- Ortom’s campaign DG leads PDP decampees
Former National Chairman of the now main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Barnabas Gemade, on Friday dumped the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and re-joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former senator, who represented Benue North East in the upper chamber of the Next Assembly, moved into the APC alongside 25,000 other supporters at his village in Mbajov, Mbawar council ward of Konshisha Local Government Area of the state.
Supporters of the PDP were led by the Director General of Governor Samuel Ortom and Senator Gabriel Suswam’s 2019 campaign organisations, Terngu Shawon to the APC.
Speaking at the ceremony, Gemade, who is eyeing the governorship seat to succeed incumbent Governor, Samuel Ortom in 2023, said he returned to APC after due consultations both at the national, state, local and ward levels.
Gemade proclaimed that with capacity as a former national party chairman and a two-time senator, his reunion with a three-time senator and Minister of Special Duties and Inter- Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, Mike Okibe Onoja and other forces, they will “move mountains in the state come 2023”.
“I have the confidence that with my capacity as former national party chairman and a two-time senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, my reunion with my in-law, former Governor of Benue State, a threetime Senator and Minister, Senator George Akume, Mike Onoja among many other prominent sons and daughters in one party (APC), it’s very possible that APC wil again move mountains in Benue State come 2023.”
He boasted that in 1999 he was with Akume in the same party and they moved mountains as was the case in the 2015 APC tsunami in the state and expressed optimism that come 2023, his remarriage with APC stalwarts will make a hurricane again. He described Senator Akume as “an undisputed leader of the APC in the state”, adding that his political marriage with him is already panicking the PDP and other political parties in the state.
The state Chairman of the APC, Hon. Abba Yaro, who received Chief Gemade into the party, expressed happiness for the party to have caught a big fish in it’s net. Hon. Yaro described Gemade as a great asset to the party, even as he warned against the discrimination against the returnees.
Gemade had joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014 where he was handed the party’s ticket to run for the Senate seat for Benue North East, but later dumped the party and moved back to the PDP where he again bolted barely eight weeks after joining the party over claims that Governor Samuel Ortom betrayed him by giving the Benue North East senatorial ticket to Gabriel Suswam.
The 72-year old politician got angry and bid the party bye-bye and ran to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) until his eventual return to the APC.