Abuja- Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba on Sunday arrived in Abuja after 10 months of medical treatment abroad after being involved in a plane crash on Oct. 25, 2012.
Suntai arrived at the old wing of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, aided to alight from the aircraft at about 1.10 p.m. and immediately proceeded to Jalingo.
Suntai, alongside some of his aides, was involved in a plane crash he piloted in Yola.
Suntai did not talk to newsmen but one of his associates, John Dara, said that the governor was mentally alert as against speculations that he had lost his memory.
“We were excited to see him and it is understandable that after the long trip, he was weak and tired.
“But, we were thrilled by the fact that he recognised everyone by name which shows that he is mentally alert and lucid,’’ Dara said.
He noted that the governor’s mental alertness indicated that he was capable of taking over the affairs of the state.
“That itself is a clear indication that he is capable of running the affairs of Taraba as the governor.
“We had no doubt in our minds that when he gets back to Jalingo today, it will be up to his doctor to say whether he will resume today or in a couple of days to come.
“But he is clearly okay and able to function,’’ Dara said.
He said that his (the governor) decision not to talk to newsmen might be because of the long journey.
“Talking to newsmen can be spontaneous and organised. So, we felt that when he has rested well, it will be easier for him to address Nigerians,’’ Dara said.
Another close associate of Suntai, Rima Shamulu, said the decision to take over the ruling of the state lied with him in line with the provisions of the constitution.
“There are provisions in the constitution for you to take over or not to.
“And if he gets back to Jalingo today, and he transmits a letter to the state assembly through the speaker that he has arrived, that is all; he can take over as the governor.
“S, I don’t know why there are speculations around because there is constitutional provision when someone becomes too sick to function; it is not for us to speculate.
“And with the way I saw him, he is allright,’’ Shamulu said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Suntai was transferred from hospital in Yola to the National Hospital, Abuja, on Oct. 26, 2012, preparatory to his being flown to Germany for further medical treatment.
About one hour after the governor was admitted into the intensive care unit of the hospital, President Goodluck Jonathan visited him.
The president confirmed then that Suntai’s condition was stable and urged Nigerians to thank God for sparing the governor’s life.
On Oct. 27, 2012, Barely 48 hours after Suntai was moved from Yola to the National Hospital, Abuja, he was flown to Germany for further medical treatment.