Clear indications emerged yesterday that the Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have no option than to settle for the former National Chairman of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Barnabas Gemade, as its gubernatorial candidate in the 2023 general election in the state.
This was just as the crisis rocking the party in the state had allegedly torn the party into shreds with some top contenders for the governorship election reportedly making plans to dump the ruling party at the centre for other political parties.
This was also as APC’s leader in the state and Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, yesterday called for a hitch-free APC revalidation and registration exercise. Investigation by New Telegraph revealed that the party’s latest choice of Gemade to fly Benue APC’s flag, followed mounting
pressure on the leadership of the party in the state “from the federal might,” who sequel to findings, had developed confidence in him for the governorship slot.
Gemade, according to findings, had already picked former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs in President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Dr. Sam Ode, as his running mate, a combination most supporters of the party had described as ‘a good one.’
It was gathered that the leadership of the APC in the state had already bowed to the pressure from the powers that be to drum support for the former senator, who represented Benue North-East in the red chamber of the National Assembly.
A source from the APC hinted to the New Telegraph in confidence that Gemade’s choice was seen as a payback time for him by Akume as he was said to be instrumental to the emergence of Akume as governor in 1999.
New Telegraph learnt reliably also that the last straw that broke the camel’s back in the reported choice of Gemade was an alleged leaked telephone conversation between Akume and Gemade in which the former was said to have allegedly endorsed Gemade and Sam Ode ticket for the 2023 Benue governorship race.
In the said video, Akume was alleged to have endorsed Gemade as a candidate to fly its flag. A top member of APC in the state, who spoke to our Correspondent in confidence said: “Look, I can confirm to you that Gemade has been endorsed by our leader and the reason for the endorsement is because it was Gemade that made it possible for Senator Akume to be governor in 1999.