David Mark Jnr. Seeks Better Funding For Golf In Nigeria

David Mark Jnr. Advocates Better Funding For Golf In NigeriaThe Technical Director and Coordinator of the Otukpo, Benue State-based David Mark Golf Academy, Mr David Mark Jnr. has appealed to sports enthusiasts to support the development of the game at the grassroots level.

Mr Mark Jnr. made the appeal while speaking at the 2nd Annual Amateur Golf Tournament for junior players at the Otukpo Golf Club.

He said that junior golfers from Nigeria are in a position to win medals at the 2018 Junior Olympics if given the necessary support.

The tournament which featured junior golfers and amateur players from ‎Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue and Bauchi States was teed off by former Senate President, Senator David Mark.

Senator Mark stressed the need for Nigerians to invest in sports at the youth level in order to positively engage the youths in productive ventures.

David Mark Cautions Against Imposition Of Candidates In PDP

David Mark on PDP National ConventionAhead of the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) the former President of the Nigerian Senate, David Mark, is cautioning party leaders and members against impunity or imposition of candidates.

The opposition party has scheduled its convention to hold on August 17 in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

In statement, Senator Mark recalled that the defeat of the PDP in the 2015 general election was akin to self-inflicted injuries on account of imposition of candidates and the impunity of some leaders.

Remain Steadfast

He said that it was of utmost importance that the leaders and members of the opposition party allowed the popular will of the people prevail at the congresses and convention.

The former Senate President is also asking members of the party to remain steadfast with the PDP, as a party of choice.

Senator Mark also frowned against cross-carpeting at will because of the current challenges.

He stressed that such inconsistencies neither enhance the sustenance of democratic culture nor the integrity or credibility of politicians who decamp.

Senator Mark’s caution is coming few days after the PDP caretaker committee set up two committees in preparation of the planned convention.

However, controversy over the party’s leadership is threatening its unity.

The National Convention Committee and the Finance Committee set up to handle the preparations for the planned convention are expected to midwife the election of national officers for the party.

An earlier convention held in Port Harcourt in May ended with the removal of the chairman of the party, Senator Sheriff and the establishment of the caretaker committee.

After his removal, however, Senator Sheriff insisted that a court order had stopped the convention from holding, an order he said led to his announcement of the convention’s postponement before he was removed by some members of the party.

His persistent claims to the leadership of the party and court orders in his favour have caused a divide in the leadership of the party.

On July 28, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja affirmed Senator Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to Justice Okon Abang, only actions and decisions made by the Sheriff-led leadership are lawful and binding.

He, however, said that although he had the powers to nullify the ruling of the Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court, which recognised the Makarfi-led leadership, he would not do so because there was no application to that effect before him.

Earlier on July 27, Senator Sheriff and eight others approached the Federal High Court, Abuja for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party from conducting the national convention slated for August 17.

The court is yet to give its verdict on the request and the Senator Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee is going ahead with plans for the proposed convention.

National Assembly Tribunal Judgment: Onjeh Heads To Appeal Court

Appeal CourtAll Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Benue South Senatorial District, Mr Daniel Onjeh has appealed the National Assembly Tribunal judgment, which dismissed his petition against the election of former Senate President, Senator David Mark.

Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja, Mr Onjeh said that his lawyers have already filed the appeal at the Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division.

The tribunal had ruled that Mr Onjeh filed his petition out of time.

But Mr Onjeh insisted that he filed within the time allotted by the Electoral Act.

The tribunal, on Thursday, struck out the petition filed by Mr  Onjeh.

The former Senate President had asked the tribunal to dismiss Mr. Onjeh’s petition for filing outside the 21 days required by law.

Daniel Onjeh Heads To Tribunal Over Benue South Re-run Election

Daniel onjehThe candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just concluded Benue South Senatorial re-run election, Mr Daniel Onjeh, says he will approach the Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the election.

The election was won by Senator David Mark, of the Peoples Democratic Party. he has been in the Senate since 1999.

Mr Onjeh, on Sunday, said he would seek the nullification of the victory of Senator Mark on the grounds of over voting and ballot box stuffing. He is also raising issues over the 21,000 votes that were cancelled.

