PRESSURE is said to be mounting on Taraba State Executive Council and the House of Assembly to set up medical panel in line with section 189 of the 1999 constitution to ascertain the state of health of the Governor Danbaba Suntai who was involved in air crash six months ago.
This is coming as the presidency and the national leadership of the ruling party are reported to be angry over refusal of some PDP leaders in Taraba to cooperate with the reconciliation panel set up by the party leadership. The constitution had specified that a governor shall cease to hold office if a resolution passed by two-third majority of all members of the executive council declared that the governor is incapable of discharging functions of his office.
The constitution also provided that the resolution should be verified by a medical panel to be set up by the state assembly which will establish whether the governor is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind as renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office.
Investigations showed that top leaders are becoming uncomfortable with assurances by the acting governor, Garba Umar, and the state executive council on the governor‘s state of health, a situation said to be worrying the ruling party at the national level, the presidency and leading leaders from the state.
It was gathered that it was the embarrassment of allowing another Yar‘Adua scenario that forced the party leadership to set up a panel to look into how to ensure smooth transition within the state. The effort of the party leadership is, however, said to be meeting brick wall as some groups in the state are yet to be convinced of the sincerity of the panel whose terms of reference include a look into smooth transition in the state.
Failure to cooperate with the panel is reported to have drawn the ire of the PDP leadership with reports indicating that the party is now considering direct action to speedily resolve the leadership vacuum in the state. A source at the national secretariat of the party said: “the leadership is angry with what is happening in Taraba with respect to ongoing hide and seek game on the state of health of Governor Suntai. We are taking drastic action in due course.
“We had thought the panel will help to get everybody on board the resolution train. It appears some people are yet to see the need for that state to move forward. They are not looking at the damage this is doing to our great party. We will not allow this to continue for long.”
While the party is said to be angry, some interest groups in Taraba State are also said to be unhappy with the action of the party, with a loyalist of the state governor explaining that the party‘s action is coming late and that rather than a committee, the party should have directed its members in state assembly to initiate a medical examination to know the true state of health of the governor.
“Setting up a committee is another delay tactics. Is PDP not the majority party in the state assembly? The party chairman should just direct the lawmakers to do the right thing in line with the constitution. Set up a medical panel and let the state know the state of health of the governor“, an insider source from Jalingo said.