If a report in the April 15, 2012 edition of The Nation is anything to go by, Senate President, David Mark, visited the National Hospital, Abuja, for dental and eye care before travelling to Israel for a bigger medical problem one month later. If you are a regular reader of my columns, then you understand that I have reached a point in my assessment of characters in Nigeria’s rulership to conclude that we deal fundamentally with only two unchanging modes of behaviour: minor idiocies and major idiocies. Because Nigerians mostly have to deal with major idiocies on the part of their rulers and public officials, I have learnt to thank God for little mercies whenever a member of the rulership manages to uncharacteristically come up with minor idiocies.alt

In the spirit of this logic, I must begin the present treatise by thanking God that Senator David Mark at least considered doing his routine dental and eye care at the National Hospital in Abuja before jetting out to Israel at our expense for a more comprehensive medical care. He even tried, as we say in Nigeria. Were he to be in the characteristic mode of the major idiocies of his ilk in the rulership, he would have done dental care in London and eye care in Johannesburg before heading out to Tel Aviv for the last phase of his medical safari. Perhaps we should take London out of the equation because the fear of the Queen’s territory is now the beginning of wisdom for the criminals in Abuja. We still don’t know why David Mark behaved so uncharacteristically by doing his dental and eye care in Abuja but we thank God, sha, that he considered that option.

Because the brainless rulers of Nigeria underdevelop the country by stealing every penny meant for infrastructural development only to run abroad to enjoy infrastructure developed by more intelligent politicians for the benefit of their own people, I will not dwell today on the tragedy of David Mark’s trip to Israel. What deserves attention here is an aspect of these medical safaris by our public officials that we hardly ever discuss. That aspect is precisely where they add insult to injury. The said aspect is a good measure of the contempt and condescension with which the rulers of Nigeria treat the Nigerian people. They do not just steal from us, they are rude to us. However, the fault is not David Mark’s. I blame the Nigerian people for always accepting and putting up with the behaviour of their rulers.

Alabukun ni fun eni ti o fi obo lo eyan, egbe si ni fun eni ti o gba. Blessed are those who insult you and treat you with contempt, woe unto those who accept to be insulted and treated with contempt. This Yoruba popular-cultural adaptation of the beatitudes comes to mind when you think of how David Mark and his team treated Nigerians as far as the management of information about his trip to Israel is concerned. All we got was a rude press release by a staff informing Nigerians that the Senate President was heading out to Israel. Few newspapers published the release. In some of those publications, it barely covered a paragraph. No details. Nothing.

David Mark is the head of one of the three arms of our democratic process. In Nigeria’s political parlance, he is the country’s “Number 3 man.” In climes where the political class knows the meaning of respect for the citizenry, the third highest-ranking member of the rulership does not enjoy the privilege of suffering from “undisclosed medical ailments”. In fact, no public official of consequence gets to shroud his or her medical condition in secrecy. The people you serve have the right to know that you are able to serve them to be best of your ability at all times. Only last month, Dick Cheney, former US Vice President, had a heart transplant and the entire episode was treated as something the American people had the right to know. Cheney is no longer in office. How much more a serving number 3 man? The Nigerian people have the right to know what ails their Senate President. You don’t get to jet out to Israel for “undisclosed medical reasons” especially if we, the people, are picking up the bill.

The culpability of the Nigerian media is palpable. If you google their coverage of David Mark’s medical safari, you will see all the major local newspapers falling over themselves to announce that the Senate President had gone to Israel for medical treatment. You will see nonsensical reports about how the usual suspects in Abuja are united in solidarity with Mark. You will hear that President Jonathan and other folks in the presidency have sent goodwill messages to Tel Aviv. You will hear that ministers are falling over themselves to send goodwill messages. You will hear that members of the National Assembly are wearing sackcloth and pouring ash over their own corrupt heads in solidarity with their boss in Tel Aviv.

What you won’t get from any of these newspapers is a sense of civic responsibility which makes them hold these clowning politicians accountable to the Nigerian people. Where is that reporter who asked the pertinent questions about the nature of the man’s illness? Where is that newspaper which wrote an editorial to make the point that David Mark does not have the right to travel to Israel and leave the Nigerian people in the dark with regard to the specific nature of his ailment? No, not one.

