It has just been announced that Taraba lawmakers decided to ask Governor Danbaba Suntai to go back to the United States to continue his treatment.
Haruna Tsokwa, the Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, speaking on behalf of the lawmakers asked the governor to return to the U.S. to continue his rehabilitation programme and only come back to run his office when he is fully fit.
The Speaker addressed journalists in Jalingo on the morning of August 29, 2013, Thursday.
This address follows the visit of 24 lawmakers to Mr. Suntai on Wednesday night, and their promise to speak out today.
Mr. Tsokwa added that all the lawmakers were convinced Mr. Suntai is not fit to return to office.
Critics have accused the governor’s family and associates of attempting to foist a critically ill governor on the state so they can usurp his powers: “These charlatans have desperately kept trying to cling to political power and by extension the resources of Taraba State through series of craftily woven plots of deceits, meant to hoodwink the Nigeria public in a manner similar to the unfortunate Turai-Yar’adua saga.”
Events since Monday appeared to give strength to that concern as the critically ill governor issued an immediate notification to the House of Assembly signaling his preparedness to resume work.
Then, while lawmakers insisted he addressed them before approving his letter, the governor, on Wednesday, announced the dissolution of the cabinet and named a new secretary to the state government.
The governor named the outgoing commissioner for Justice, Timothy Kataps, as the news SSG, and Aminu Jika as the new Chief of Staff.
But the acting governor, Mr. Umar, dismissed the order as null and void, and laid claim to the office hours later.
The declaration heightened the political tension in the state that has endured months of uncertainty as both sides jostled for authority and sought to outplay the other long before Mr. Suntai returned to Nigeria.
A source close to the state Assembly said some members loyal to Mr. Umar had commenced scouting for signatures preparatory for the commencement of impeachment proceedings against the ailing governor.
The source indicated that the impeachment plan had already reached advanced stage with only two more signatures needed to get the required number of members necessary to actualize the plot.
The State Assembly itself had on Tuesday backed Mr. Umar to continue as acting governor until Mr. Suntai was able to appear before the lawmakers to confirm that he is indeed fit to function as governor as indicated in the letter he transmitted to the House.