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We Are All Otukpo! By Pius Adesanmi


We Are All Otukpo! By Pius Adesanmi


Whenever former Senate President, His Excellency Chief Distinguished Senator David Bonaventure Alechenu Mark, makes national headlines, it is usually about setting back Nigeria by a few centuries. And whenever you discuss characters like David Mark, who came to national attention when Ibrahim Babangida made him Military Governor of Niger state in 1985, it is always very important to remind this throng of millennial supporters what he did to their parents.

David Mark

Too many of Nigeria’s current traducers unleash an army of supporters born in the 1980s and 1990s on Facebook and Twitter after having taken the precautionary step of ensuring that these kids are not taught history. A millennial may be barking support for David Mark without realizing that if the Senator had had his way in the 1980s when he believed that telephones were not for the poor, he wouldn’t even qualify to be holding the handset with which he is churning out pro-Mark verbiage on social media.

Telephones are not for the poor! That was David Mark as Minister of Communication back in the day.

Between Military Governor and Minister of Communication, he established a cordial relationship with the Nigerian treasury. Abacha came after him. He freelanced a little bit in exile as a pro-democracy activist before returning home.

He has been rigging elections ever since.

And he has further spoiled Nigeria’s bad name by giving us the dubious distinction of being the only modern democracy whose longest serving Senate President never won any of the elections that got him to the Senate.

Last week, a court finally nullified the latest election he “won” and ordered a rerun. David Mark’s offense? He had the results of the election “pre-written.” In other words, David Mark broke the law. In other words, David Mark committed a crime, according to a competent court of law in the land. This competent court sacks him from the Senate and orders a new election featuring David Mark as the front runner.

I am having to break down this part of my treatise to kindergarten levels for the benefit of many of my non-Nigerian readers who may have difficulty understanding the concept of a competent law court declaring somebody a criminal with no provision for consequence. A society run as an enterprise of crime without punishment is not an easy conceptual framework for any mind which truly belongs in the 21st century. That framework is the norm in Nigeria because Nigeria belongs in the 17th century.

Because there is no consequence for his electoral crime, David Mark has been all over the airwaves boasting and beating his chest. In a very crowded news week, dominated by Kogi, Sugabelly, Dasuki and his federal character first eleven team of thieves, the social media gag bill, Sahara Reporters versus Ben Murray-Bruce, and Dino Melaye for and against Sahara Reporters, David Mark has been able to make the headlines.

Because Nigeria’s public consciousness is extremely lazy, unable to multitask and deal with more than one national issue per day, President Buhari, who had been contemplating sending the Vice President to South Africa in view of public outcry against his excessive international junketing, quietly slipped away to Pretoria, knowing that his latest trip could not compete with the aforementioned issues for the national headlines. Where President Buhari has failed to make the headlines with his latest trip, David Mark has succeeded. How did David Mark get air time when we were all too busy with Dasuki and Sugabelly and the NASS social media gag bill to even bother about President Buhari’s latest junket?

Well, first he boasted that he would win the rerun a hundred times over because he has done “more than enough for his people.” Sometimes you do not know who to scream your frustration at: these psychopaths in Nigeria’s rulership or the Nigerian people themselves who will find every excuse to justify these things.

David Mark, one of the richest politicians in Africa – wealth built exclusively on a mindless and sustained plundering of the Commonwealth – is claiming to have done “more than enough” for people in one of the most backward, poverty-ridden, and primitive states in Nigeria! He is claiming to have done more than enough for people who still mainly shit in shalanga or do it in the bush. He has done more than enough for folks whose only claim to 21st century modernity is the few times they see his helicopter land in the helipad of his country home. For the people of Benue and for David Mark’s senatorial constituency, it is safe to say that my own primitive Kogi is even Dubai! And he has done more than enough for them? Walahi talahi, David Mark is a thoroughgoing psychopath.

But this psychopath is not done. He has been in the headlines because, in preparation for the rerun election, he has flooded the streets of Otukpo with stomach infrastructure: rice, recharge cards, fish, yams, ponmo, etc. He is also rapidly constructing and resurfacing roads. All the roads he is constructing are billed to be completed before the rerun. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy the roads a few months in Otukpo before the rains wash them away. David Mark would have re-rigged himself to the Senate anyway and will no longer need to bother about the roads.

The Cable and a few other newspapers interviewed people in the streets of Otupko about David Mark’s methodology and preparations for the rerun. The answers that these newspapers got from the streets of Otupko are a summation of Nigeria; a summation of the Nigerian tragedy. Nobody in Otupko is happy with David Mark. They are mad at him, going by the responses that I read.

But they are not angry because a serving Senator of the Federal Republic is tarring and resurfacing roads and nobody knows where he has found the money to do such capital intensive public projects.

They are not angry because a lawmaker accused of breaking the law by rigging an election is publicly and openly re-breaking the law by distributing inducement in preparation to re-rig the rerun!

They are angry in Otupko because they are wondering why all the stomach infrastructure that David Mark is now distributing was hoarded and not fully distributed in the first election. Why are we only just seeing the rice now? Who hoarded them during the first election? I did not receive the rice I was entitled to during the first election so I should receive double this time.

In other words, for many of the respondents, David Mark is trying to break the law a little too late this time and should make amends by increasing the volume of lawbreaking. If I was entitled to one bag of rice that was not distributed to me during the last election, make it two bags during this rerun – the extra bag is your punishment for the omission.

If you are reading this, you are welcome to have a good laugh at the expense of Otupko.

After the laughter, take a good look in the mirror.

The image that the mirror will throw back at you is your own village or hometown doing exactly like Otukpo with regard to your own local political psychopath who you are probably defending somewhere on social media right now using air time you bought on credit.

We are all Otupko.


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