Suntai: Eight Taraba lawmakers condemn PDP panel's position

By The Rainbow

The joy of finding solution to the crisis in Taraba State was short-lived as eight members of the state's House of Assembly have dissociated themselves from the peace talks that brokered peace among the contending interests.

The Hope Uzodinma committee led Peoples Democratic Party Committee on Taraba State crisis had asked asking  the Deputy  Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar,  to continue running the state in acting capacity..

But the eight lawmakers are of the opinion that Uzodinma committee's decision  was  a dangerous precedent capable of foisting 'a strange diarchy' (parallel governments)  on  the  state.

They addressed a press conference in Jalingo on Wednesday.

The the eight lawmakers  led by the Majority Leader of the assembly , Mr. Joseph Kunini, said the committee went beyond its mandate by pronouncing a decision instead of relating first with the national  leadership of the PDP which sent it to the state.

Kunini said, 'Senator Hope Uzodinma, who after the visit said the governor was hale and hearty  was the same person who said that the acting governor should continue in office while taking instructions from the governor on major decisions.

'In effect,  Uzodinma established a strange diarchy on Taraba State and by a funny contraption,  Suntai is now a ceremonial head  while his deputy, Alhaji Garba Umar, should effectively be in charge.

'It is obvious that Uzodinma was not interested in deep-seated solutions, but in a mercantile and narrow arrangement capable of leading to a breakdown of law and order in the state.'

Kunini also contended that  the composition of the committee was not all inclusive as members of the state House of Assembly, except the speaker, Haruna Tsokwa,  who are 'critical stakeholders,' were not part of the meeting.

He added that even members of other parties were  in a panel set up to resolve a PDP matter.

The Majority Leader  said what the panel meant by its pronouncement  was that there should be two governors in a state, a development that is  an aberration and an invitation to anarchy.

The committee, he said,  had no business being in the state in the first instance because a court order had restrained it from interfering in the Taraba State crisis since it was purely a constitutional matter.

Kunini  added, 'Though I was part of the meeting, I went in there as an observer because nobody invited me.  I want to say that what Senator Uzodinma came out to tell journalists after the meeting was not the decision arrived at, at the meeting.

'We are miffed by Senator  Uzodinma's dubious misadventure and his cocktail of contradictions which he clearly displayed yesterday's (Tuesday)  at the end of the visit of the PDP fact-finding committee .

'That Senator  Uzodinma's committee hurriedly contrived 'solutions' to what is purely a constitutional matter is not only poisonous but has left the state in more confusion than it had been in recent times.'

The lawmaker added that what the committee had done was to satisfy the yearning  of the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who had not hidden his agenda and his position on the Taraba State  crisis.

He alleged that  an indication that the committee was out  for  a mischief, was  observed when  Uzodinma  flew on the same aircraft with  Umar   from Abuja to  Jalingo. He  claimed that  on arrival, the senator  held a closed-door meeting with  the acting governor  at the executive lounge of the Jalingo Airport.

The lawmakers added, 'From the executive lounge of the airport, they now went straight to the Executive  Chambers of the Government House to commence business  when they realised that they should have first of all paid a visit to the Executive Governor, Danbaba Suntai.'