GEMADE @68: SYMBOLIC PATHS OF A DEMOCRAT

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“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves” –Ray Kroc
Accomplished leadership stems from a leader’s courage to fulfil his visions from  an undying passion and capacity to translate such visions into reality. For where there is no vision the people perish (Proverbs 29: 18) .
Senator Barnabas Andyar Iyorher Gemade  OFR ,one of Nigeria’s greatest minds and visionaries had in the course of an accomplished lucrative private sector practice and a rather lofty public service conduct swerved around sensitively challenging capacities, first as Managing Director BCC PLC, a Federal Minister of Works, National Party Chairman of CNC and later the PDP, Nigeria’s once ruling Party, and now a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria undoubtedly prompts credence to the obvious fact that this uniquely baked persona , and his exemplary leadership qualities, an admirable excellent flurry of prints and achievements significantly marks for posterity.
Quite a meticulous character, superbly webbed in the traditional trademark  of discipline, forthrightness, truth, frugality, strategic thinking, and  an organizational balance in managing the affairs of men and resources. A man given more to  profitable value and the quest to impact mankind than unduly driven by unnecessary display of incautious politicking around the deeply meshed murky-watered game of politics; frowning at the negative aspects of it that tends to elude the people of the needed developmental bargain. A true democrat in character and content. Typically appareled in integrity,  and the conscious drive  to make humanity better off.
At the return of the Nigerian democracy in 1999, Gemade , incontrovertibly the political arrowhead of Tiv nation had entrenched the leeway to  leadership enthronement at various capacities within the ranks of Benue state and national realm. Being a frontline advocate for the ideal place of minorities in Nigeria, he moved with apocalyptic messiahnism  to ensure his kinsmen were roundly placed in their deserved positions at the various strata of politics and leadership. This he had began to achieve earlier when he was the Federal  Secretary (Minister) of works where a good number of Tiv professionals  and middle class found themselves better positioned in their distinct careers. Some of them being –Engr.Kile Jime Akaaka, Director Federal Highways, Sylvester Jijingi, Dir Bridges, Engr. Avishigh, Dir Federal Ministry of Works amongst others.
While at the helm as the National Chairman of then ruling PDP, Gemade made bold his resilience  to place his kinsmen a par with  other ethnic  groups . He got over fifty (50)  Benue indigenes to be appointed into chairmanship and membership of Federal Boards. A feat not to have been recorded since the creation of the state in 1976.
As a Distinguished Senator of both the 7th and 8th Senate, this purist yet tolerant political maestro would never rest on his oars to expand his liberation and social upliftment policy  for the people, whilst prominently featuring on national limelight and discourse with a traditional flair for cerebral contributions and penchant to nation building and development. Through persistent sponsorship of Bills and motions, raising points of order, committee deliberations viz other salient oversight functions, he has in no mean measure succeeded in building the Nigerian democratic walls and its image to the awe of contemporaries and legion of followers.
In identifying Senator Gemade’s leadership prowess, famous leader and Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at various times, Professor Jerry Gana had poured enconmiums on the Senator when he said that “…throughout your (Senator Gemade) first term, we watched your well considered and meaningful contributions at proceedings at the Senate. Your interventions were profound, highly relevant and impressive. You gave us every reason to be proud of you “.
Remarkably so, the articulating voice of Senator Gemade at the floor of the Senate had been fierce, particularly against the ignoble activities of Fulani marauders and their resultant bloodletting on Benue soils and other vulnerable ethnic groups. The populist Bill for the Establishment of Ranches and Ranches Commission has its sponsorship credited to Senator BAI Gemade. This is in addition to his contribution early in the 7th Senate, that the Federal Government brought to halt the incessant killings of innocent Benue , Plateau, Kaduna , and Nasarawa indigenes.
In his usual profundity and sense of altruism, Senator Gemade had articulated other potent Bills to include:
-Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the 1990 Constitution to Entrench Right to Food as a Fundamental Human Right of Nigerians
-Bill for an Act to Provide for the Facilitation and Coordination of Public infrastructure Devt to Ensure that Infrastructural Devt is given priority in Planning.
-Bill for an Act to Amend the EFCC (Establishment)Act 2004.
-Bill for an Act to Repeal the Bankrupcy and Insolvency Act.
-Bill for an Act to Amend the National Institute of Sports.., amongst others.
