David Alechenu Bonaventure Mark served as the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Benue South Senatorial District between 1999 and 2019 (on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party). He was the Senate President of the 6th and 7th National Assembly, making him the longest-serving Senate President. Prior to his senatorial career, Mark was the Military Governor of Niger State from 1984 to 1986 and a Minister of Communication. He is a retired Nigerian Army Brigadier General and politician.
He was born on 8th April 1948, in Zungeru, Niger State. He is a native of Otukpo, Benue State; an Idoma Christian, who enjoys golf, tennis, and squash. Mark has a country house with a helicopter and helipad. He is married to Kate Mark and they have two children. He is polygamous, being married to four women – Kate (with whom he has two children), Omale, Helen and Randa. He was also married to Preye, a Bayelsa woman; they were involved in a high-profile divorce in 2000, and they have 4 children together.
|1||St Francis Catholic Practising School, Otukpo||1956 – 1961|
|2||Nigerian Military School, Zaria||1962 – 1966|
|3||Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna||1967 – 1970|
|4||College of Military Engineering, Poona|
|5||Military College of Telecommunication Engineering, Mhow,||1971 – 1975|
|6.||Command Staff College, Jaji||1978 – 1979|
|7.||National Defence University, Washington DC||1990 – 1991|
|8.||Harvard University, Boston||1991 – 1992|
|Abandoned Properties Implementation Commission, Eastern Region||Chairman||1976|
|Army Headquarters, Lagos State||Director of Telecommunications|
|Signal Brigade, Lagos State||Brigade Major|
|3rd Marine Signals Division, Port Harcourt, Rivers State||Commander|
|Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State||Directing Staff Officer|
|Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State||General Staff Officer, Grade 1 Coordinate|
|National War College||Faculty Director|
|Signal Brigade, Lagos State||Sports Officer|
|Operations Headquarters & Signals, Lagos State||Staff Officer|
|School of Signals, Lagos State||Commandant|
|Division Headquarters & Signals, Kaduna State||Commander 1|
People's Democratic Party (PDP)
Governor Of Niger State
In 1984, the military government of General Muhammadu Buhari appointed Lt. Colonel David Mark as the Military Governor Niger State. He held this position until 1986. Under the administration of General Ibrahim Babaginda, in 1987, Mark was made the Minister of Communication.
When Sani Abacha took over power in 1993, Mark was retired from the Nigerian Army. He went on a self-imposed exile by fleeing the country to England. He did not return to Nigeria until 1998, when Abacha died. Upon his return, he joined the People’s Democratic Party, and contested in the elections for a seat in the senate, to represent Benue South Senatorial District. He won, and was sworn in as a Senator.
He was re-elected for this office in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015. Thus, David Mark held the position of Senate Member representing Bauchi South Senatorial District between 1999 and 2019 – making him one of the longest-serving senators in the Nigerian National assembly. Furthermore, on 6th June 2007, Mark was elected as the President of the Senate, and he was re-elected in 2011. Mark holds the record as the longest serving Senate President of Nigeria.
He expressed interest in running for the Presidential seat of Nigeria in the 2019 general elections. But he did not go through with it.
Blunt style of leadership.
As Minister of Communications, Mark was sometimes known for his blunt talk; during a two-day walking tour of facilities in Akure in 1989, some union workers complained that some of its members had not been promoted since 1978. Mark’s response was that those who have not been promoted may have to be retired, meaning that unproductive workers will have to be let go.
Awards & Honours
- Nigerian National Honour of the Grand Commander of the order of the Niger (GCON)
- 2016 Leader of the Decade Award by National Assembly Press Corps Award
- Revolutionised the communications sector in Nigeria by introducing mobile photos and digital telephone systems in the country
- Restructured Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) and started the city coding system
- Built two ultra-modern digital earth stations in Lagos and Enugu States
- Established at least one cottage industry in each of the nine LGAs in Benue South
- Rehabilitation of several primary schools across his constituency
- Allocation of communication polls to towns with limited use of phone networks
- Established the David Mark Scholarship Scheme, through which he disburses ₦18 million annually to Idoma indigenes from primary to tertiary education levels
- Made education compulsory for all females during his reign as Military Governor of Niger State
- Established the Otukpo Golf & Country Club
- Set up Joy FM 96.5 , a radio station in Otukpo town, Benue State
- Facilitated the establishment of Federal Science and Technical College, Otukpo and Federal Government College, Otobi
- Construction of the Otukpo – Oju federal road and the Otukpo-Oweto federal road
- Rehabilitation of Otukpo-Enugu road
- Attracted four national youth centres in Benue South Senatorial District for vocational training of unemployed youths
- In 1987, Mark who was the then Minister of Communications, attempted to ban poor people from using public telephones. He received criticisms for this, as critics said he failed to recognize the civilization behind the use of telephones.
- During an interview, Mark allegedly stated that ex-military officers are the only individuals qualified for leadership positions in Nigeria. Mark was heavily criticised for this statement, by human rights activists and popular lawyer, Gani Fawhinmi.
- Mark has been accused of squandering billions of naira allocated to Benue state for road construction and water projects in the state.
- During the peak of Mark’s divorce, his ex-wife, Victoria Preye, told the court to freeze one of Mark’s bank accounts worth £6 million, stating that it includes proceeds from corrupt money traced to the Ibrahim Babaginda regime.