|Governor of Benue State|
29 May 2007 - 29 May 2015
|Preceded by||George Akume|
|Succeeded by||Samuel Ortom|
|Born||15 November 1964
Anyiin, Logo LGA of Benue State
In 2015, Gabriel Torwua Suswam's senatorial and political ambitions were squashed by Chief Barnabas Gemade when Suswam unsuccessfully ran for the senate in the March 28 federal elections. His failure to secure a seat at the red chambers of Nigeria's National Assembly was related to his poor performance as executive governor of Benue State during his eight years tenure. Suswam's political crush led to his fleeing the country to some undisclosed destination in Europe or North America where he is currently taking refuge. His successor Dr. Samuel Ortom said the Suswam-led government mismanaged state treasury, leaving an empty coffers with a whooping N90 billion naira debt profile. During Suswam's administration, the state witnessed very poor management of public infrastructure, leading to an outright decay and abandon. State civil servants were not paid salaries for six months while at some time, state primary schools were shut down for one year following strike action by unpaid teachers.
His party - the People's Democratic Party (PDP) also failed woefully at both state and national levels due to bad governance, corruption and insecurity. Accordingly, Gabriel Suswam is the most corrupt public leader Benue state ever produced. The people of the state could not initiate legal actions against him while in office because the Nigerian constitution does not allow prosecution of public office holders, especially governors and presidents. This explains while he took to self exile at the expiration of his tenure as Executive Governor of Benue. The self-declared exile former governor of Benue who was a "big" political player is now referred to as "Yesterday's Emperor, Today's Fugitive" following his inability to face his political opponents after his state immunity had expired.
Gabriel Suswam was born on 15 November 1964 in Anyiin, Logo Local Government Area of Benue State. In 1986 he was admitted into the Law Faculty of the University of Lagos. He obtained an LL.B degree in 1989, and the BL Certificate from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos in 1990. He was called to the Bar that year. He worked for other law firms from 1990–1994, while continuing his studies. In 1994 he launched his own law firm.
He ran for office in the House of Representatives in 1999 for the Katsina-Ala/Ukum/Logo Federal Constituency, and was elected on the People's Democratic Party (PDP) platform. He was appointed Chairman of the House Services Committee, and later Chairman, House Committee on FCT. He ran again, and was reelected in 2003. On 3 July 2003, he was appointed Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, then in August, 2005 he was appointed Chairman, House Committee on Power.
In April 2007 he was elected Governor of Benue State.
In November 2009, he spoke in favor of automatic re-election of all political office holders who exemplified themselves in the discharge of their responsibilities. In a separate interview, he said politicking was the major factor militating against the development of the state since its creation.
Suswam ran again in the 26 April 2011 elections on the PDP platform. He scored 590,776 votes, beating runner-up Professor Torkuma Ugba of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who got 499,319 votes.
- "Hon. Gabriel Suswam". Gabriel Suswam. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
- Uja Emmanuel (29 April 2011). "ACN kicks as Suswam wins". The Nation. Retrieved 2011-04-29.
- "GOVERNOR GABRIEL SUSWAM OF BENUE STATE". Nigeria Governors' Forum. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
- "Governor Gabriel Suswam at 43". Government of Benue State of Nigeria. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
- Peter Duru (12 November 2009). "Suswam wants automatic re-election for political office holders". Vanguard. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
- Augustine Adah (22 November 2009). "The Formula That Has Worked for Benue". NewsWatch. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
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