitical zone to contest. Why then would you want to stop other candidates from the North from buying forms? In any case, how did selling forms to other candidates of Northern extraction amount to misleading Jonathan?
“The second issue you raised was about sitting arrangement or order of protocol. Apart from the fact that it does not make sense, it is pure mischief. First, I was not in charge of protocol for the Villa; if I came there for a meeting, I sat anywhere I saw my nameplate. No protocol officer ever asked me where I wanted to sit, whether it was to Mr. President’s right or left, and what difference does it make whether I sat on Mr. President’s right or left. I simply cannot understand what you are dragging at.
“The third allegation you made was that I was undermining the VP. How, if I may ask; did I work in the office of the VP? Let it be known that the functions of the Senate President (Legislator) and that of the Vice President (Executive) are clearly defined by the constitution and therefore there is no basis for this insinuation. At best, it is just a complete figment of your imagination.
“There was no conflict in our schedule of duties. As a matter of fact, I have tremendous personal respect for the former Vice President Sambo. The only reason why you could have said that is perhaps to exonerate yourself from some sinister activities or attitude you exhibited towards the VP while you were there. You probably undermined him and now want to make it up.
“The fourth issue you raised was that I insisted that the Legislature is an independent arm. I have no apologies for this. I still maintain that the Legislature is an independent arm and certainly not an extension of the Presidency. If anything, it is people like you who tried to mislead the President that the Legislature is an extension or parastatal under the Jonathan Presidency. The Legislature must maintain its independence within the confines of the constitution.
“The principle of separation of power must be maintained for democracy to survive and even thrive. I insisted that nobody should meddle in the affairs of the Legislature in the same way, as I did not get involved in the affairs of the Executive. I am sure you know that I never interfered in the affairs of the Executive directly or indirectly (even though I doubt your capability to discern the truth).

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