(By Michael Irene)
“It is such a shame to witness the machinations of a greedy few, who have no interest in bettering the lives of Tarabans and who would hold on to power by any means necessary. These kinds of scheme only add to the ugly make-up of Nigeria. To put it mildly, Suntai is medically unfit to run the affairs of his state. How can an individual who was away for a ten-month treatment bounce back to rule immediately? How can a man who was helped off the plane on his return to Nigeria, be fit to run a state? The man should still be in the hospital.“
A country that fails to drink from the well of her history would certainly suffer the thirst of future ignorance. The recent event unfolding in Taraba state is another tale that shows that certain Nigerians enjoy this kind of plague. The need to massage egos, swell personal purses and notoriously cling onto power are nonsensical games presented to Nigeria and the world by the ailing Governor of Taraba state, Danbaba Suntai, and his gang of wolves.
On the twenty-fifth day of October last year, Danbaba Suntai got involved in a plane crash which left him and five others injured. Professor Zakari Aliyu, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Taraba Specialist Hospital, stated clearly, in an interview that “the governor’s brain injury sustained in the plane crash had made him lose some cognitive abilities.” These loss of “some cognitive abilities” might include but not limited to the following features: inability to pay attention for a long time span; extra time to figure out things, and it may be difficult to think of alternative ways of solving a problem; it takes longer and is more difficult to find the words one wants when engaged in conversation or trying to recall names of people and objects.
Suntai has displayed some of these features and evidence can be found from the stage-managed and manipulated video released on 28th August 2013 by Taraba State Broadcasting Corporation. The shocking and obvious revelation from the video is: the man needs medical rest!
The late Nigerian President’s, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, health issues and in addition, schemes designed by some unscrupulous individuals to trick Nigerians into believing the man was well while he was not, comes to mind here. The handling of Yar’Adua’s health by the cabal suggests the weak institutionalisation of political power, which poses serious challenges to the consolidation of Nigerian democracy. Turai Yaradua, the then all-powerful first lady, held the country’s balls from the back that amounted to a near collapse of Nigeria’s “rule of law”.
Similarly, Hauwa Suntai, Taraba State’s first lady displays her power and reasserts Lady Macbeth’s wishes: “Come, you spirits/That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here/ And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full/ Of direst cruelty”. She has created a cabal that would fill her crown with senselessness and carry out her direst cruelty. Democracy in Taraba state, one may conclude, therefore, is at the mercy of Suntai and their gangs.
The situation simply falls under the nomenclature of Neopatrimonialism. Neopatrimonialism denotes rent-seeking behavior, which many consider to be integral to the very nature of African culture or society. It denotes a situation where the political/policy elite is the self-conscious producer of niches of opportunity, which they exploit together with their clients/cronies. In other words, officials hold positions in bureaucratic organizations with powers, which are formally defined, but exercise those powers, as far as they can, as a form not of public service but of private property.
Suntai and his cronies intend to hold government positions as a private property. They have managed, also, to hold the state on its jugular in a bid to squeeze out materials that could increase their wealth. These elements that parade the power corridors of Taraba state need to be expelled to prevent the state from falling.
It is such a shame to witness the machinations of a greedy few, who have no interest in bettering the lives of Tarabans and who would hold on to power by any means necessary. These kinds of scheme only add to the ugly make-up of Nigeria.
To put it mildly, Suntai is medically unfit to run the affairs of his state. How can an individual who was away for a ten-month treatment bounce back to rule immediately? How can a man who was helped off the plane on his return to Nigeria, be fit to run a state? The man should still be in the hospital.
Governor Suntai should not allow people use him as a conduit to reach their political goals. The best thing to do now is to step aside for the deputy governor while he convalesces from his injury. After all, an African proverb states, ‘those who are carrying elephants home on their heads, need not use their toes to dig up crickets on the way.”
Democracy is on trial again. Nigerians and Tarabans should not focus on the products of these gangs that they can’t see the wood for the trees when it comes to the overall shenanigans of these political goons.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”