Governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai
By Patrick Ugeh
All is now set for the airlift to Germany for further treatment of aides of the governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai, who were critically injured in last Thursday’s plane crash.
They are the governor’s Aide-De-Camp (ADC), Dasat Iliya, his Chief Security Officer (CSO), Timo Dangana, and the Chief Detail, Joel Danladi.
Iliya, who had suffered fractures and was unconscious for sometime, necessitating the delay in his being evacuated alongside the other two from Yola, where they were first hospitalised, was initially due to be evacuated to Germany alone Wednesday but it could not take place for what the spokesman of the National Hospital, Dr. Tayo Haastrup, said was the non-arrival of the air ambulance scheduled to fly him.
However, it was gathered late Wednesday that the personal physician to Suntai, Dr. Ahmed Kara, eventually decided that all the three patients be flown out Thursday.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Emmanuel Bello, who confirmed this in a telephone chat with THISDAY, said the decision was to ensure that the aides received the same quality treatment.
Iliya was said to have stabilised enough for the trip to Germany for additional treatment but up till about 4.30p.m., the air ambulance had not left the European country.
Haastrup had said the National Hospital authorities were ready to evacuate the ADC to Germany but that they did not know when the air ambulance would arrive.
According to him, “as at now, we don’t know when he would be flown out as the air ambulance has not come. It is only when it comes that we can say when he will leave here.”
The conditions of the two other officials involved in the accident, Danladi and Dangana, were said to be relatively less serious.
However, Bello said Wednesday that the delay in the coming of the air ambulance to pick the patients had nothing to do with funding as the state government was ready to bear the costs.
He had told THISDAY on Monday that apart for the ADC, who was in the Intensive Care Unit, the other two aides were generally in good condition and could return to work anytime from now.
“Their level of injuries does not call for serious concern,” he said.
Bello said it was erroneous to infer that the decision to first take Suntai to the National Hospital, Abuja, and subsequently fly him to Germany for expert medical attention was not because the lives of his three aides injured in the same air accident were less important.
When the Cessna 208 plane piloted by Suntai crashed on Thursday, the governor and his aides were taken to the specialist hospital in Yola from where Suntai was flown to the National Hospital on Friday and taken to Germany the following day.
His aides, one of whom was unconscious, on the other hand, were taken to the National Hospital only on Sunday night, fuelling outrage in some quarters that they should have been taken to the National Hospital and possibly flown abroad at the same time.
But, Bello told THISDAY in a telephone chat that the delay in transferring the governor’s aides was because the levels of their injuries were less severe than the state chief executive’s.
He added that they were left in Yola to be stable enough for them to be able to embark on the journey to Abuja, assuring that they got very good medical treatment in Yola.