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Bai Gemade: Let Antecedents And Achievements Form The Basis For Discourse

By Akosu Emmanuel Lubem
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‘The best way to find yourself is to loose yourself in the service of others’- Mahatma Gandhi

Augustus Comte a French Philosopher had first coined the word altruism (altruisme). He had derived it from the Italian ‘altrui’ meaning other people or somebody else. The Tiv culture inclusively had adopted similar approaches to form the basis for effective communist relationships. The traditional principle of Ya Na Angbian could be argued to share closer borrowings and quite factual too derives some vital correlations with the thinking and practices of altruism. Effectively too, when leadership derives extensive expression in this classicalidea, it attendant benefit and efficacyon mankind becomes evidently worthwhile.

Senator Barnabas Gemade’s conformist standards to this school of thought baring his classical and noble undertakings in bothpublic and private circles may be boldly argued tohave largely thrived on these unique approaches to leadership/followership relationship.

Some of the very celebrated achievements and antecedentsof this rare persona had practically continued to stimulatea refreshed discourse on the minds ofcommentators as to whohe is, and how manifestlyvivid he has come to entrench a turnaround on humanity. His remarkable prints overtime does evidently leaves no one in doubt regarding his belief system well acknowledged to have been influenced on progressive ideals and the altruistic mandate to clearly mark out positive life’sstandards and dignity for mankind.

Very renowned Authors of contemporary Tiv politics and leadership have variously closed in on this uncommon symbol and in their varied opinions arrived at same consistent valid page that indeed this political colossus for a reasonable number of years keeps entrenching very meaningful strides in the people and the world around them, quite an impressive feat and certainly unmatched within contemporary leadership expressions in this part of the world.

Senator Gemade’s very exceptional humanist and benevolent approaches to leadership had profoundlycreated the nucleus of discourse around his insightful raison d’etre to firstly and in a distinct manner push for more rewarding agenda where the people’s wellbeing and aspirations stand supreme and must be pursued with higher premium far above self.

When in recent times the presence of Fulani herdsmen was increasingly becoming a menace to his constituents existence , this practical Legislator swiftly responded to the moral stimuli and became the people’s succor and deus ex machine at arresting bizarre development. He practically became a fierce voice against this strange insurgents in the garb of herdsmen. His voice was loudest not only on the floor of the Senate, but equally at home and at every given public fora as he naturally rose in condemnation of this horror of bloodletting across Benue state and other Nigerian communities. Moved with deep concern and empathy for his people’s obscene conditions, Gemade fully identified and sharedin his constituent’s fears and defenselessness. Fully aware of their despicable conditions, which was further agonized by evident hunger and lack of shelter,the compassionate Senator rose from his convenience to visit several of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) as far as they were in Kwande and Logo local Government and other areas that these vulnerable segments were found. He met them gracefully, shared in their predicament with striking donations of relief materials to include sundry individual needs, foodand cashwith a self-sacrificing aim of making them recover on their original essence to life and feel moredignified.

In furtherance of his desire to end this this carnage against his people, Gemade vigorously started the pursuit and sponsorship of-a Bill for the Establishment of Ranches and Ranches Commission, and with a meaningful synergy with likeminds had made the sponsorship of this populist bill to an advance stage . Other very prolificBills earliersponsored by this eminent lawmaker worthy of mention here includes:

  • A Bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council and Other Matters Connected Therewith.
  • A Bill for an Act to Amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004
  • A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Institute of Sports Act and for Matters Connected Therewith
  • A Bill for an Act to Alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 to Entrench Right to food as a Fundamental Human Right of Nigerians and for Other Matters Connected Thereto.
  • A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act No. 16 of 1979 Cap. B2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004…
  • A Bill for an Act to provide for the Facilitation and co-ordination of Public Infrastructure Development…These being some of the very luxuriant Bills amongst others co- sponsored on the floor of the Assembly.

Infrastructure Drive
Back home the Nom I Yange U Tiv have considerably pursue and remains committed to meeting up with the people’s needs and objectives substantially achieved through infrastructure and basic amenities for the constituents of Benue North –East Senatorial zone to include, Health, education, water, ICT, et al some of which are quite compelling to summarize below:

Health care delivery systems remains core to Senator Gemade’s selfless service agenda at the Senate. Early at the inception of the 7th Senate this exemplary affectionate leader took deeper needs assessment of his constituents across the zone and started effectively started the path to addressing same needs accordingly. Firstly he made bold his noble point atputting his people’s wellbeing frontally when he began to make available several state of the art health equipment in the various General Hospitals across the seven (7) local governments Areas of Kwande, Ushongo, Konshisha, Vandeikya Logo, Ukum, and Katsina-Ala under his firm purview. Quite uncommon feats marked in the Senatorial District since it was mapped out. Portable drinking water systemsequally formed a lot on his quest to conform the health standards his people for good. The potable water channels began to be evenly spread across the nook and crannies of Benue North-East Senatorial District which till date standsvisible in form of motorized and hand pumpbole hole to address the unhygienic water challenges hitherto faced by the constituents.

