Benue APC suspends Gemade, Shija, others, for anti-party activities


The Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has suspended Barnabas Gemade, Terhemba Shija and some ward officials in the state for allegedly working against the the party during the 2023 general elections.

Uba Group

Gemade and Shija were governorship aspirants in the last primary election of the APC in which Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia emerged as governorship candidate of the party for the 2023 election.

The APC also suspended ward officials from two council wards in Konshisha LGA and one council ward in Obi LGA of the state.

The two governorship aspirants were suspended following a resolution reached at an expanded meeting of the party, tagged “Critical Expanded Exco meeting” held at the State APC secretariat, Makurdi on Wednesday.

Speaking at the occasion, the state party Chairman, Austin Agada, observed that activities of the duo during the just concluded governorship election were against the interest of the APC.

Agada, who also noted that Gemade and Shija also lost their various polling stations, said that apart from taking the party to court, the two aspirants also worked to ensure that the APC lost at the polls.

Agada observed that “Gemade lost his polling unit, ward and LGA to the opposition, while Shija dragged the party and its governorship candidate (Alia) to the apex court and also colluded with People’s Democratic Party against the APC.”

The APC chairman further alleged that Shija was still in court and was working hand in hand with the PDP to have Alia’s victory at the last general election quashed at the tribunal.

“Chief Barnabas Gemade refused to go with the Constitution of the party. That he lost his ward and the entire Konshisha local government area is most appalling, whereas Hon. Shija frustrated the party and worked in connivance with the PDP,” he said.

There on the floor of the congress, Agada asked whether Gemade and Shija should be suspended or not, to which they answered in the affirmative.

The APC chairman therefore declared that, “Gemade and Shija are suspended and thereby, referred to the party’s fact-finding committee to advance reasons why they should not be expelled from the party.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of APC in Konshisha Matthew Mark, passed a vote of confidence in the state party chairman, Austin Agada for leading the APC to victory and for his humane disposition and hard work.

Reacting to the suspension, Terhemba Shija said “nobody has notified me that I have committed an offence or ordered me to appear before a committee. So, I’m confused.”

He described the meeting and its outcome as a function of poverty, adding that some persons were threatened by their presence in the party.

Shija said, “Frankly, I think that everything that is happening is a function of poverty. When you have a poverty stricken environment where very few people are in charge, they feel scared when other people are coming in.

“These same victims of poverty are the ones orchestrating this but somebody will be considered for a position and that will not be too good for them.”

“Even if they say I have committed an offence, the only civilized thing is to confront me with that offence and let me defend myself. You don’t go through the back door because there is an exco that has been put in place by whatever source. I will wait till I see the statements then I will know how to respond,” Shija said.

Gemade could not be reached for comments on the suspension.