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TARABA STATE, SUNTAI AND HEALTH POLITICS

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In far away Taraba state, something miraculous is happening. It is as if a prophet of God had been sent there to perform miracles to astound the people. But if it were to be a prophet sent from above, one would not be surprised at whatever such prophet sends forth, for miracles ordinarily are meant to convince even the stone hearted man into believing in God. The word miracle, however, should be an understatement, most especially as it has to do with the political drama and theatrical events unfolding in Taraba state.

Since the air mishap, few days ago, which almost consumed the life of the Taraba state governor, Danbaba Suntai and few others, the people of the state and curious Nigerians like this writer have had to contend with series of lies, coverups and deceit from the political elites all in the name of perpetrating themselves in power and further denigrating the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

As a Nigerian, it is unbelievable that the political class have refused to learn from history and therefore, allowed history to repeat itself. There is nothing wrong when history repeats itself, what is however wrong is to allow those horrendous and unfortunate events of the historical past run its cycle again. Such is what is happening in Taraba state.

Not many would forget in a hurry the political imbroglio that engulfed the political scene few years back, nearly tearing the country apart. There was a president who was incapacitated and could not even speak, yet some few elements in Aso Rock did all in their capacity to tell shocking Nigerians that an incapacitated man could rule from anywhere. They went as far as using a popular foreign media to get the president to talk in order to allay the fears of Nigerians even when the government owned media houses could have done such. They held Aso Rock with a heavy hand and refused to allow the Vice-President serve even in acting capacity. It would only take pressures from civil society groups and the vast majority of the people before common sense eventually prevailed.

One would have thought such unfortunate event in the history of the country would have been settled once and for all, not until the wife of the president, the latter who had once fallen victim of the cabal in Aso Rock, also disappeared without trace and for any cogent reason. Speculations were rife that Dame Jonathan was diagnosed of a million and one ailment when infact nothing of such was wrong with her. Her return at the nick of time quickly doused whatever speculation Nigerians and the media had earlier about her.

Many were still trying to get over the Dame Jonathan health razzmatazz, when the same trend of playing politics with issues relating to the health of the political class suddenly evolved right in far away Germany when few days back, photos of the recuperating governor of Taraba state, Danbaba Suntai were released to the media. In one of the photos, Mr Suntai was shown carrying one his twin babies, flanked by his wife and the other of the twin babies as well as a family friend.

The pictures depicted Mr Suntai sitting on a special support chair, holding one of his twin babies and showing no emotion. The pictures were intended to be clear to the eyes of those intended to see them, convincing them that all was well with the governor. Despite the pictorial politics whoever was behind sending the pictures to the media wanted to play to blind the masses, it certainly failed to assuage the fears of the people, for no matter how long one hides a dead body, the stench will sooner expose it.

Mr Suntai betrayed all emotions in the pictures simply because he was shown only smiling yet visibly lost in alertness. An alert governor who truely was recuperating would have insisted his photographers snapped him while hugging his wife, dancing and playing around with his friends and kids or even waving to the public. Rather, the picture showed Mr Suntai as one who did not understand what was happening around him and looked dribble. It is quite unfortunate that those who posted the picture failed to realise that pictures do not lie and if truely those where the faces of Mr Suntai, then something urgent must be done to make him recuperate in peace rather than forcing the poor man believed to be brain dead on the people of Taraba.

No matter what the Commisioner for Information, Mr Emmanuel Bello wants to have the people of the state believe, he and his ilk must understand that lying before their own people will not solve the already tensed situation in the state. The true nature and health status of the governor must be stated and known. In a situation of this nature where confusion in the political equation of the state is rearing its ugly head and especially when ethnic and religious schemes play a dominant role in the political sustainability in the state, common sense must begin to prevail.

Simply because we do not want another Northern state whose history has always been rife with peace and tranquility to suddenly go on fire, because we do not want soldiers to occupy once again, like some Northern states, a once peaceful turned troubled state caused by the actions of politicians, and because we do not want religious and ethnic bigots to over run the state just like they had done with Jos, all those who hold Taraba state dear in their hearts must ensure that those few who are bent on subverting the rule of law are quickly replaced. Taraba state must not stand on the wrong side of history for its destiny is in the hands of both the politicians and its people.

Written By Omo Omoluabi
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