The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue state on Sunday declared that it was not losing sleep over the defection of its former National chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party rather expressed surprise that while politicians of Gemade’s generation, are retiring and leaving room on the leadership stage for their protégés, the septuagenarian was still embarking on political quests suitable for his children’s generation.
Gemade had at the weekend in Gemade village, Mbajov, Mbawar council Ward of Konshisha Local Government Area, Benue State defected to the APC with a handful of his supporters boasting that his defection had sent jitters down the spines of PDP leaders in the state.
Reacting to the defection, the PDP through by its State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom said the defection of the former National chairman made no political meaning to the PDP, describing Gemade as ‘a perennial political nomad’.
“However, considering Senator Gemade’s quoted statement at the decamping that his move to APC has sent jitters down the spines of PDP and other political parties in the state, it is noteworthy to state a few facts salient and relevant to the situation.
“Firstly, underscoring the irrelevance of this charade of a decamping is the loud question; as a former National Chairman of a ruling party, former Minister and former Senator, why was the Benue State Leader of the APC, Senator George Akume, conspicuously absent at the decamping ceremony yesterday?
“Was Senator Gemades’s diminishing political value not highlighted by his abysmally poor performance in his Senatorial re-election bid in 2019 on the platform of the SDP where he lost even in his native Mbawar and placed third in the race behind a political greenhorn like Mimi Orubibi, after he had junketed from APC to PDP and then to SDP all in the space of a few months?
“Senator Gemade needs to be reminded that his party SDP has not won even a single councilorship seat in all elections since he joined the party in 2019. It lost in all the polls he actively participated in last year,” Iortyom stated.
He further reminded the former party leader that the PDP in the state won the governorship election, 3 senatorial seats out of 3, 7 House of Representatives seats of 11 and 23 Benue State House of Assembly seats out of 30.
“The party also has 23 elected council chairmen out of 23 and 276 elected councilors. So why would PDP be jittery? Was Gemade a member of PDP when it emerged victorious in all of those elections?
“His current voyage into the APC is most likely ill-fated, as feelers indicate his motive is to wrestle the leadership of the party in Benue from Senator Akume whom he believes lost relevance following the party’s defeat to PDP in 2019,” he said.