Posted: April 3, 2015 in Benue 2015, Opinion, political, Politics
Tags: , , ,

By Ati Kenneth Kengkeng


Andrew Ayabam

Following the reactions I received from my very short open letter to Senator Barnabas Gemade, I have decided to write this as a follow up. I received several phone calls from various folks, both known and unknown with some people cautioning me, others warning me, many congratulating and encouraging me while a select few who feel that the truth that sets free should continue to be covered up, threatened me. I must say that I am undeterred, dogged and vehement and will continue to be desperate about revealing every truth in my custody as we attempt to ensure a sane society.

Following the show of shame that ensued in Katsina Ala at the APC Senatorial Primaries, there was a loud outcry aspa the level of bias and cheapening of the democratic process that characterised the primaries. Andrew Ayabam was heading for a landslide only for a known PDP stalwart to cash in on the eleventh hour to steal the show and undermine the entire process. This was achieved through the leeway granted by the leader of the party Sen. Dr. George Akume who is widely accused of running the party as a personal merchandise. Some disgruntled folks have taken it to the next level by concluding that Akume has a morbid hatred for Zone A.
With the victorious outing of Gemade, I have had reason to question myself afresh over the quality of leadership Gemade has offered and has to offer us in Zone A vis-à-vis the quality of leadership Akume has denied us by hindering Ayabam. In these two folks, we have a juxtaposition with a marked difference in the societal mix. While Gemade poses a picture of a gigantic veteran politician owing to his consistency on the scene for over 25 years, Ayabam strikes the image of a younghearted subtle workaholic whose result speaks louder than his person. I wish to remind you that we are placing side by side one who was; Managing Director of  Benue Cement Company (now Dangote Cement), Minister of Works,


Sen. Barnabas Gemade

Chairman of the 5 political parties under Abacha, Chairman of the Congress for National Consensus (CNC), Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and now returning Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; And another whose only known portfolio apart from his banking job is a 2 and half year stint as Chairman, Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS). This comparison in itself speaks of a deficiency in content, competence and progressive developmental prowess on one hand and an uncommon magical wand in excellence, dedication and commitment to duty on the other hand. This vehemently emphasises with adequate conviction and irreconcileable clarity that the contest for the Benue North East Senatorial seat that just ended with Gemade at the top is nothing less than a short-changing of the Zone. The relegation of the Zone to the ugly scenario of choosing the “lesser evil” (Suswam or Gemade) is synonymous with the opinion that Akume has a morbid hatred for Zone A.
It must be clear to all and sundry at this point that I’m actually biting my finger over the emergence of Gemade as Senator. I do this with a clear conscience and with every sense of responsibility devoid of jealousy and discord. I am at a loss and have resorted to imagination, only having a mental picture of what wonders Ayabam would have done in the Senate, most of which Gemade cannot or has not been able to phantom.
Like I stated in my open letter, what transpired in the zone on March 28 was a revolution against the tyranny and ineptitude of Suswam and not an expression of love for Gemade as a person or the APC as a party. To buttress the point, if any other candidate ran against Suswam in APC, the person would’ve been voted as massively as was done Gemade. This revolution against Suswam has had Gemade as its chief beneficiary but it would’ve been Ayabam for the better.
In the coming months, with the high and magical expectations of the people from this administration, we will measure the quality of service Gemade will bring to the people and also ascertain if he has changed from his selfish and self-centred ways to a man who will express his gratitude for this mandate given him through a distinguished people-oriented tenure at the upper chamber of the National Assembly. Above all, it must be a wonderful feeling to be the man through whom the people tamed the black cat. As a man who has tasted the strength of the will of the people, I doubt greatly if the people of Zone A will still be this magnanimous in 2019. Time shall tell.

  1. Haruna koney says:

    Author, nice write up and the truth must be told however, the candidature of Gemade over over Ayabam was not for credibility, it was a deliberate ploy to defeat suswam which was achieved at the end of the day. Ayabam as a candidate lacked the resources, power and popularity to defeat suswam however though, Ayabam will definitely be compensated.


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