The Acting Governor of Taraba State, Garba Umar, has said that a cabal surrounding the ailing Governor Danbaba Suntai, is holding him hostage in their bid to hold onto power to the detriment of his health.
Danbaba, who returned to the country from overseas treatment last Saturday, is still holed up in Abuja, more than 48 hours after he is expected to resume duties.
Umar, who spoke through his Special Assistant, Media, Aaron Artimas, said that the cabal was also thinking and acting for the ailing governor because he was not capable of doing so himself.
He decried a situation where a clique had decided to hold the ailing governor in perpetual hostage and made all the decisions for him because they wanted to perpetuate themselves in power.
Artimas said that the cabal was also shielding Danbaba from everybody because the acting governor was prevented from welcoming the ailing governor at the airport.
However a group, Tarabans United for Suntai, said that Umar was prevented from seeing the ailing governor because he (Umar) had been sponsoring all sort of falsehood and half truths in the media against his boss.
However, Artimas said that despite all the antics of the Suntai loyalists, the state government had continued to foot Suntai’s medical bills as well as taking care of his family and would not shirk from that responsibility.
“Suntai returned from treatment abroad and he is still in Abuja because these people are the ones thinking for him. It is those who want power that are looking up to him as the solution to their immediate problem.
“The truth must be told one day because no matter how long they continued to hold him and shield him from the people of Taraba State, they are still answerable to Tarabans, who elected him.
“The government, which he heads, has been supporting him financially, materially and morally. All mortals are susceptible to falling sick at any time, including death and the people around Danbaba should allow him to recover fully and he needs all the rests to do that.”
He added that “The government has continued to foot his medical bills 100 per cent and take care of his family 100 per cent. Whatever they tried to do will not stand the test of time because you cannot continue to hide the truth.
“We cannot shy away from our responsibility to Danbaba as the duly elected governor of Taraba State. After being governor, Danbaba still has a long time to live and they should just allow him to live life to the fullest.”
But the pro-Suntai group, in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Ezekiel Gambo, said that since Suntai’s ailment, the acting governor had spent huge funds on a relentless media campaign against his benefactor; from photo cropping to outright falsehoods.
“Right now, a rattled Umar, who sees power slipping from his quivering hands, is getting desperate sponsoring all sorts of attack against the governor. He has for instance, said he was blocked from seeing his boss at the airport and that this could only mean that the governor is not medically fit.
“But the truth is that he couldn’t see his boss on the grounds of principles. The handlers of Suntai rightly reasoned that for a deputy who just last Wednesday mandated the speaker to start the impeachment process on his boss, coming to the airport to receive or welcome that same person smacks of dishonesty. Was Umar there to ascertain if he was justified in branding his boss a vegetable? Or was he there to cause confusion?
“Are friends and family members not right to be wary of a man who thinks and speaks only negatively of their benefactor? And even if it is true that his boss was indeed incapacitated, should Umar, a man Suntai never offended, go after him so ferociously?”