Ex-PDP national chairman, Gemade, joins APC

By The Citizen

There are strong indications that the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Banabas Gemade has decided to join the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, to realize his re-election bid in the Senate. Already Senator Gemade who represents Benue North East Senatorial District has tendered a letter of withdrawal from the PDP's senatorial primaries expected to hold tomorrow as a result of the alleged hijack of the process by the State Governor, Gabriel Suswan.

A close ally of the erstwhile National Chairman of the PDP who spoke to Saturday Vanguard on the condition of anonymity hinted that Senator Gemade may likely pick the APC form on Monday to contest the senatorial election in the area. The source further stated that Gemade who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning will join forces with the former governor of the state and Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume to ensure that APC captures the state in 2015 general elections. The source claimed that Senator Gemade decided to leave the PDP because the National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP, turned down the list of his (Gemade) delegates and recognized the governor's list which he claimed were allegedly written in the comfort of his Anyiim, Logo country home, Benue State. It will be recalled that Senator Akume was allegedly pushed out of the PDP and he joined the opposition party to win his election in 2011 and has become a Chieftain of the APC and Minority Leader in the senate. Senator Gemade in his withdrawal letter addressed to the National Chairman of the PDP Alhaji Adamu Mu'azu dated December 2nd, 2014, with the title 'PDP primary elections for Senate 2015-withdrawal', complained about lack of transparency and level playing field in the way and manner the party's primary election is being conducted. He lamented over his alleged forceful withdrawal from the PDP senatorial primaries, saying that he had realised that things had degenerated to the level that no one should expect a level playing field or even any democratic action in the party's affairs. He said that as a founding member of the PDP in 1998 and indeed the leader of the Conveners in Benue State, he was pained by the undemocratic developments in the party where the party structure was surrendered to the state government. Senator Gemade noted, with dismay, that there was no room for an honest and law abiding member of PDP in having a fair chance in any contest in the forthcoming primary elections as anyone who was capable of manipulating the process, albeit illegally, was free to do so, and will be protected. The letter for his withdrawal read in part: 'I am constrained to write you for the fourth time in two months on the subject matter of the happenings in the PDP in my state as they affect me and our teeming members who have toiled over the years to give victory to our party for four consecutive general elections. 'As a founding member of this party in 1998 and indeed the leader of the Conveners in Benue State, I am pained by these developments and I want to put on record my feelings even if there is no result arising from it. 'At least, the history of my service as convener, member national steering committee, member Executive Committee (NEC), member National Working Committee (NWC), member Board of Trustees (BOT), National Chairman and Chairman National Caucus should count. 'I have come to realise that things have got to a point where one cannot expect a level playing ground or even any democratic action in our affairs in the party. Vanguard