Elders of Kwande Local Government Area in Benue North-East Senatorial District have described the ‘loaning’ of the senatorial seat to Governor Gabriel Suswam by the traditional council of the area in the forthcoming election as a ruse.Recall that Governor Suswam had in July this year, approached the Kwande traditional council to loan him the seat to enable him go to the Senate after completion of his tenure as governor.
The seat said to be under a gentleman’s arrangement, was usually rotated among the three ancestral blocs of Sankera, Kwande and Jerchira which make up the seven local governments in the district popularly known as Zone A and it was the turn of Kwande people to go to the senate.
However, the present occupant of the seat, Senator Barnabas Gemade, who is from Jechira, is also interested in returning to the Senate for a second term, a development that has generated controversy between him and the governor, since the latter indicated interest to run for the same election.
Speaking during Gemade’s visit to elders of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and stakeholders in Kwande, the elders of the area said the governor was daydreaming over the Senate seat of the zone.
Head of the Nanvev-Shanngev clan, Agua Gbuuka, and his counterpart of Tura-Ikyuraw clan, that make up the Kwande people, while assuring Gemade of their support for his re-election bid, posited that they were not in favour of the loan granted to Suswam to contest the position.
They noted that the governor’s plan to clinch the seat was impossible because the area would not be able to get it back from him (governor) after four years when they would need it.
Speaking earlier, Gemade promised the people that if given the opportunity to go to the Senate a second term, he would retire from active politics in 2019 at the expiration of the tenure, when he would have also turned 70.
He appealed to the people to shun violence and ensure that contestants for the position play the game by the rules and not by the guns.