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

Text: 07038578549, E-Mail

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