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“Battle Royale” for Benue North East Senatorial Ticket

The Benue North East Senatorial district is by far the most competitive and surprise prime zone of the state.

It is home to the most intellectually savvy indigenes and has produced the most notable political actors at the Federal and state levels.

The three political parties with huge representation in the zone includes : the APC, PDP and the SDP.

The SDP had evolved during the last one year.

While the PDP and APC had previously always been the political platforms of choice.

Presently the Social Democratic, Party (SDP) in Benue State has issued party flags to 14 candidates from the North East Senatorial Zone of the State which is the strong hold of the party for the 2019 general elections.

Recall that Senator Gemade was among those given a “Red Card” by Senator George Akume of the APC.

He then defected to the SDP while the serving Governor – Governor Samuel Ortom defected to peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to further his political ambition.

The “Battle Royale” involves three big wigs in the state. These big wigs include: Former Governor Gabriel Suswam on the platform of the PDP, Mrs Mimi Orubibi of the APC- a political protégée of Senator George Akume and Senator Barnabas Gemade of the SDP.

The chances of wining for these three candidates could be described as 50-50.

All three candidates stand an equal chance at winning.

THE ANALYSIS

Former Governor Gabriel Suswam had earlier lost the election in 2015 due the wind of “Change” that had swept across the country.

This wind of change was necessitated by alleged crass corruption, fraud, indiscipline and total disregard for political manifesto achievements, leaving most PDP candidates as victims in its wake; including then serving president- Goodluck Jonathan.

However, the state of affairs in Benue at the moment is beginning to see Suswam as the stone the builders rejected, “becoming a cornerstone”. He presently enjoys the support of the serving Governor, who at one time was his sworn enemy and had promised to send him to jail, in an EFCC case , whose next hearing is a few weeks away.

He also enjoys the support of his constituents, which he had empowered massively during his tenure as governor.

The drawback of his campaign however, are his former key supporters and close associates who continue to view Governor Ortom with disdain and distrust hence have refused to give him their support just so as not to “work” for the governor’s re election.

Mrs Mimi Orubibi, is the erstwhile Chairman of the Benue Inland Revenue Service whonlost her job during the ensuing war between Senator George Akume and Governor Ortom.

She was one of the first casualties of the war.

She was sacked from her job instantly; being a relative to the wife of Senator George Akume- a relationship which brought her to limelight.

She enjoins the overwhelming support of the party and stands a serious chance at the polls. The gender card is also being played in her favour at the moment with women backing her to become the first woman Senator to represent her state at the National legislature.

 

Senator Gemade, most people think could end up being the dark horse in the fierce battle brewing between the PDP and the APC.

He currently serves in the senate, and has the capacity to always pull last minute campaigns intrigues during election periods. He also has a wealth of experience and relies on age long contacts to sway votes his way.

Gemade is also out with a vengeance this time to prove a point to both Senator George Akume who booted him out of the APC and to Governor Samuel Ortom for betraying him by picking Suswam over him as a better candidate to represent the zone and canvass votes for the embattled governor who is facing jail term over alleged corruption, tampering with bail out funds and a growing sense of hatred amongst the electorate due to non execution of projects.

This is also as most of the challenges the Senator is facing came as a result of his affiliation with the governor and his alleged desire to plant his son as the next governor of Benue State.

The battle Royale therefore has began. Details to follow as they unfold.