…says can’t be blackmailed by enemies of APC

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship aspirant, Senator Barnabas Gemade has maintained that the party failed to hold its gubernatorial primary election as stipulated by the extant laws insisting that he has no hand in the suit of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over the matter and would not be blackmailed by the enemies of APC.

Senator Gemade in a statement issued weekend by his Media and Publicity assistant, Solo Dzuah, reiterated that those accusing him of conniving with the PDP and Governor Samuel Ortom to disqualify Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia as the candidate of the APC were being untruthful to themselves.

According to the statement, “It is funny, to say the least as up till now, there is no candidate of the APC in Benue and if their is any, that should be my Principal Senator Gemade because primary elections were not held in Benue state.

“To put the records straight, Benue State primary elections were nullified by APC Appeal Committee and the APC National Working Committee declared the primaries a nullity and a fresh one is yet to be carried out in line with the party and INEC guidelines.

“I am set to explain this in detail because the authors of the said publications are out to blackmail and tarnish the image and personality of Senator Gemade whose relationship with party hierarchy at the National and state levels is cordial. The aim to paint him black before every sane mind to cover their evil and misdeeds at the just concluded APC kangaroo primaries in Benue state by its leadership.

“Let me reiterate that, Senator Gemade as a party man believes in due process and truth, he has already congratulated the APC Presidential standard bearer, Senator Bola Tinubu who emerged through the recommended and transparent process, and has assured him of his support to win Benue state at the general elections.

“So, it is disgusting how the author of the said blackmail will say, My principal, is involved in anti-party activities.

“I make bold to inform our supporters, well wishers and the entire APC family that, the sponsored article is an afterthought from those who refused to do the right thing before the APC primaries in Benue state, the result of which is being challenged by my principal, Senator Gemade and others.

“Further, following the results of the party’s purported direct primaries in Benue State, my principal had earlier cautioned that the primary election was flawed with irregularities because of the timing of the process and arrangements. He said the processes leading to the primary elections violated the electoral act, INEC guidelines, the party’s Constitution and advised that the proper thing should be done. This can not be a basis to say, Senator Gemade has connived with Governor Ortom to disqualify Fr. Hyacinth Alia.

“Senator Gemade as a party man is only out to guide the party to do the right thing and how can he disqualify a candidate who in all sense of reasons and lawfully is not a candidate?

“Owing to what Senator Gemade has done in the APC, I am surprised as to why anyone or a group of people would dismiss valid concerns raised by aspirants and the Governorship Appeal Panel’s decision to accuse my principal of working against the party’s interest by raising legal concerns in line with extant electoral laws and guidelines that anyone could verify.

“Claiming that Senator Gemade has conspired with PDP’s  Ortom to disqualify Fr. Alia through a lawsuit filed by the state’s ruling party is funny, and should be waved aside.

“Let me ask, is the author of the blackmail blind to see that all the APC Governorship aspirants are defendants in the said suit? This is a display of ignorance and a total lack of knowledge.

“If the leader of the party in Benue to which the blame is supposed to be apportioned had played politics by the rules of the game, he should have saved APC from the predicaments it has found itself now.

“I therefore, urge all and sundry to disregard any attempt by mischief makers to drag my principal into what the Benue APC has caused themselves.

“It is common knowledge that the problem of the state’s governorship primary election was characterized by irregularities, and other political parties interested in winning the election in 2023 are aware of the issues.

“As a result, regardless of whether they stand a possibility of being favoured in their lawsuit or not, they have considered it worthy to pay attention to it without being prompted by anyone.”


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