Suntai Writes Assembly, Seeks To Resume Duty


RECUPERATING Governor Danbaba Suntai may have sent a letter to the Taraba State House of Assembly  seeking to resume  work.

The letter, according to a United States- based Nigerian online news portal, SaharaReporters, was  on Monday  received by the Speaker of the House of Assembly,Haruna Tsokwa.


The portal did not say exactly when the letter was written and the day the governor, who arrived in the country from the US after a 10-month medical sojourn, hoped to commence duties.

But it quoted sources close to the Assembly as saying that Suntai, in the letter, claimed to have fully recovered from the injuries he sustained when a small aircraft he piloted  crashed on  October 25,  2012.

The agency added that the Assembly might on Tuesday(today) hold plenary on the governor’s return. A source  hinted that  he might be  invited   to address the lawmakers  on the state of his health and plans to resume work.

The Speaker of the assembly, Haruna Tsokwa,met with the Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar,  in the latter’s office on Monday  evening.

Tsokwa declined to  speak with  reporters on his way out of the office.

Suntai, on arrival at the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja,  looked frail and was aided to alight from the chartered aircraft that flew him.

From the NAIA  to the Jalingo Airport, he did not utter a word to the crowd that had gathered to welcome him. He only managed to wave  and smile at them.

But Suntai played host to his  Adamawa State counterpart, Murtala Nyako, who shed tears after  praying  for  him  to fully recover.

The two governors sat in one chair in the inner office of the Governor’s office  with Suntai wearing an ash-coloured suit with a blue-black shirt  and Nyako  decked in a white agbada and a black  cap to match.

Suntai, who bowed down while Nyako’s prayer lasted, kept saying “amen” in low voice. He clapped and put up a smile when Nyako ended  his prayer.

At this point,  tears rolled down the Adamawa State governor’s cheeks. He then held Suntai in a firm handshake and then proceeded  to have  a brief discussion  with Suntai’s wife, Hauwa.

He described Suntai as his brother and not just a colleague.

“What affects him affects me too. I pray he recovers speedily so that he can continue  where he stopped,”  Nyako said.

Hauwa, who thanked Nyako for the visit, narrated how he  had been helpful since the  accident.

According to her,  Nyako was the one who helped to convey Suntai to the hospital in Yola and   to Abuja the following day.

Nyako, who left the Government House around 12pm on Monday,told  journalists that he had a lot of things in common with Suntai.

He said, “You saw me shedding tears of joy.I am very happy. I can now go back to my state (Adamawa) and tell my people.

“I wish him (Suntai) a very quick recovery. Governor Suntai and I have a lot of struggles and grounds to cover. When he recovers, we shall ensure that justice prevails and democracy develops in our states.”

Suntai, who appeared better than he was  on Sunday,  walked unaided, but did not address the journalists who had gathered for a speculated press conference by him.

The Acting governor, Alhaji Umar, also told journalists that he was happy that  his boss   was back.

He  urged the people of the state to “sustain the unity and cooperation” and commended journalists’ efforts in covering the governor’s  arrival.

Umar said, “I am very happy for the successful homecoming of my boss.I appreciate the unity, cooperation and the way everyone turned out. I want to urge Taraba people to sustain this unity and cooperation.”

Meanwhile, the Public Interest Lawyers League has threatened to go to court, if within seven days, the Taraba State Executive Council and the state House of Assembly fail to declare Suntai unfit to continue to govern the state.

The group, in a statement by its President, Mr. Abdul Mahmud,  on Monday  said the failure of the governor to address the press since his arrival was “indicative  of a more serious medical case”.

PILL also demanded that, within the seven days , a medical panel should  be appointed in accordance with Section 189 (4) of the 1999  Constitution to investigate the true medical state of the governor.

Section 198(4) of the Constitution states, “The medical panel to which this section relates shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Assembly of the State, and shall comprise five medical practitioners in Nigeria.”

Source: Punch



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