Barnabas Andyar Iyorhyer Gemade is a former Senator, who represented the Benue North-East Senatorial District between 2011 and 2019. He was once the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party. Gemade is an engineer by profession.
He was born on 4th September 1948, in Mkar, Benue State to Chief Gabriel Iyorhyer Gemade and Mama Mbatuhan Gemade. He hails from Konshisha local government, Benue State. Gemade is a chief from the Tiv ethnic group, holding the traditional title, Nom-I-Yange-I-Tiv (The Rising Sun of Tiv). He is married to Victoria Mnguenyi Nenger and together they have three sons and a daughter. Gemade’s interests include lawn tennis, country music, basketball, photography, soccer and squash. He is a devout Christian; a member of the Universal Reformed Christian Church
|1.||First leaving School Certificate||Bristow Secondary School Gboko||1963|
|2||WASC||Government College Keffi||1970|
|3..||B.ENG||Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria||1974|
|4.||M.Sc||City University London||1978|
|Benue Cement Company, Benue State||Chief Executive Officer||1987-1992|
|Benue Cement Company, Benue State||Deputy Managing Director||1985-1987|
|Sam Barns and Partners, Jos, Plateau State||Co-founder||1980-1985|
|Carl Ploetner Ltd. (Nigerian Office)||Senior Manager/Site Manager||1979-1980|
|Etteh Aro & Partners, Kaduna State||Senior Manager||1978-1979|
|Etteh Aro & Partners, Jos, Plateau State||Senior Manager||1975-1977|
|Western Nigeria Housing Corporation, Ibadan, Oyo||Graduate Intern (National Youth Service Corps Member)||1975|
Mkar, Benue State
4 September 1948
All Progressives Congress (APC)
National Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (1999-2001)
Senator, Representing Benue North-East Senatorial District
Gemade’s political journey began with him being a member of the 1994-1995 constitutional conference during the military rule of General Sani Abacha. He simultaneously served as the Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Housing, and the National Chairman of the Congress of National Consensus party (CNCP) – one of the parties sponsored by Abacha.
Following the death of Abacha in 1998, and the return of democracy in 1999, Gemade was elected the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party during the party’s first National Convention in April 1999. He succeeded Solomon Lar, the first Chairman of the party. However, in the 2001 convention, he lost the chairmanship position to Chief Audu Ogbeh.
In the 2003 PDP presidential primaries, Gemade contested but lost to Olusegun Obasanjo. In April 2003, Gemade was also expelled from the political party due to his support for the United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP) Benue State gubernatorial candidate, rather than the PDP candidate, George Akume. He was later re-admitted to the party and became a member of the Board of Trustees.
In the April 2011 elections, Gemade contested for the senatorial seat representing Benue North-East Senatorial District, thereby pitting himself against his former ally, Joseph Akaagerger. Gemade emerged the winner of the elections, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party.
Gemade ran for the senatorial seat again in 2015, but this time, on the platform of All Progressives Congress. He was declared the winner of the elections. He served as the Chairman of, the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
In July 2018, Gemade defected back to PDP, in hopes of securing a candidacy ticket for the 2019 general elections. However, the ticket was given to Gabriel Suswam. Thus, in September 2018, Gemade defected once again to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to increase his chances of getting a running ticket for the senatorial seat. Although Gemade emerged as the running candidate of SDP, he lost the elections to Gabriel Suswam of PDP. Following this loss, in 2020, Gemade defected back to All Progressives Congress.
Awards & Honours
- 2002 Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Agriculture, Makurdi
- 1996 Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Calabar
- 1993 National Productivity Merit Award
- 1990 Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Science & Technology,
- Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations
- Distinguished Merit Award conferred by Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
- Nigerian National Honour of the Order of the Federal Republic
- Provision of modern health equipment in various general hospitals across 7 local governments in Benue North-East
- Portable water channels (motorised bore holes) across his senatorial district
- Installation of standard computer setsat various post primary school, mostly for utilisation by the vulnerable (deaf and dumb) children
- Provision of street solar powered lights across the North-East constituency
- Establishment of a scholarship scheme for vulnerable segments in the tertiary education level
- Provision of 500 KVA transformers in rural communities to boost the spread of electricity in Benue North-East
- Construction of several rural road networks, including the rehabilitation of the Ihugh-Korinya road, Lessel-TseAgberagba road and the Ihugh-Uka roads
- Donation of empowerment items: trailers, fertilisers, vulcanizing machines, generators, motorcycles, buses, SUVs, etc.