A move by some lawmakers in the Taraba State House of Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against Governor Danbaba Suntai who returned to the state last Sunday after a 10 month medical sojourn abroad was aborted by Suntai’s wife, Hauwa, who broke into tears and begged the 16 lawmakers that were eventually allowed to visit her ailing husband last weekend.
Having made an initial effort to visit Suntai following his dramatic return from the US which was rebuffed by Hauwa, the lawmakers, numbering 16, were said to have started collecting signatories to launch an impeachment process against the ailing governor, a development that got Hauwa worried over the fate of her husband.
The lawmakers were said to have been further angered by the announcement over the dissolution of the state cabinet through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Sylvanus Giwa which was believed to have been at the prompting of the Suntai ‘cabal’ in cahoots with Hauwa. Apparently disturbed by the impeachment threat, Hauwa was said to have ‘opened up’ on her husband’s health status by allowing the legislators to visit Suntai at Government House Jalingo.
A source said that during the visit, the lawmakers were appalled by what they saw of Suntai and questioned Hauwa on the signatory of the letter earlier transmitted to the House on Suntai’s behalf as well as the sacking of the state executive cabinet, including the allegedly stage-managed video of Suntai’s purported broadcast to the people of the state.
Confronted with these, an embattled Hauwa was said to have betrayed emotions and broke down in tears pleading with the legislators to sheath their impeachment sword, a source informed Sunday Trust. Consequently visiting lawmakers retreated to a location in Jalingo where they met and issued a statement advising the ailing governor to return to the US and continue with his medication.
There was, however confusion in as the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Haruna Tsokwa and the Majority Leader, Joseph Albasu, disagreed on who ran the affairs of the state as governor. While Tsokwa said the deputy Governor, Garba Umar, would continue to act as governor until the Assembly deliberated on the letter by the recuperating Suntai seeking to resume duty, Albasu claimed that Suntai had already taken charge as the state’s Chief Executive.
The Majority Leader who spoke with journalists said contrary to Tsokwa’s decision Suntai was given the nod to begin work since he had fulfilled the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. He argued that the constitution did not make it mandatory for a governor to appear before the assembly on the matter in question, adding that it was against the spirit of the constitution for the assembly to debate the letter by Suntai.
But the Speaker Tsokwa said: “Governor Suntai has transmitted a letter to the Assembly, but his deputy, Alhaji Umar, will continue to act, until this assembly deliberates on his letter.” PDP set to intervene: PDP national chairman, Bamanga Tukur said at the weekend that the party would intervene in the crisis saying PDP would resist government by proxy in Taraba State.
At a media chat in Abuja on Friday Bamanga reportedly described the unfolding developments in Taraba state as “politics and intrigues”. “People want areas they could see opportunities; you know politics of interest and intrigues. Having realized the feeble condition which Suntai is they want to take over governance by proxy.”
While chief press secretary to the acting Governor Umar, Kefas Sule confirmed yesterday that the Bamanga led NWC of the PDP was exp0ected in Jalingo after Saturday’s mini convention, former Information Commissioner in Taraba State Immanuel Bello warned the PDP national chairman against taking sides in the crisis.
Bello in a statement made available to Sunday Trust yesterday said: “Tukur should enforce the provision of the Constitution as it relates to the Taraba’s debacle; if he takes sides in the ongoing imbroglio we shall vehemently resist him.”
Source: Daily Trust