Back home , Gemade’s yielding resolve for a just, prosperous and productive society continued to be virile by all intents and purposes. With a fervent focus to reposition, reform and reshape the devastating socio- economic conditions of the people, he began by opening up better economic coast through the provisions of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) ventures for constituents of Benue North – East Senatorial Zone, while marking his 67th Birthday celebration. Reciprocally, and in reminder of his social contract with the people, he had transited fleet of 18 seater Toyota Hiace buses and Passat wagons meant for commercial purposes and distributed same among the people. The constituents were equally empowered with hundreds of vulcanizing machines, commercial tricycles and motorcycles, power generating sets and cash gifts as a mark of honor to them.
In carrying out his legislative mandate, Gemade had ensured that several of the graduate-applicants were and still being gainfully employed at the various Federal MDAs, the Nigerian Police, the Military, NSCDC, National Bureau of Statistics, National Human Rights Commission, National Lottery Trust Fund,, the JAMB, INEC, NHIS, NCAA, the National Planning Commission, The University of PH Teaching Hospital, NPA Wudi- Kano with several others falling into the various Benue state Government establishments.
Haven observed a seeming glare of infrastructural, educational deficit and a dearth in modern learning facilities in the Zone, Senator Gemade ultimately began the task to resuscitation and educational renaissance . He foremostly and fervently muscled out the grand vision of lobby for a Federal Polytechnic to be sited in his zone. The trickle down impact of such a resounding project can only be positively imagined than completely expressed, especially in the areas of employment generation, moral enrichment and economic buoyance.
Equally acknowledged with a crisp zeal for expanding the frontiers of knowledge, the Senator had earlier unveiled a 100 capacity female hostel block for the University of Mkar-Gboko, Central Nigeria. Other efforts in education includes, building of computer laboratories for 15 community secondary schools and roundly stocking same with state- of- the- art ICT equipment. In addition to several classroom blocks built for primary and post primary schools  across the constituency and  with a sustained scholarship scheme in place where more than 500 students of various tertiary institutions have been beneficiaries, while several others keep benefitting from this benign  personality’s  sheer act of benevolence  to meet up with daily health and other sundry demands.
Health care delivery featured prominently too, as he practicalized his altruistic steps when he supplied various state-of- the –art medical equipment to each of the seven General hospitals in the Senatorial zone; facilities which had earlier were getting moribund and becoming a dearth of its self.
Fundamentally too, roads network which had been synonymous to the Senator’s primary agenda greatly equally featured on his selfless position for the people. On the 4th of March 2014, he had led the then Honorable Minister of Works, Arch. Mike Onolememen to flag off various roads contruction like the Manyam-Ushongo-Lessel-Lobi, Kartyo-Agberagba-Oju-Agila roads as well as the rehabilitation of the Vandeikya-Tsar-Obudu road, the rehabilitation of the Katsina-Ala-Tor Donga-Tarkum road, all projects to have been lobbied into the 2014 budget.
 As early as the 1990s, the Tiv Area Traditional Council had recognized Senator Dr BAI Gemade’s very vast yet selfless contributions to motherland. As a mark of honor, he was vested with the traditional title of Nom I Yange U Tiv literally translated as the Rising Sun Of Tiv Nation ; an honour that has come with it s attendant responsibility for the continued development of Tiv land.
Senator Chief (Dr) Engr Barnabas Andyar Iyorher Gemade, OFR, Is the Senate committee Chairman on Housing . He had earlier served as Committee Chairman for National Planning in the 7th Senate where he proved to naysayers that indeed he possessed the wherewithal as a consummate leader to reckon with.  Over the years he had weathered  undue criticism with an uncanny bravery,  exemplary calmness, an admirable courage and impressive public score card and sterling personality to swallow and make a mince of undue needless and  columnous   politics of  distraction usually architectured by a lame segment of  political opponents who in their feeble attempts to cow this bold political idol usually fall flat on their intent.
Distinguished Senator(Dr) Chief BAI Gemade’s public conducts over the decades have witnessed such a cherubic simplistic, productive and sheer magnanimity of a leader with unique qualities and magnitude of visible prints roundly resonating at every instance of public discourse.
AKOSU EMMANUEL LUBEM
WROTE FROM ADIKPO, BENUE NORTH –EAST SENATORIAL DISTRICT
07038578549, E-MAIL akosumela@gmail.com

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