David Mark’s return from Israel is what Fela would call the second base of the rudeness of these politicians to the Nigerian people. The Tribune’s report of Mark’s return is worth quoting in full: “Senate President, David Mark, returned to Abuja on Wednesday, after a two-week medical trip abroad. Mark, who returned to Abuja from Tel Aviv, Israel, where he underwent a medical treatment, was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by his relations and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal; Ministers of Interior, Abba Moro; Water Resources, Serah Ochekpe and Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom. Others, according to the statement, included Senators Smart Adeyemi, Ahmed Lawan, Suleiman Adoke, Abatemi Usman, Joshua Dariye, Tunde Ogbeha, as well as members of House of Representatives, including Samson Okwu, Salem Hassan, Ezekiel Adaji and Adamu Entonu, with the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Moshe Ram, among others.”

Well, well, well, I am surprised that President Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo did not abandon their own duty posts to go and be part of this triumphal entry. We are reaching a point where it is not even funny anymore to describe Nigeria as a joke. A man returns from a routine medical treatment and the leadership of NASS, members of NASS, and Ministers all abandon the work of the Nigerian people to be part of an airport jamboree. If I were President Jonathan, I would sanction the three ministers who idled their way to the airport for dereliction of duty. Why should three members of the Executive go to the airport to receive a member of another arm of government? Who are these people? How do you run a country like this? I am particularly disappointed in Smart Adeyemi, the fellow who represents my constituency in the Senate, for being part of this show shame.

It wouldn’t be David Mark if there was no element of conceit and self-delusion to this whole drama. Here is Mr. Mark in his own words during a speech he delivered to the caterwaulers who went to receive him at the airport: “First of all, let me just thank Nigerians and thank God that I am back and I am as fit as a fiddle. I got so many phone calls whilst I was there. The Senate consistently remembered me in its prayers as well as the House of Representatives, the President and his wife. When I couldn’t answer calls, text messages came in from all Nigerians and I am simply moved by the show of love that Nigerians have demonstrated.”

Mr. Mark is back and fit as a fiddle. Good for him. But what is this bit about thanking Nigerians because “text messages came in from all Nigerians”? Beyond his family and the circle of looters in Abuja and, specifically, the National Assembly, which Nigerians missed David Mark? Which Nigerians sent him text messages? Show of love by Nigerians to David Mark? Maybe past, current, and future contract seekers sent him messages and showed him love? Why do these loathed characters in the rulership love to deceive themselves so? Is it, perhaps, their aides and other sycophants around them who don’t let them have a fair assessment of what Nigerians really think of them? Is it possible that David Mark believes the nonsense he said about Nigerians showing him love? Shior.

Alabukun ni fun eni ti o fi obo lo eyan, egbe si ni fun eni ti o gba. Blessed are those who insult you and treat you with contempt, woe unto those who accept to be insulted and treated with contempt. David Mark is dishing it out to us. The media, as usual, is aiding and abetting the insults. How do you, Nigerian, see yourself in the Yoruba beatitude above and what do you intend to do about it?


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Re: Senator David Mark and a Yoruba Beatitude
Egbonyi posted on 04-28-2012, 01:11:39 AM
Thank you o jare!! I gbadun your writing no be small. I have long maintained that the rulers in Nigeria are like tourists and the rest of the citizenry are the natives. >>
About the issue of what to do about it, I fear my people have long being emasculated by their own greed, rather than stand up for what is right, everybody is waiting their own turn when they will get that particular connection that will catapult them to wealth. >>
My people say \\" eni to ba yo ile da, ohun buruku a ma yo wan se,. He who betrays in secret, suffers the consequence in secret. Maybe we need to start declaring surplus at pubs and beer parlours when tragedy befalls any member of this band of looters, or perhaps, better still pay for airtime that is dedicated solely to rain serious epe ( curses) on the heads on the looters and their families. We can start with OBJ. >>
Re: Senator David Mark and a Yoruba Beatitude
Valteena posted on 04-28-2012, 06:08:41 AM
Haba see this Ogbeni Pius sef. You say you thank God for small mercies? na lie jo you still dey expect too much jare abegii. Were we all not here and witnessed all the junketing from Germany to Saudi and back with the frail and eventual dead body as some claim and the rigmarole they dished to Nigerians over our very "ably" sick and now demised President Yar' Adua.

