Barely a week after returning from a lengthy treatment abroad, ailing Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba on Wednesday announced the dissolution of the state executive council.
The governor, who only returned to the country at the weekend from medical treatment following injuries sustained in an air crash also appointed a new Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and a new Chief of Staff, Government House.
Silvanus Giwa, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity to the governor announced the dissolution and new appointments at a news conference on Wednesday in Jalingo.
In the new changes, which looks like the ailing governors attempt to seize back the reigns of government from his deputy, outgoing Commissioner for Justice, Timothy Kataps was named as the news SSG while Alhaji Aminu Jika was appointed the new Chief of Staff.
The appointments, according to Suntai’s aide are to take immediate effect.
Giwa, who said that he was speaking on the orders of Suntai, said all Commissioners and Special Advisers had been sacked.
He passed the governor’s message appreciation to the out-going Commissioners and Special Advisers for their services to the state, and wished them well in their future endeavours.
The moves by Suntai to regain control of government in the state came as the State House of Assembly announced that the Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, would continue to act in that capacity until Suntai was able to appear before the lawmakers to confirm that the transmitted letter to the House was genuine.
On arrival at the Abuja Airport at the weekend, it was evident that the governor could barely walk as he was assisted off the aircraft, leading many to question the rush to resume as the chief executive of the state.
The moves is similar to those of the late President Umaru Yar’adua, who also rushed back from treatment abroad to Abuja in an attempt to prevent his removal on the grounds that he could no longer discharge his duties.
The Speaker, Taraba House of Assembly, Haruna Tsokwa, said on Tuesday that Alhaji Garba Umar, remained the Acting Governor until ailing Gov. Danbaba Suntai, was able to come out and address the assembly.
Tsokwa, who addressed a press conference in Jalingo, had said that the house was thankful to God that Suntai had returned to the state.
He said that the leadership of the house was not allowed access to governor since he returned on Aug. 24 and he had not been seen in public.
The speaker expressed worry that ‘a cabal’ was working relentlessly to cause confusion in the state in order to hijack the state politically.
Tsokwa described the group orchestrating and replicating the Yar’Adua saga as `desperate and selfish politicians’ that had no interest of Taraba at heart.
Said the speaker: “As elected representatives of our people, we will be failing in our duty to the electorate and to God Almighty if we allow this development to continue. Our request is very simple.
“We want our dear governor to resist the temptation of those who want to use him to achieve their selfish interest and come out and address the people of dear state through their elected representatives.
“If on the other hand the governor is not fit to address the people, then it means that the governor is not fit to run the affairs of the state and the house will have no hesitation in granting him leave to go back for further treatment.
“In making this request, we have no other motive than love of our dear state as well as the well-being of our dear governor and the happiness of family.
“We are firmed that Taraba belongs to all, irrespective of their rigorous affiliation, and therefore call on our people to demonstrate for the state and live in peace with one another,” he said.