Group Accuses Taraba Deputy Governor Of Plotting To Place Suntai Under House Arrest


SAN FRANCISCO, January 17, (THEWILL) -   A group, the Taraba People's Vanguard, weekend raised the alarm over what it described as the plot by the Taraba State deputy governor, Garba Umar, to place the ailing governor of the state, Danbaba Suntai, on house arrest.

In a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Jonah Gani and the Interim Secretary, Shawalu Garba, the group alleged that the deputy governor had perfected plans to transfer all security details of Suntai out of the Government House and implement other sinister plans in order to execute his 'coup'.

The group however warned that it would not sit and watch the deputy governor carry out the plan, saying Governor Suntai would soon be medically fit to assume his position.

'On 14th January while Muslims were busy celebrating the Eid - el-Maulad holiday, Deputy Governor Garba Umar of Taraba State convened a State Security Council meeting where he read out the following riot acts:  That all the security of Governor Danbaba Suntai be transferred out of Government House Jalingo;  That henceforth all visitors to Governor Danbaba Suntai must be approved by him, the Commissioner of Police or the governor's younger brother, Babangida; That henceforth, apart from Sunday Church services, he must approve the governor's movement within and outside the state; That henceforth, all flights that would land at the Jalingo airport must first take and obtain clearance for landing from him,' the statement said.

The group further alleged that  'Already, a letter to implement this directive has been written and forwarded to the Airport Controller by Garvey Yawe, the Secretary to the State Government  appointed by the  Deputy Governor.

'That the SSG and Chief of Staff appointed by Gov.
Suntai on his return from America have been banned from entering the Government House Jalingo,' adding 'We reliably gathered that Alhaji Garba Umar was frustrated that last weekend, Gov.

Danbaba Suntai was taken to an unknown destination in Abuja and placed in a private guest house instead of the Governor's Lodge.

' The statement said: 'However, when we visited the Governor's Lodge, we discovered that the place is not good for habitation as even the Deputy Governor normally stays in hotels whenever he is in Abuja for official functions.

'Our further investigation revealed that the deputy governor was obviously frustrated because he did not know the mission or purpose of Governor Suntai's visit to Abuja which further infuriated him.

'Despite numerous media propaganda sponsored by Umar that the governor went to Aso Rock and was rebuffed, unknown to the Deputy Governor, Governor Suntai went on a private medical visit to his consultants and to consult with prominent Taraba indigenes on the current developments in the state.

'This Vanguard was reliably informed that the frustration of Alhaji Garba Umar with Lieutenant General TY Danjuma is over the General's refusal to recognise him as the acting governor but as Deputy Governor of Taraba State.

'Some of members of the Security Council who were in attendance at the meeting disclosed that the Deputy Governor did not find the meeting gratifying as his expectations were dashed.

'A member of the Security Council meeting told us that the first hindrance to his mission met a brick wall when the Taraba State Police Commissioner, who is a lawyer, observed in the meeting that the Deputy Governor has no such powers to make such sweeping commandment since Pharmacist Danbaba Danfulani Suntai is still recognised by law as the governor of the state and he (Suntai) is still vested with powers to appoint personal aides or political appointees.

'We also gathered that the Deputy Governor Garba Umar was further bluntly told that the restriction at the airport was outside the concurrent legislative list of the state and as such, narrowing the accessibility to the airport by air operators would negate the economic viability of the airport to the people of Taraba State even at a time when the resources of our dear state was getting leaner by the day.

'In another swift move to send Governor Suntai out of the state so as to pave way for Alhaji Garba Umar to realise his selfish ambition of snatching the mandate freely given to Danbaba Danfulani Suntai by the people of Taraba, the suggestion by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice appointed by Umar that Suntai be shifted out of Nigeria back to hospital in America was vehemently opposed as it did not receive the blessing of most members of the Security Council.

'To us as members of the Taraba People's Vanguard, it is now very obvious that Deputy Governor Garba Umar has something sinister off his sleeve concerning the wellbeing of Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai.

'We therefore wish to warn very sternly that should anything untoward happen to our governor, Garba Umar should know that he shall suffer the same fate.

Enough is Enough! 'We however wish to highly commend the Taraba State Police Commissioner and the other patriotic members of the State Security Council for their forthrightness, sense of justice and fairness in staking their necks out to speak the truth under the unfavourable circumstances they have found themselves.

'By the special grace of God, Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai will soon be completely sound to take over his job as the peoples' governor that he is and all this lie shall cease.