Is it not here we were, when the man was in a coma in Saudi hospital and they kept telling us that he is fine and busy "playing hockey and attending Friday juma't with the Saudi king"(my addition o). When he was brought back home kpeme nko, they said he was doing just fine drinking shai in Aso Rock.

That na our president and number one man o, they didn't think they owe it to Nigerians to let us know and when Nigerians got to know inspite of them? they still continued their boju boju with the true state of the president's condition, talk less of the number 3 Mark.

Anyway... to borrow DT style.
Re: Senator David Mark and a Yoruba Beatitude
DeepThought posted on 04-28-2012, 11:00:53 AM
Ah, like most Nigerians , I too want my own to be like this O!.
See how God has smiled on this man and opened the gates of heaven to shower blessings on him? He must have a very good pastor O. I would like to find out which church he attends so I too can go there and receive the same anointing.

Eeeee! I pray for the day that God will bless me too like this so that if I am sick, I can travel to Israel, Germany, South Africa, London or U.S. Who doesn't want their own to be good? Is this not the prayer of most of us? Is this not what Nigerians are praying for?

As for the hungry, useless nonentities condemning this- lets just ignore them (we already are anyway). When they come to their senses, they will apologize to David Mark, just as they have to Dimeji Bankole who idealizes the Nigerian dream and our collective aspiration.

Re: Senator David Mark and a Yoruba Beatitude
Agidimolaja posted on 04-30-2012, 01:00:50 AM
Thanks Pius,for speaking out against treachery and injustice in the way you've spoken.

Thanks Pius, for speaking out in the way you've spoken,when it counts the most - in time like this.

Do Nigerian leaders know shame when they see it? No, they don't, hence theyare laughing when they should be crying.

Most{ if not all} that Nigerian leaders have been doing are so shameful but they either don't know it or they just don't care.

That Nigerian leaders and rogue elites,politicians etc go abroad for medical treatments/checkups is a shame.

Why have notour own internationally standard medical facilities to cater not just for the leaders but the general public as a whole? Isn't that a great shame and insult which unfortunatelyour leaders don't realize. just as they don't realize how shameful it is that a country like Nigeria has no national airline

Nigerian leaders are shamelessly telling the West how stupid and wicked they are by not providing for their people basic needs each time they rushed out to the West to enjoy their {West} medical facilities with the money they{Nigerian Leaders} looted from public treasury.

It is really disturbingthat Nigerian rulers displayall sorts of show of shame so openly, like congregating inthe Airport to welcome back home the likes ofDavid Mark.while our shamelessPress was crowing loudly at the rooftop about the event

What a shameless bunch of useless people are most of those that we are calling as leaders?

The fact that David Mark became Senator/Senate Leader is an insultto the people of Nigeria anda big shame indeed.

Is it not the same David Mark that actively participated in the shameful and criminal annulment of fair and free Presidential election in 1993? Is it not the sameDavid Mark who promised to personally shoot down late MKO Abiola thewinner of that Presidential election if he was ever sworn in as President? Is it not the same David Mark who asFederal Commissionerfor Communication insulted Nigerians instead of providing for them effective phone system when he barkedout that telephone is not meant for everyone? And the insults of David Mark to Nigerians continue as long as he remains a Senator and worst of all as Senate leader.

More than fifty years after Independence,Nigeria is yet to have what we can call Hospitals that are well equipped to cater for her citizens.What a shame and insult? .
Re: Senator David Mark and a Yoruba Beatitude
Chrrislyne posted on 05-04-2012, 21:36:01 PM
Until they all learn what leadership is about, we will continue to get this kind of treatment from them. All of them have no clue what they are to do as leaders. they concentrate in winning elections only to get in and discover that they do not even know why they are there in the first place and that is where looting comes in as the sole aim. Nigerians! we should wake up from slumber.
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