FORMER National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Barnabas Gemade, has petitioned the Ad-hoc Delegates Electoral Committee over alleged connivance between Governor Gabriel Suswan of Benue State and the state executive members of the party to manipulate the ward congress in Benue North East senatorial district in favour of the governor.
Senator Gemade, who represents Benue North East senatorial district, in the petition entitled, ‘Petition Against Undemocratic Practices at the PDP Ward Congressess in the Seven Local Government Areas of Benue North East senatorial district,’ called on the committee to cancel the result of the exercise.
The erstwhile national chairman of PDP lamented that the instructions given by the electoral committee during a meeting with stakeholders and PDP local government returning officers before the distribution of electoral materials were flouted by the returning officers.
He claimed that the returning officers were acting a script allegedly prepared for them by Governor Suswam.
Senator Gemade alleged that some state executive committee members of the PDP, including Ibrahim Anor; State Vice Chairman, Hon. Bem Dzoho, State Secretary, Hon. Moses Audu, State Organising Secretary, Barr. Tera Mue, State Legal Adviser, Abraham Nyikwagh, State Auditor and Hon. Moses Anaana, State Youth Leader, allegedly connived with the returning officers posted to their respective local government areas and diverted the election materials to unknown destinations except in the case of Konshisha LGA, where he personally followed them to deliver the electoral materials.
According to him, the party and state government appointees from Konshisha Local Government Area frustrated the taking off of the electoral materials to wards for the conduct of the delegates election, as all the wards’ electoral officers were “abducted” and whisked away.
He also accused Governor Suswam, who is contesting the Benue North East senatorial seat against him, of trying to rig the delegates election in the 84 council wards of the zone in order to position himself as winner ahead of the primaries.
The plan, according to him, is in line with their “pre-determined congress which they held at Governor Suswam’s private residence in Katsina-Ala on July 30, 2014, in which the State Secretary of the party, Bem Dzoho, announced a mock result of 227 votes to Governor Suswam and three votes for Gemade.