Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Barnabas Gemade has opened up on why he left the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to rejoin the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The two-time senator who represented the Benue North East Senator between 2011 and 2019 told newsmen on Wednesday that his movement back to the APC was based on the interests that presented themselves.
“All my life, I’m a factual man, so I work on facts. The fact is that you move in politics based on the interests that present themselves.
“When I left the PDP in 2015, precisely 2014, it was because the party had put a framework on ground to stop me from getting my second term as senator representing my senatorial zone.
“And I said well, if you have arsenals flying to shoot you down and you foolishly decide to stay there to be shot, then you are not a clever person. That’s why I left into APC, and I left in good time enough to win my election. And as you know, the incumbent governor of the state at that time contested against me and lost the election.
Gemade posited that in 2019, similar arsenals were put on line to stop him from seeking his re-election back into the senate.
“I, in a similar manner, decided to change camp in order that I can assure my election back into the senate.
“You know that the practice here in Benue since 1999 was such that the other two zones were being represented almost permanently by single candidates.
“In Zone C, David Mark had been there five times. In Zone B, Senator George Akume was seeking his fourth term because he had been there three terms. And so, for me seeking my third term in Zone A was a very mundane issue that was not supposed to attract any form of opposition.
“But people chose to say it’s her turn. And then, when I saw that the climate in the APC was not conducive to guarantee that there would be fair contest in my seeking nomination, I decided to leave.
“Unfortunately, I left too late into SDP that was not a properly organized political party and we could not prosecute the election properly. Now, since after that, the situation in our state has presented itself in a manner which everybody is concerned.
“It is because of this reason that I felt that SDP is not a political party I can operate in to cause any effect in this state about good leadership, good governance, good representation or even good politicking.
“So, I decided that I should go back to the party that I joined in 2015 and we made a huge success. That is why I’m back in APC.
Asked why he didn’t rejoin the PDP which where he was one of the founding fathers, Gemade explained that the situation in the PDP at the moment does not attract his going back to the party for now.
“The situation of political organizations is what determines whether you desire its membership or not. The situation regarding the party I formed in 1998 is not attractive enough for me to rejoin because the way the party is structured and managed will not agree with my own style and practice of politics, to which reason, I did not choose to back to PDP.
“Even though I rose to be its National Chairman, I don’t think I can function properly in that political party at this time,” Gemade concluded.