Loyalists may fly Taraba governor, Suntai back this month

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Despite the fact that there are no assurances of his recovery, loyalists of Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai who has been away from the country since plane crash eight months ago are planning to fly him back to the country.

This information leaked yesterday that the plan to fly Suntai back from Germany where he is currently under medical care is a move to forestall his removal.

A top member of the PDP said, “Those that are loyal to Suntai have perfected plans to bring him back. They started the move after the state executive council and House of Assembly were asked to apply Section 189.

“With the application of Section 189 and the support of the ruling party, Suntai would be removed. He has been on a sick bed for eight months.”

This comes just as a group, Taraba Justice Forum, on Saturday, asked the acting Governor, Garba Umar, to produce a medical report of the governor.

TJF, in the statement by its General Secretary, Abulus John, said the acting governor should produce a medical report to justify his claim that the governor was in good health.

It said the public deserved to know the true state of the governor because public funds were being expended on him.

Suntai was flown to Germany for treatment in October last year, after he was involved in a plane crash in Yola, Adamawa State.

Last week, some groups mounted pressure on the state executive and the House of Assembly to apply Section 189 of the Constitution.

The application of the section would examine the medical status of the governor and to determine if he is fit to continue in office, which may lead to his removal and inauguration of Umar as the substantive governor of the state.

The ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, which also controls the state, also set up a panel to look into Suntai’s case.

But some people in the state obtained a court order to stop the panel from sitting.

When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisah Metuh, confirmed that the party had received a court order stopping its panel from sitting.

He said the party hoped that the order would soon be lifted so that party would do what the constitution expects.

Metuh added, “A situation where you stop an enquiry or finding on what is happening is anti-democratic. We hope that at the end of the day, things are done properly for the progress of Taraba.”

The current political crisis caused by Suntai’s health condition is reminiscent of that of late President Umaru Yar’adua who went on treatment in Saudi Arabia in November 2009, and whose condition was kept secret while his close associates tried to control power, keeping in Nigeria at a standstill until the National Assembly moved in, invoking a ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ to swear in then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan as the Acting President.

Yar’adua later passed away on the 5th of May, 2010 in still controversial circumstances.

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