He cited the case in Kogi State where the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship election inconclusive on the grounds that the number of cancelled votes far exceeded the margin with which one party was leading.

The APC candidate also alleged that voters were also induced with 1,000 Naira per vote cast in Ado Local Government, thereby compromising the integrity of the poll.

After the election, Senator Mark said the outcome reflected the will of the people.

Senator Kuta Was A Committed And Forthright Lawmaker – Jonathan

President JonathanOn behalf of himself, his family, the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan extends sincere condolences to Governor Babangida Aliyu and the people of Niger State on the death of Senator Awaisu Kuta on Thursday.

President Jonathan similarly commiserates with the Senate President, Senator David Mark, Senator Kuta’s other distinguished colleagues in the upper legislative chamber, his family and members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) over the sudden and unexpected death of the eminent Senator who represented the PDP and the Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the President joins them in mourning Senator Kuta whose notable contributions to the legislative work of the Senate will be greatly missed.

President Jonathan also believes that Senator Kuta’s significant contributions to the development of party politics and democratic institutions of governance in his home state and country will stand to his eternal credit and that he will be always remembered as a very committed and forthright lawmaker who did his best in the service of his community fatherland.

He prays that Almighty Allah would receive the late Senator’s soul and grant him peaceful repose in Paradise.

Children’s Day: Women Affairs Minister, Senate President Advise Nigerians

Zainab Maina - women affairsAs Nigeria mark the 2014 Children’s Day, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Zainab Maina, has appealed to parents not to be discouraged by the security situation in the country.

She advised that it was important, irrespective of their fears, to send their children and wards to school.

Mrs Maina, who spoke at a news conference in Abuja, said that it was regrettable that the abduction of the Chibok girls took place when the Federal Government was strategizing on how to balance the gender gap in education.

She ended with a promise to provide psycho-social support, trauma management and counseling for parents and over 200 abducted school girls of Chibok when they are rescued.

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, has called for prayers for the survival of the Nigerian child so he does not become an endangered specie in the hands of abductors and kidnappers.David Mark in suit

In a goodwill message to mark Children’s Day, the Senate President lamented the non-release of the over 200 Government Secondary School girls abducted by the dreaded Boko Haram sect in Chibok, Borno State.

Senator Mark insisted that it was in realization of the dangers faced by children in today’s world and the need to address same that the National Assembly passed the Child Rights Act into law and pleaded with some state governments yet to implement the Child Rights Law to do so without further delay.

May 27 is the officially recognized date for the celebration of Children’s Day in Nigeria. The date varies from country to country.


N10bn Private Jet: Reps Give Allison-Madueke Fresh Summons, Lawyer Protests

Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke
Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Account has issued fresh summons to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison-Madueke, to appear before it over the alleged expenses of 10billion Naira on private jets.

Also summoned are the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu; Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Engr. Saleh Dunoma; the Managing Director of Pipeline and Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPPMC, Mr Haruna Momoh; Vistajet International Limited and other stakeholders.

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, said that all those summoned were to appear between June 15 and 17 to shed light on various aspects of the alleged N10 billion expenses.

He added that anyone who refuses to appear would face a subpoena under the law.

You Can’t Probe Deziani For Now, Lawyer tells House

Meanwhile, Constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, has warned the House of Representatives against making any move to resume probe of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, on the alleged N10B aircraft charter scam.

The senior lawyer asked the House to put the probe on hold for now since the Minister has a legal action before a Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the legality of the House of Representatives’ decision on the over-sight function.

In a letter of protest delivered to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambawal, Mr Ozekhome faulted the announcement of the fresh move to begin the probe, warning that the move would amount to an affront to the law court where the legal action was pending.

The human rights activist, in the letter also copied to the Senate President, Senator David Mark, said that the practice in the world especially in a civilized society is for both parties in a dispute to take their hands off the disputed matter once a law court has been invited for adjudication on the issue.

He said that it was wrong and abnormal for the House to proceed to probe the Minister even when the House has already joined issued with her in a law court of record and in competent jurisdiction.

F.G Meets With Organised Labour, Mark Pleads With ASUU

The Federal Government and Organised Labour are expected to meet on Monday to review labour issues in the power sector and the education sector.

