Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Taraba state is (or used to be) hardly in the news; though she’s had her own share of minimal Boko Haram attacks and flooding- the state remains relatively peaceful in a Northern Nigerian region plagued by violence and insurgency.

In October 2012, the governor of Taraba state-Danbaba Suntai, a certified pilot, crashed his own plane while attempting to land at Yola airport. He and some of his aides were seriously injured. The governor was eventually flown out to Germany for treatment.

This unfortunate incident marked the beginning of uncertainties in Taraba politics.

On August 25th 2013, about ten months after the air crash, Governor Danbaba Suntai returned to Nigeria; his return has generated mixed reactions and more controversies ever since.

I watched video clips of the Governor emerging from his aircraft with a whole bunch of aides trying to straighten him up and assist him in walking down the stairs.
I wondered why they couldn't have employed a better and more dignifying way of evacuating him from the aircraft,maybe a wheelchair,stretcher? Some special wheelchairs can be used on staircases,right? No shame in that. After all, one of the greatest presidents in America’s history Franklin D. Roosevelt did ‘rule’ from his wheelchair after suffering from Polio.

Governor Danbaba Suntai’s political managers are beginning to, once again, throw Nigeria into another embarrassing episode of executive health management-‘Naija style’, similar to what the nation experienced during President Yaradua's last days.

The Governor’s aides have come out to tell us that their principal is “As fit as a fiddle”; as at the time of typing this piece, the returnee Taraba state governor is yet to make any public speech, press conference or appearance, giving credence to the fact that he may have indeed suffered from a degenerative brain injury; thereby making him naturally incapable of continuing as governor. Governor Suntai’s closest handlers ‘probably’ know this already, but why are they subjecting the people of Taraba state and even the Governor himself to a needless political quagmire.

This is probably another case of the puppet master syndrome; where a kitchen cabinet takes over power from an ailing chief executive and presents his ‘living remains’ to the general public as proof of good health. Many image management strings will be pulled throughout the duration of this farce.

The breaking news ***just when I was about completing the write-up*** is that the Governor has just dissolved his entire cabinet. This directive was supposedly issued by the Governor through one of his aides-let me remind us once again that since his return no one has heard the Governor speak, let alone write. 

Why dissolve an entire cabinet? Are these not the same people that held forth for the Governor while he was away on medical leave? Has the deputy governor not performed exemplarily?

In my opinion, I feel Governor Danbaba Suntai still needs many more months or years of constant physical, emotional and psychological therapy. He was probably rushed back to Nigeria by his political hangers-on in order to prevent possible impeachment by the state house of assembly.

My question is, won’t all this political stress further depreciate Governor Suntai's fragile health?

Here's a man that survived a fatal air crash, has God not been faithful to him enough? Shouldn't he rather, spend the latter part of his life at peace with God, getting closer to his beloved family and concentrating on his general health?
If I had the opportunity, I’d like to reach out to Governor Danbaba Suntai’s immediate family members, urging them to encourage whatever is left of their patriarch to step down, come home and REST. They are even in a better position to call their father’s unscrupulous aides to order.

The government, people of Taraba state and indeed Nigeria does not need this type of health-based political controversy, not again.

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