One day after returning back to his state after a 10-month medical sojourn, the Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai is said to have already written to the Taraba State House of Assembly, informing them of his desire to resume work.
According to the American-based Nigerian online news portal, Sahara Reporters, the letter was received on Monday by the Speaker of the House, Haruna Tsokwa.
However, they did not disclosed the exact date the letter was written and the day the governor intends to resume office.
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, Tsokwa had held a meeting with the Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, in the latter’s office on Monday evening, but declined to speak with journalists on his way out of the office.
Suntai had arrived the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja aboard a chartered flight from the United States where he has been under treatment since he was transferred there from Germany in February this year, from where he proceeded to the Jalingo Airport.
All through, he did not utter a word to the crowd that had gathered to receive him, only managing a smile and a wave at them. He also looked frail and had to be assisted to alight from the plane.
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.
She disclosed how it was 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 12noon 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.”