by Segun Odeleye
The stories of former PDP chairmen who are still alive today will make for interesting reading.
Bamanga Tukur has just been suspended by the party which he led till mid-2013; Audu Ogbeh is now the campaign DG for the presidential campaign of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in the APC and even gave that solid speech for Buhari during the declaration; Haliru Bello who acted briefly as chairman is to head the planning committee of the PDP national convention this month; Ahmadu Ali who used to be like the garrison commander in the days when together with former Pres. Obasanjo and former INEC chairman Iwu, they conspired to give Nigeria one of its worst elections, has been quiet recently even though he still belongs to the ruling party.
And how about former chairman Barnabas Gemade?
Well, he – arguably – has been playing more active politics than all the others. In the last four years, Gemade has been serving as senator representing Benue North East.
His desire to return in 2015 to the senate is however being frustrated by the governor of the state, Gabriel Suswam, who is eyeing the same seat. Initially, Gemade boasted that he was ready to take on Suswam and was confident of victory. Reality finally dawned on him that returning to the senate is a tall order, forcing him to write a letter on December 2, 2014, to the PDP national chairman, Adamu Muazu, saying that he was no longer going to participate in the primary election scheduled for this Sunday.
In the letter titled: “PDP primary elections for Senate 2015 withdrawal,” Gemade complained bitterly about a lack of transparency and level play field in the conduct of the party’s primary election. He said he has realised that things have become so bad that no one could expect a level play field or even any democratic action in the party’s affairs. Gemade maintained 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.
According to him, there is no room for an honest and law-abiding member of PDP to have a fair chance in any contest in the forthcoming primary elections, as the party would protect anyone capable of manipulating the process through any process.
“My opponent in the primary elections was allowed to write out the entire list of delegates for the election in his house, including the delegates from my ward and local council, and has boasted on public media how he would use such list to ‘disgrace a party elder,” the letter read in part.
There are feelers from Benue that Gemade plans to quit the PDP and join the APC, where he intends to run for the same office. He is believed to currently be in talks with the Senate Minority Leader, George Akume, to join forces in other to give APC victory in Benue State.