By Deji Elumoye
A former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has charged Nigerians to bury their religious and ethnic differences and come together to establish a common front against forces threatening the peaceful coexistence of the people.
Mark said it was time for all men and women of good conscience to rise to the occasion and proffer lasting solutions to the lingering insecurity that has enveloped the entire country.
The former Senate President stated this at a mass on Thursday to mark his 73rd birthday at St. Mulumba Catholic Chaplaincy, Apo, Abuja.
According to him, Nigerians can no longer deny the current level of insecurity and disharmony rocking the nation.
He said: “Though we have different reasons to celebrate at different times, we cannot shy away from the present abnormality of insecurity and disharmony threatening the very foundation of our country. It is important for all of us to come together and fashion out a workable and equitable solution to end this menace.”
Mark expressed the belief that Nigeria will overcome the situation if the people and their leaders are willing to do the right thing.
At 73, Mark said he is now an ambassador of peace in his home state of Benue and Nigeria with a resolve to serve God and humanity.
In their various remarks, Senators Anyim Pius Anyim, Zainabe Kure, Suleman Adokwe, Tunde Ogbeha, Mrs Abba Moro, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, and AIG Wilson Inalegwu (rtd) paid glowing tributes to Mark for his meritorious services to the nation, describing him as a man of peace.
Earlier in his homily, Rev. Fr. Vincent Iletogbe, tasked Nigerian leaders to put the welfare and security of citizens at the centre of their policies and programmes.
Present at the mass were prominent Nigerians including the National Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus; former Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe; former Senate Leader, and Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, among others.
Mark served as Nigeria’s Senate President from 2007 to 2015 and is fondly remembered for his role in the enactment of “the Doctrine of Necessity,” that saved Nigeria from a major leadership crisis following the illness of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010.