In the same drive, and optimally realizing the inherent opportunities in education as well as its potent tool of liberation, Gemade moved with chirpy selflessness to vastly encourage adequate spread of education across the senatorial zone. Early at the 7th Senatehe had instituted a scholarship scheme for students mostly for the vulnerable segments in the various tertiary schools of learning with a mandate to bridge the seeming learning challenges posed to these segment. More than 500 students at the inception of this scholarship exercise became beneficiaries of the Senator Gemade Scholarship Scheme, and since then this benign persona had never rested on his oars to promote literacy at his selfless capacity. Not done Gemade extended his passion for developing education by first encouraging and entrenching an ICT based culture where he donated several standard computers sets which were later installed at the various post primary schools, more importantlyutilized for the vulnerable deaf and dumb segments.

Prominently too, the University of Mkar would always hold Senator Gemade in esteem as one who had not only stood as a Board of Trustee family in the SYNOD institution, but equally served as a formidable pillar to the support on their university systems at all times. Worthy of note is the fact that this leader and mentorhave always stood as a last resort to them and in same vein built some of the structures including an eloquent edifice meantfor female students’ accommodation being dashing legacy to this institution.

This singular altruistic drive to expand the frontiers of knowledge possibly swells inexhaustibly as a careful cursor leaves no one in doubt about this accomplished leader’s resilience in this sector. To many of observers, this outstanding benevolence only evokes volumes of a true patriot, leader, reformist which Senator Gemade has come to be known and appreciated for.

In enabling rural spread of power supply, this well vast Civil Engineer had earlier in the 7th Senate severally made available to various communities series of 500 KVA transformers at rural communities such as Achia and Iyon in Kwande, Tiza and Zanzan villages in Logo, Sati Ikov in Ushongo and other communities to boost the spread of electricity supply across Benue North- East Senatorial District. This is in addition to the provision of street solar powered lights across the constituency which are still notable today.

Road Networks
Done largely to the benefit of man, the unrelenting desire of this practical trailblazer in road construction has remained synonymous with hisaltruistic appellation right from his public outing in the 80s. He had envisioned the need for very highly priced road networks and most of the times had lobbied same into the Nigerian budget which effectively was eventually awarded and work carried out roundly.Evident among such Federal roads networks are the Vandeikya- Obudu road network as well as the rehabilitation of the Ihugh-Korinya road, Lessel- TseAgberagba road and the Ihugh-Uka roads, in the midst of other rural roads network.

Agriculture/ SMEs
To this down to earth public figurewho is certainly not oblivion of the hard economic times that stillstares his people and the entire Nigeria statein the face, which in any case is leading to an imminent recession. In search for economic independence for the people, he began early to make available to them alternative sources of sustenance and the need to open newer and profitable windows of opportunities, some sound thoughts which featured prominently in his altruistic agenda. Himself a successful entrepreneur, Senator Gemade began by first engaging the people with large number of standard multi- purpose Agriculture-Tricycles given mostly to farmers in addition to a consistent flow of fertilizer and other farm inputs for the purpose of boosting farm yields. Trailers of fertilizers came in to the zone in their droves making it available to the farming segments.

In his expansive policy to improve the peoples lot, through other ventures, vast quantity of grinding machines were supplied to women while the youth from various homes went home fulfilled with this kind gestures as they began to individually own vulcanizing machines for commercial endeavors . For the youth category too, hundreds of motorcycles were supplied to enable them venture into the business of commercial motorcycle popularly Known in Nigerian parlance as okada. Power generating sets also featured in empowerment drive as several people received generators to complement small and medium scale businesses.

Donation of SUVs and Buses
Furthermore, an appreciable number of the 18 Seater Toyota Hiace buses offered to various categories of youths to fully keep them productive. In addition the prestigious Volkswagen Tuareg SUVs in good numbers were equally given to select constituents to keep their affairs more dignified.

Federal Jobs/ Engagements
That today a good stock of graduates from various fields of endeavours across Benue North East Senatorial District would be gainfully employed across various Federal and some cases State’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Military and the Paramilitary as well as other private ventures in Nigeria only sparks credence to the fact that Senator Gemade had remained consistent in his quest to productively set the people at par with other ethnic groups in Nigeria. Since his first public outing at the at the BCC and later as Federal Minister in the 90s and subsequently National Chair of a once ruling party in Nigeria, the human capital development drive has been profound and widely remains so to the admiration of his followers.

The enduringProvisions of infrastructure forms of roads networks, water, health care delivery, education, federal employment, SMEs and industrial growth only stimulatesconfidence to the untiring efforts of this selfless representative that the people’s wellbeing and social security must be taken serious by the taken standing takes and like LaoTzu said ‘to lead people walk behind them’.

Distinguished Senator Barnabas Andyar Iyorher Gemade’s commitment to legislative business and selfless service is to say the least impressive. He has continued to fervently attend every Senate sittings, carry out oversight functions, attend committee sittings, work energetically to achieve results while persistently paying visits to his constituency to share in their conditions and aspirations naturally with uncommon zeal and patriotism not to be seen in recent times.

His very robust cerebral contribution towards nation buildingparticularly on the Floor of the Nigerian Senate remains historic with visible noble prints recorded on the political growth of Nigeria. This is selfless service! this is sheer altruism! And it is only a moral burden on observers of contemporary thoughts to cherish and keep this precedence flying.

Akosu Emmanuel Lubem
Public Affairs Commentator
MMc, Wuse 11, Abuja
Text: 07038578548. E-Mail: [email protected]

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