Top on the agenda will be the non-payment of terminal benefits for thousands of sacked workers, and alleged victimization of labour leaders in the massive sack of workers immediately after the take-over of the assets of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.

The Academic Staff Union Of Universities, ASUU, would also be meeting on the same day with the leadership of the Nigeria Labor Congress, a day after the union advised parents not to endanger the lives of their children and wards by sending them to their university campuses.

ASUU, which also told its members not to sign attendance registers in their institutions, accused the Federal Government of lack of consistency in its statements on the ongoing strike.

However, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, has pleaded with ASUU to reconsider their position and return to classes to salvage the already battered education sector from further deterioration.

In a press statement, senator mark also urged the Federal Government not to use the sledge hammer on ASUU on account of the lingering strike.

David Mark Urges PDP Members To Settle Rancour

The Senate President, Senator David Mark has asked members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to close ranks and work together for the effective implementation of the party’s agenda.

The party has been engulfed by several factions in some state chapters with the latest coming from the Rivers tate.

Senator Mark made the appeal while hosting members of the party’s board of trustees, where he noted that the disagreement in the party was unhealthy and capable of derailing the programmes of the party.

The chairman of the party’s BOT, Chief Tony Anenih told journalists that the leadership of the party is working to resolve the crisis rocking the state chapters.

Senate President Recommends Capital Punishment For Oil Theft

The Senate President, Senator David Mark has recommended capital punishment for people who engage in oil theft in the country.

Senator Mark made the call while inaugurating the Senate joint committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) made up of the committees on petroleum resources upstream and downstream, gas, judiciary and human rights.

The Senate President explained that the PIB would not divide the country but would encourage economic development.

The debate on the PIB recently took an ethnic undertone with some senators from the North opposing aspects of the Bill aimed at making more money available for communities in the oil-producing areas.

In response, a federal lawmaker from the South South, Senator Ita Enang, also asked the federal government to revoke and re-award all the oil blocs allocated in the country. This he claimed would balance the number of excess oil blocks owned by people from the northern part of the country compared to other ethnic groups.

Senate, Security Chiefs Meet Over Insecurity In The Country

The effort by the federal government to find a solution to the insecurity in the northern part of the country continued on Wednesday with the leadership of the Senate meeting with the service chiefs in the country over the deteriorating security situation.

It is rare to see the service chiefs at the Senate and it was rather obvious that what brought them to the National Assembly had to do with the country’s security.

The Senate President, Senator David Mark, who presided over the meeting, said the service chiefs were at the National Assembly to brief the Senate on the worrying situation.

The service chiefs at the meeting were the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Alex Barde, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ozoba as well as the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Ibrahim and the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Ita Ekepyong.

As soon as the security chiefs entered the chamber, the Senate went into a closed-door session.

Amnesty for Boko Haram

Briefing reporters after the closed-door meeting which lasted for six hours, the Senate spokesperson, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the security chiefs and heads of security agencies met the Senate with a view to finding a solution to the security challenge facing the country.

Mr. Abaribe, however, failed to disclose whether the meeting explored the issue of amnesty for the members of Boko Haram sect. But a source told Channels Television that the issue of amnesty for members of the fundamentalist sect was discussed during the meeting.

The source, however, said the lawmakers were divided over whether  or not to support amnesty for the sect.

The Senate had last week asked the federal government to explore options other than military force in addressing the relentless bomb blasts and attacks in the country.

PIB Passes Second Reading, As Mark Decries North-South Debate

The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has passed the crucial second reading in the Senate and the Senate President has denounced the north-south division that greeted the debate on the bill during the lawmakers’ plenary sessions.

The bill passed second reading after three days of intense debate by the federal lawmakers.

Northern and southern lawmakers were sharply divided over some sections of the bill while the debate lasted.

But rounding it off on Thursday, Senate President, Senator David Mark urged the lawmakers to look at the bill from a nationalistic standpoint, insisting that the PIB is not a North-versus-South issue.

However, Senator Mark added that the Senate was united in its reservations over the amount of powers given to the President and the Minister of Petroleum with regard to matters concerning the oil industry.

The Senate approved the bill which will now be sent to its standing committees where the document is expected to be perfected.