Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State said that it is not aware of the alleged defection of its former national chairman and senator representing Benue North East Senatorial district in the National Assembly, Sen. Barnabas Gemade.
Gemade was alleged to have defected from the PDP to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) after his initial decampment from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the PDP a few weeks ago.
Our Correspondent gathered from one of Gemade’s close associates that the former PDP national chairman had already picked the SDP nomination form for the Senate and is billed to submit it at the national secretariat of the party, on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Gemade’s latest defection, Daily Sun gathered, was not unconnected with his plan to contest the senatorial seat along with former Governor Gabriel Suswam who had already purchased the form on the platform of the PDP.
READ ALSO: Lagos inaugurates new board for LASUTH
Although, there were reports that Gemade was going to step down for Suswam, but the former PDP national chairman, in an interview with Daily Sun, had swiftly dispelled it as mere rumour, stressing that he had no intentions to give the senatorial seat to anyone.
An impeccable source disclosed that the Senator had, three weeks ago, picked the expression of intent and nomination forms of PDP but was yet to submit same to the state secretariat of the party.
Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Bemgbah Iyortyom, in a telephone chat with Daily Sun, on Monday, said the party was not aware of Gemade’s defection as they were yet to receive any formal letter from him to that effect.
“We are only hearing of his defection in the media but he hasn’t communicated us as a party. Until that is done, his defection emails a mere rumor to us.
Asked if Gemade has bought or submitted PDP nomination form to the Party, Iyotyom said NASS aspirants are to purchase the forms from the national secretariat of the party but to submit at their respective state secretariats.
He added that he was not aware if Chief Gemade purchased the forms but that if he did, he was yet to submit same to the state secretariat of the party.
However, a former state Publicity Secretary of SDP, Philip Wuhe, who is also contesting for the House of Representatives seat for Konshisha/ Vandeikya federal constituency, told our correspondent that the senator had already purchased the SDP Senatorial form and would be submitting same, in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Wuhe’s words, “Gemade will be submitting his nomination and expression of intent forms to the party tomorrow (Tuesday).
Wuhe added that Gemade would be battling with two other aspirants including Sen. Joseph Akargerger and Dr. Torgem Malu on the platform of SDP for the soul of the senatorial district.
Whoever emerges the candidate of the party from the senatorial district will be contending with the likes of Suswam from the PDP and Mrs. Mimi Adzape-Orubibi from the APC.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said the state government was yet to be formally notified about Gemade’s defection and would not comment on it until the senator releases a formal statement to that effect.
Efforts to get a confirmation from Sen. Gemade failed as several calls to his mobile phone line were neither picked nor returned.