Meanwhile, buoyed by the support he is getting from majority of the members of the state House of Assembly, Taraba Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, yesterday, countered Governor Danbaba Suntai’s decision to dissolve the State Executive Council.
Umar, issued a statement asking the people of the state to ignore the purported dissolution of the Exco by Suntai, pointing out that the action was masterminded by a cabal bent on hijacking the ‘administration of the day’.
According to a statement by the Acting Governor’s Press Secretary, Sule Kefas, the claimed dissolution of the state Executive Council was illegal, null and void and of no effect.
In the same vein, the acting governor ordered all banks in the state where the state government maintains accounts, not to honour any instrument of transaction that does not emanate from him or his authorised agents.
The governor said that the move was to prevent the looting of the state by unauthorised persons, who want to exploit the situation in the state for their selfish interest.
The statement said: “To this end, the bankers of the Taraba State Government are reminded to note that all financial instruments relating to the State Government’s accounts should be honoured only if they are in tandem with the provisions of the law, in which case, must contain: Verifiable signature of the Executive Governor of Taraba State, his Excellency Governor Danbaba Suntai or verifiable signature of the Acting Governor of Taraba State, his Excellency, Alhaji Garba Umar, Acting for the Executive Governor.
“Members of the public are advised to disregard yesterday’s (Wednesday) announcement of the purported dissolution of the State Executive Council and the appointment of a new SSG as well as the Chief of Staff.
“The announcement is a mere attempt by a cabal to hijack the machinery of governance in the State and not a directive that was given by the Executive Governor, his Excellency Danbaba Suntai.
“The Acting Governor of Taraba state Garba Umar is reassuring the good people of Taraba State that substantial progress has been made in the ongoing discussions to resolve the misunderstandings of the past few days, since the return of our leader, his Excellency, Gov Danbaba Suntai from the United States.
“His Excellency the Acting Governor is happy to note the high sense of patriotism and the brotherly manner with which Tarabans have been viewing and handling the developments, urging us all to sustain this in the coming days and weeks.
“His Excellency, the Acting Governor, however, wishes to remind all Tarabans that a moment like this calls for greater restraint and vigilance.”
It will be recalled that on Wednesday the governor had announced through one of his media aides, Mr. Sylvanus Giwa, that the Exco had been dissolved and that all the appointees should hand over to their permanent secretaries with immediate effect.
NBA challenges Suntai to address lawmakers
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, yesterday, challenged Suntai to address the House of Assembly in person, if he was indeed healthy enough to function as governor of Taraba State.
Reacting to concerns raised by members at the ongoing Annual General Conference of the association in Calabar, Cross River State capital, over what was playing out at Taraba State House of Assembly, NBA President, Mr Okey Wali said: “The governor should address the House of Assembly. If he does not address the House, then it means he is not there.”
Members had argued that the controversy over the governor’s health status was capable of creating constitutional and political crisis in the state.