Strong indications emerged on Saturday that Senator Barnabas Gemade might have bowed to pressure to assume the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in Benue State instead of returning to the Senate for a third term.
The senator, who is currently representing Benue North East Senatorial District in the senate had two weeks ago defected to the PDP with the assurances of getting the ticket for his third term in the red chamber against the wish of a former governor of the state, Dr Gabriel Suswam.
The duo (Gemade and Suswam) who were members of the then ruling PDP, had in the build-up to the 2015 elections, contested the senatorial seat.
However, realising the incumbency factor, Suswam wielded Gemade defected to the All Progressives Congress where Akume helped him to win the election.
It was reliably gathered that the return of Gemade to the PDP to pick the senatorial ticket had triggered a possible political alignment between Suswam and Senator George Akume which might likely spell doom for both Gemade and Governor Samuel Ortom in the forthcoming elections.
To avert the impending doom, said the source, Ortom had convened a meeting with the duo where an agreement was reached.
The source, who was privy to the outcome of the meeting, told newsmen that Ortom pleaded with Gemade to assume the role of ‘unofficial leader’ of the party and allow Suswam to get the party ticket.
The source said, “The defection of Governor Ortom to the PDP despite opposition from some chieftains of the party in the state, particularly, the governorship aspirants under the party, created a bad blood among party members in the state.
“Whether you like it or not, Suswam still holds the grip of the party in the two senatorial districts of the state and there was already talk between the Akume-led APC and Suswam’s group.”
Gemade, through one of his personal assistants, Geoffrey Yagba, denied the report.
He said, “There is no iota of truth in that information, the senator is still in the race, I want to debunk that report. There was a meeting as you said, but Suswam was not even at the meeting.”