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29 Nov 2017

2019 "ZONE A" SENATORIAL ELECTION, SUSWAM VS GEMADE

By Chir Msugh Iorwase Armstrong.

Will Engr. Barnabas Gemade defeat the immediate past Governor of Benue state, Gabriel Suswam in the next round of election again? Or will suswam "come back" in a grand style? Between Gemade and suswam who will the electorate vote under a transparent election?

Senator, Egnr. and chief Barnabas Gemade is a Gaav man from Konshisha LGA of Benue State of Nigeria.He was  the former managing Director of Benue Cement Company, BCC, he became the secretary of the Federal Ministry of Works and Gen. Abacha later made him the National chairman of CNC with the additional powers to supervise other political parties which were formed  during the days of late Gen. Sani Abacha, he also became the national chairman of the  People's Democratic party, PDP. He is serving his 2nd term as a Senator representing the people of Benue north east senatorial district, zone A. He made history by defeating an incumbent governor when he defeated the immediate past Benue state governor, Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswam in 2015 election to be re-elected.

Gemade who is seen by many as a political leader since 1999 when the military Government accepted and handed power to civilians where he led a very powerful cabal on whose platform  and shoulders Sen. George Akume became Governor.

Before I will talk about the strength, the weaknesses of sen. Gemade as we run up to the 2019 elections it is pertinent  to revisit the 2015 election episodes.

In 2007 as all was set for a smooth transition of power, Sen. George Akume as the out going Governor was opposed to Gemade going to the red chamber. This was so because someone from Jamgbegh and Ipav, Gboko to be precise had earlier incited Akume against Gemade and Gemade was pushed away from the corridors of power. So Akume worked against a man on whose platform he became Governor and Gemade lost the 2007 senatorial election to his kisman he brought into partisan politics. Another factor was Akume's phobia for Gemade's national prominence as the out going Governor was nurturing the ambition of becoming the president of the senate and he saw Gemade as a possible threat and was not comfortable with Gemade so he worked against him using all machineries at his disposal.

In 2011, Suswam was also seeking for a reelection and having an eye on the Zone A slot after he might have completed his two terms in office was not comfortable with the then incumbent senator, chief Joseph Akaageger who is a retired col. Sen. Akaageger who is said to have possesed very good military and academic credentials ran out of favor with Suswam.

So Gemade was elected to represent the good people of  "Zone A" on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Before Gemade finally made it to the red chamber few things that are worthy to be mentioned played out.

Mathias Buyuan, a shangev Tiev Man also was seen in the race. According to strategic stakeholders of  that time. Buyuan was brought him because Suswam was more comfortable with him as it was agreed and a plan was perfected and accepted by Buyuan to  hand over the zone A seat to suswam in 2015. However Gemade manage and got the party ticket and he eventually won the election.
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