BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA – SENATE President, David Mark has raised the alarm over the ugly trend in the polity ahead of the 2015 general elections where he accused the political class of being blinded by vaulting personal ambitions to overheat the polity.
Senator Mark in his address at the resumption of plenary after the Christmas and New Year recess cautioned those that occupy political position over provocative utterances capable of threatening the unity of the country.
Welcoming Senators to legislative business, the Senate President also assured that the upper legislative chamber would give quick passage to the 2014 Appropriation Bill even as he said that the senate would monitor implementation of the budget.
He said, “As we resume today, we will soon realize that it is not only our legislative responsibilities that will task our wisdom. Pervasive political tension arising from festering political disputes continues to engage the larger polity.
“Across the nation, governance appears to have been sacrificed on the altar of desperate political manoeuvres and feverish permutations aimed at out-flanking one another ahead of the 2015 elections.
“Blinded by naked ambition, the political class has so painfully forgotten the lessons of our national history, and has once again allowed the collision of vaulting personal ambitions to overheat the polity and undermine governance.
“Coming at a time when our nation is still transiting amid tremendous strains and enormous social and economic challenges, the emphasis on primordial politics at the expense of governance is irresponsible, and even dangerous.
“I have said this several times and even at the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me once again caution against provocative utterances.”
He advised the senators not to allow themselves be clouded by selfish interest as the carry out their legislative business, stressing that the entire nation was watching to see what would be the position of the senate in the midst of the frightening political tension.
Mark said, “But here in the Senate, how we ride the challenge, and not let it deflect our focus from our constitutional responsibilities and our duty to our nation, will be a measure of our maturity as elder statesmen and women, democrats and patriots.
“Our nation is watching to see whether distinguished Senators will uphold the dignity of this institution and their oath of office, or whether we will allow ourselves to become mere tools in factional political disputes and intra-party rows.
“In fragile and young democracies such as ours, the cause of democracy is vastly served when statesmen and women refuse to sell the truth to serve the hour.
“Living true to our conscience as elder statesmen and women as well as distinguished Senators is the challenge of this very hour. And it is a challenge that will define the social and political fabric of Nigeria.
“The leadership which we as Senators have always collectively offered compels us now to brace for these obvious political challenges, and to insist, as we have always done, on the primacy of the interest of the nation, and the welfare of our people.