Published On: Thu, Aug 29th, 2013

Taraba Lawmakers Stop Gov. Suntai from Resuming Duties, Ask Him to Return to Hospital

Danbaba Suntai

LAGOS AUGUST 29TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Haruna Tsokwa, has announced that the lawmakers have decided to ask Governor Danbaba Suntai to go back to the United States to continue his treatment.

The lawmakers asked the governor to return to the U.S. to continue his rehabilitation programme and only come back to run his office when he is fully fit.
Mr. Tsokwa, who addressed journalists in Jalingo on Thursday morning, said the decision of members followed their visit to Mr. Suntai on Wednesday night.
He said the lawmakers were convinced Mr. Suntai was unfit to return to office.
The 24 members of the Assembly had on Wednesday evening visited the governor after resolving at their sitting earlier Wednesday to meet with Mr. Suntai to confirm his true state of health before taking any position on his letter stating his intention to resume office.
But the lawmakers declined comments after meeting with Mr. Suntai, saying they would only speak on Thursday.
The lawmakers did not confirm whether or not they were allowed to meet the governor.
Mr. Suntai, who appeared apparently ill during his arrival on Sunday, has made no public appearance or given an address since his arrival, fuelling speculation about the state of his mind and capacity to lead the state.
Critics have accused the governor’s family and associates of attempting to foist a critically ill governor on the state so they can usurp his powers.
“Whereas we sympathize with the Suntais and the entire people of Taraba State over this unfortunate incident and sincerely wish the ailing Governor full recovery, we however condemn unequivocally the attempt by some political vultures within and outside the State who are bent on holding a whole State to ransom and make effective governance once again unrealistic,” a network of civil society groups said on Tuesday.
“These charlatans have desperately kept trying to cling to political power and by extension the resources of Taraba State through series of craftily woven plots of deceits, meant to hoodwink the Nigeria public in a manner similar to the unfortunate Turai-Yar’adua saga.”
Events since Monday appeared to give strength to that concern as the critically ill governor issued an immediate notification to the House of Assembly signaling his preparedness to resume work.
Then, while lawmakers insisted he addressed them before approving his letter, the governor, on Wednesday, announced the dissolution of the cabinet and named a new secretary to the state government.
The governor named the outgoing commissioner for Justice, Timothy Kataps, as the news SSG, and Aminu Jika as the new Chief of Staff.
But the acting governor, Mr. Umar, dismissed the order as null and void, and laid claim to the office hours later.
The declaration heightened the political tension in the state that has endured months of uncertainty as both sides jostled for authority and sought to outplay the other long before Mr. Suntai returned to Nigeria.
A source close to the state Assembly said some members loyal to Mr. Umar had commenced scouting for signatures preparatory for the commencement of impeachment proceedings against the ailing governor.
The source indicated that the impeachment plan had already reached advanced stage with only two more signatures needed to get the required number of members necessary to actualize the plot.
The State Assembly itself had on Tuesday backed Mr. Umar to continue as acting governor until Mr. Suntai was able to appear before the lawmakers to confirm that he is indeed fit to function as governor as indicated in the letter he transmitted to the House.
Source: Premium Times

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