By Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
Concerned Indigenes of Taraba State, a political pressure group, has threatened to mobilise several segments of the state’s public to embark on a mass but peaceful protest if within seven days, the Executive Council of the state does communicate to the State House of Assembly mandating it to constitute a five man medical panel as provided in section 189 of the 1999 constitution, as amended, to go to Germany with a view to ascertaining whether Governor Suntai is incapacitated or not.
The group explained that controversy trailing the recently published pictures of Governor Danbaba Suntai, has given more cause to worry.
Addressing a press conference at the Press Centre in Jalingo yesterday, Chairman of the group, Alhaji Adamu Babatatu told journalists that the composition of the panel has become highly imperative in order to verify the true position of the health of the governor who has been receiving medical treatment in Germany since October 27, 2012, two days after surviving a plane crash which occurred few kilometres from Yola, Adamawa State.
The group noted that the various contradictory information in the public domain on the governor’s health remained a source of worry and concern to it stressing that the group would have no option but to mobilise civil servants, market women, National Union of Road Transport Workers and School children to embark on a peaceful protest to compel the Executive Council to do what is right in the overall interest of the state if it fails to act within the ultimatum.
“In the light of the above, we are giving the state Executive Council one week, beginning from today, 20th day of January, 2013 to communicate to the state House of Assembly to constitute a five-man medical panel as provided by section 189 of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended to go to Germany to verify the true position of the health of the Governor with a view to ascertaining whether or not the Governor is incapacitated.”
Expressing its preparedness to compel the Executive Council to carry out the mandate, the group stated: “We want to place on record that as law abiding citizens, we may have no option than to mobilise the civil servants, market women, National Union of Road Transport Workers, school children and indeed the entire good people of the state to embark on a peaceful protest to compel the state Executive Council to do what is right in the overall interest of our dear state should they fail to communicate the lawmakers at the expiration of the one week ultimatum.”
The group noted that it has been suggested that Suntai sustained injuries in the head which resulted in brain damage as well as sustaining a spinal cord injury stressing that as a result, the governor suffered impaired memory and could not recognize members of Presidential delegation that visited him at the hospital in Germany.
The group further disclosed that members of the delegation were shocked to see Suntai in a vegetative state insisting that his condition was so bad that they could not make a statement or official pronouncement after returning to Nigeria.
The group, however, expressed displeasure over what it described the scandalous attempts by a cabal which it says consists of the government officials and the state PDP Chairman to blatantly refute reports by the media on the true state of Suntai’s health by saying the governor has recovered and has been making phone calls including informing the people of the state that he would be be back in the country before Christmas as well misleading people that he would return by January 15, all of which the group noted were to no avail.
Meanwhile, speaking to THISDAY in a telephone interview yesterday, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Emmanuel Bello said members of the group are yet to recover from the shock of Suntai’s survival and are yet to come to terms with it, adding that it is very unfortunate that they are still living in fallacy.
“The group, without any prejudice has demonstrated that it is yet to recover from the shock of hearing that the governor survived and that is why its members are concocting all sorts of stories. It is unfortunate that they are still living in fallacy and it is obvious that they would continue living in fallacy because even if the governor returns to the country today hale and hearty as he’s been for sometime now, they’ll still invent a story either that a machine has been installed in his brain or back or that he’s a computer or scientific creation, I pity them.”