NIGERIA'S 56TH INDEPENDENCE: Senator Barnabas Gemade,Task Government On Nation Building In New Message For Nigeria
By Akosu Emmanuel Lubem
As Nigeria marks another significant event in it chequered journey with is
uniquely carved political formations, ethnic and religious diversities, cultural and
environment dynamics and the much touted prediction by Western Cynics of it
eventual breakaway by 2015, several potent reasons naturally itch the mind of
pundits as to how successful or otherwise its leadership and followership alike
have sacrificed in calving the meaningful state Nigeria have come to be today.
Times like these present opportunities for introspective analysis of how well the
leadership particularly has fared in contributing to nation building, its peace, unity,
stability, and progress and a measure of its growth and development index through
singular patriotic acts. The essence of this essay therefore finds its footing.
Senator Barnabas Andyer Iyorher Gemade OFR FNSE, been one of Nigeria’s
renowned nationalist and substantially one of its nationally celebrated assets has
been acknowledged over time to have helped in no small measure in shaping the
nation’s political history conviniently finds relevance in this discourse as Nigerian
marks her 56 independence day celebration today.
As early as the mid 80s, Gemade had uniquely carved a niche as a refined
persona, excellent administrator, strategic manager of men and resource. By the
1990s his leadership prowess, worth and mettle had started pervading the Nigerian
public circles. He was appointed a Federal Secretary (Minister) to administer the
operations of Works Ministry by the Ibrahim Babangida led Military Government
where his infrastructural development agenda for the nation practically became
synonymous with his personage. Under his firm supervision, vast infrastructure to
include very expansive and standard roads network across the country received the
desired attention and subsequent implementation roundly across the country.
In due recognition of his earlier nationalist efforts at molding the ideal face of
Nigerian geographical and political space, Gemade was in 1994 elected Delegate
to the National constitutional Conference. While at that conference his penchant to
remodel the democratic walls of the nation manifested to the admiration of his
contemporaries. He was made the Chairman, Political Transition committee and
among his equals chosen to be chairman, National Consultative Forum, a non
partisan body of Delegates for the promotion of national unity and understanding
and the overall success of the conference.
Chief Barnabas Gemade was towards the transition to democratic rule exemplified
his thoughts as a fervent politician with uncommon proclivity for nationalistic
accomplishment and attendant zeal for a just, indivisible, peaceful, progressive and
productive Nigeria. Gemade at all times was seen to fervently champion the cause
for a greater and enviable Nigeria as such was quickly identified and
meritoriously saddled with very sensitive and enormous tasks of spearheading
missions of national relevance. He took over leading roles of heading political
parties at the national realm.
Towards 1999, Gemade was strategically chosen at the formative stages political
parties to first become the National Treasurer, first of then Congress for National
Consensus (CNC), then its National Chair. As events inched closely to 1999,
Gemade, vastly acknowledged with a well of political, intellectual, administrative
and potent leadership attributes became the National Trustee of the PDP in 1998,
member Presidential Policy Advisory Committee, PPAC, to President Olusegun
Obasanjo. 1999, and in recognition of Senator Gemade’s foresight, visionary
carriage, progressive ideals, excellent public conduct, vast exposure and public
service experience and a sheer dexterity in effectively managing the affairs of men
and resources would again be chosen to man and strategically position the then
ruling PDP again as its National Chairman. A position he successfully steered its
affairs to fruition with recorded successes of producing a President and 21 state
As a firm, focused and committed democrat with the desired flair and content to
healthily aspire for service to humanity, Chief BAI Gemade, would muscled out
his altruistic courage for service, where he contended for the esteemed foremost
position of the Nigerian Presidency. During the Party’s primary in 2002, a robust
presidential contest ensued in which the likes of the late Abubukar Rimi, himself
and then incumbent President Obasanjo as frontline contenders. Obasanjo however
emerged as the party’s flag bearer and went ahead to clinch victory at the general
In furtherance of the Nigeria constitutional development process, the nation would
again seek to tap from Gemade’s well of knowledge and experience to bear on the
nation’s formation and operations. He was again beckoned upon as a Delegate to
the National Political Reform Conference, NPRC in 2005. At the conference he
was made Member, Business Committee and Chairman Editorial committee for the
compilation of the report of the social Infrastructure Committee. Duties he
effectively approached and accomplished successfully to the admiration of
contemporaries and followers alike.
Senator Gemade for considerable reasons has being an active actor in shaping the
formation and design of the Nigerian project for reasonable decades. He has
always stood for more worthy and rewarding courses, sieving the undue aspect of
political pettiness and undoings. In the cause of all these Patriotic and noble acts,
Chief Senator Barnabas Gemade, the Nom I Yange U Tiv has continued to place
the people over and above self, naturally seeking to passionately empower and
make them take their ideal place in the society, particularly his Tiv Kinsmen whom
he has risen over the years to genuinely appreciate their concerns and aspirations.
For some time now, this selfless leader and mentor has ensured their rounded
placement at the national realm of leadership and in other Federal engagements.
Little wonder he was again overwhelmingly supported and re-elected in 2015 by
his kinsmen to still spearhead over their social and political destiny. Gemade’s re-
election was made epical due to his vast human and infrastructural drive on Benue
and Tiv nation in particular which has become a sine qua non for his celebrated
persona and public image . The number of profile Bills he had sponsored in the
Red Chambers of the National Assembly, the recent been A Bill For the
Establishment of Ranches and Ranches Commission, the deliberate drive for
infrastructure across the land especially in wide range of roads network, portable
water supply, education, health care delivery systems, power distribution, human
empowerment programmes all point as potent reasons on why this great
nationalist has become the celebrated bride in Nigeria today, and on why a legion
of followers seek to confidently reckon and keep faith with him.
Still keeping faith with the constituents of Benue North-East Diatrict particularly,
Senator Gemade recently led the way where he transited various relief materials to
include bags of rice, detergents, mattresses, cash gifts and other sundries to the
various IDPs camps in the zone prominently the Logo and kwande IDP camps.
Some benevolent act that continues to spark volumes of discussions and
appreciations from constituents.
Recently too in keeping his social contract with the people robust, and more at
home, the Distinguished Senator returned home to naturally celebrate his 68th
Birthday with leaders and constituents of the Benue North –East Senatorial
District, an event which witnessed huge donations of various cash gifts doled out
in the heat of an open recessive economy and knocks. These acts of benevolence
too only smacks evidence to some brilliant effective representation and altruistic
leadership which the unique character and personality of Distinguished Senator
Chief (Dr) Barnabas Gemade has come to be known and addressed as.
Akosu Emmanuel Lubem
Wrote from Abuja , Nigeria
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