SDP confirms Gemade’s defection as senator pays N300 million for automatic ticket
…Gemade says Ortom betrayed him
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
The Benue State chapter of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, this afternoon officially confirmed the defection of the senator representing Zone A at the Red Chambers, Senator Barnabas Gemade.
This came just as Nigerian Concord has uncovered that the senator who is generally known for sleeping during Senate official businesses paid a whooping N300 million to leaders of the party through a national leader and presidential aspirant of the party, Professor Jerry Gana, to secure an automatic ticket for himself.
Confirming Gemade’s membership in SDP, Honourable Tarhule Joshua, press secretary to John Enemari who is the state chairman of the party in Benue state, said that the senator, as a Nigerian has the right to associate freely as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria.
Tarhule Joshua pressed further that the senator’s coming into SDP is no longer a news, adding that he is in the party as a member already.
He however dismissed reports that the senator had secured an automatic ticket for himself, adding that such report should be refuted with all sense of reasoning.
His words: “In SDP, we have nothing like automatic ticket, this is only obtainable in PDP and APC. As in Benue State, the “Ortomatic” of PDP is a good case to refer to. In situation where automatic ticket is guaranteed is only when the candidate is unopposed or where consensuses are reached.
“In SDP we have the popular Option A4 and delegate methods. In this case, Option A4 will be applied where all candidates will be given a level Playing ground to exercise their rights. Sen Gemade will jostle over the Zone A ticket in SDP against former Sen Joseph Akaagerger and Dr Torngee Malu who have also obtained their Nomination Forms.
“Let me observe however that, Sen Gemade can not descend so low to seek for automatic ticket as his pedigrees and popularity in the zone are enough to get him his heart desires.
“Let me conclude by saying that, SDP is a big family and its leadership is willing to accommodate anybody that wishes to identify with the party as the doors of the party are widely open at all times.
“Here there are no preferential treatments no matter your position and exposure. We encourage all SDP lovers to keep faith with the party as credible primaries will be conducted to select our flagbearers for next year’s elections”
But confirmed source at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja informed this newspaper that the senator gave N300 Million to Jerry Gana to help him share amount the party’s stakeholders In Benue state so he can be given an automatic ticket.
The source also told Nigerian Concord that the senator had also cried out that Governor Ortom with whom he left the APC for the PDP few months ago is a betrayer.
The senator was said to have bitterly complained that the governor didn’t fulfil his promise to get him an automatic ticket in PDP before he decamped with him.
It would be recalled that this newspaper had last week reported that Senator Barnabas Gemade had secured an automatic ticket in the SDP as an option to realise his reelection into the Red Chamber of the National Assembly in 2019 following his inability to wrestle the ticket with Gabriel Suswam in the PDP.
Gemade had few weeks ago made a secret purchase of his nomination and expression of interest forms in the SDP at the party’s headquarters in Maitama Business Area of Abuja.
Gemade’s decision to leave the PDP In order to contest the election under SDP came as a result of his monumental failure at the Senate for about eight years which he has been representing the zone.
Apart from his failure to bring the dividends of democracy to the zone for about eight years, Gemade is also known to be sleeping at every business meeting of senators at the National Assembly.
Following Gemade’s automatic ticket in the SDP, three aboriginal members of the party who were also vying for the ticket to represent Zone A under the party (SDP) have dumped the party to also look for alternative platforms to contest the election.
The three aspirants who left SDP because of the firm decision of the party’s leadership under the state chairman, John Enemari, to hand an automatic ticket to Gemade are: Professor Alakali, Dr. Iorwuese Ligom and Dr. Iornengen Chia.
While leaving the SDP, the three aspirants made it known that they were leaving because the John Enemari-led EXCO of the party had collected a huge bribe from Gemade in order to impose him on other aspirants who they said had suffered to build the party to its present level.
The three aspirants who hail from Kwande Local Government Area also said that they could no longer remain in the SDP since it had been made known to them that the zone A senatorial ticket had been reserved for Barnabas Gemade.
While it remains unclear where two of the aspirants would pitch their tents, Prof Joseph Alakali has since joined the National Conscience Party (NCP) where he is sure of being the senatorial flagbearer.