Suntai: Group Blames Lawmakers, Sambo for Crisis

07 Sep 2013

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Vice President Namadi Sambo

By John Shiklam 

The Southern Kaduna Liberation Movement has accused some members of the Taraba State House of Assembly for deliberately fueling the political crisis in the state for their selfish political interest.

The group also accused Vice President Namadi Sambo and some powerful politicians and religious groups in the north for meddling in the affairs of Taraba State with the aim of achieving their sectional interests.

In a statement Friday in Kaduna, the movement declared that  religious sentiments were being introduced in the crisis by the nine  Muslim members of the house to ensure that the deputy governor who is a Muslim took over by all means.

According to the statement signed by the President of the movement, Mr. Charles Bijimi and the Secretary, Mr. David Jonathan, since the return of Governor Danbaba Suntai from medical treatment in the United States, some cabal within the house had been working hard to give the world the impression that the governor was no longer fit to govern Taraba State.

The group challenged the House to stop playing primitive politics and follow the constitutional provision in resolving the crisis instead of adopting unconstitutional and illegal approach to the issues.

The statement noted that “Members of the Taraba State House of Assembly have not constituted a Medical Board to examine Governor Suntai, yet they gratuitously declared him medically unfit” and asked them to produce scientific evidence that Suntai was not fit to assume duties.

“This is purely immoral politics of power mongering. Everyone seems to forget that Mr. Suntai won the Governorship election in 2011 and that Alhaji Garba Umar, the Deputy Governor was not even his running mate.

“The tragedy is that Governor Suntai had an aircraft accident, and we are not even thankful to God that the man survived it. In fact, the Deputy Governor and the clique supporting him appear to be unhappy with God for the progress and level of recovery that the Governor has reached”, they said

The statement which described the lawmakers as “greedy and crass opportunists” accused them for throwing decency to the winds and using the governor’s misfortune to bury him.

The statement accused Vice President Namadi Sambo and some powerful politicians and religious groups in the north for meddling in the affairs of Taraba state with the aim of installing a Muslim governor.

“The question we are forced to ask is: What have Imams got to do with the political crisis in Taraba State that they are running commentaries on it? That is why only the nine Muslims members of the 24 member Taraba State House of Assembly clandestinely went to the House very early in the morning of Monday, September 2, 2013, to pass a resolution in support of Alhaji Garba Umar to continue as Acting Governor. They did this in the absence of the Speaker of the House and 15 members of the House that are Christians. They then falsely informed the public, that it was a “resolution” of the entire House.

“These are the clearest indications that religious considerations are dictating the actions of those bent on pushing out Governor Danbaba Suntai, using the excuse of his ill health.

“It is also very disturbing that Alhaji Garba Umar, the Deputy Governor, now spends more time in Abuja than in Taraba State. The excuse is that Alhaji Garba Umar is always in Abuja to consult with the Vice President, Alhaji Mohammed Namadi Sambo.

“These devious ‘consultations’ are at the root of the now clearly religiously inspired crisis in Taraba State. It is now quite obvious that Vice President Namadi Sambo, is very central in fueling the crisis that is now tearing Taraba State asunder.

“This is very unfortunate because the Vice President claims to be the political leader of the north. What kind of “leadership” is Arc. Namadi Sambo displaying by instigating and fueling the crisis in Taraba State? Is this part of the agenda to remove all Christian governors from office in Northern Nigeria before the 2015 elections?” the statement said.

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