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Gov. Suntai and the expectations of governance

To put matters straight, no leader in recent history has been as lucky as Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State. Anyone coming from these peculiar…

To put matters straight, no leader in recent history has been as lucky as Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State. Anyone coming from these peculiar circumstances should be expected to behave with humility and compassion. Gov. Suntai came to power not much as a result of his efforts, but because of the labour of others.          The coalition of PDP chieftains under the umbrella of his predecessor Jolly T. Nyame, like Danladi Baido, Hon. Habu Isa, Alhaji Abubakar Dauda, Sule Labaran, Musa Chul, Yakubu Gwamna, Hamza Faruk, Peter Achagwa, Silas Jeptha, Alh. Sadiq Ibi and Timothy Maisamari who did not pay attention to the populace in the choice of Danbaba to be the captain of the ship are today left with sour taste in their mouths. Having worked so hard for his victory, these committed people suffer from a sense of betrayal at how they became fools for their labour.   To make matters worse, the PDP under the leadership of Dr. Vaki has expelled many members from the party without resource to due process. This includes the suspension of Hon. Habu Isa Ajiya, one of the PDP founding fathers in the state. Dr. Vaki a party leader, who is expected to bring unity in the party, has taken side with Danbaba and is ever ready to help Danbaba to retain power at the expense of any politician in the state. This is not unexpected.  However, the people of Taraba have been sceptical as to whether or not democracy would be relevant in the state. Danbaba Suntai’s nearly four years on the saddle of power has done little to realize the dreams of the people. The provision of opportunity under a conducive atmosphere to have good roads, affordable healthcare, quality education, economic empowerment and job creation is a mockery.

The challenge to Danbaba’s administration is that about N163 billion was allocated to the state, yet no necessary infrastructure is present to provide sustainable developments to the society. Danbaba has not been able to rival the achievements of his predecessor, Jolly Nyame, in his first three years in office. Nyame was able to produce formidable legacies with the construction of Taraba  Specialist Hospital, Jolly T. Nyame Stadium, Jalingo Modern Market, Zing General Hospital, Wukari General Hospital, Takum General Hospital, Lau General Hospital, Jalingo Airport, Jalingo township roads and construction of bypass road. These series of project initiated and completed by Nyame’s administration makes Nyame to remain a challenge to the successive administrations in the state in the area of road constructions, health care infrastructures, job creation and youth empowerment.

Everything under Danbaba’s administration is commonplace; this man awarded the contract of Karim Road at N9 billion. The road had been paid lip service and had witnessed neglect for decades despite the huge human and natural resources available in the area. Other road contracts awarded includes, Mararaba Kurmi Road at

 N 7.3 billion and the Jalingo township road awarded at N 9.7 billion. It may baffle one to know that these entire three road contracts awarded at the total sum of N26 billion appears to be a drop in the ocean as the contractors of Karim and Mararaba Kurmi Roads disappeared and the Jalingo township roads contracts is yet to reach 30% completion.

A look into the educational sector leaves one close to tears. For example, the purported payments of NECO exams fees to students last year by the government has remained a kind of deceit if one considers the exorbitant payment for mock exams by unsuspecting parents and innocent students. The ministry of education collected ridiculous mock fee of between N1, 600 to N1, 800 per student, yet the mock results are yet to be released. A look further into the health sector shows the latest theatre of dead as fake traditional medical doctors dominate the state and are allowed to carry out their nefarious activity without fail.

Taraba State today is confronted with series of leadership problems. The governor and the cabinet are transparently inept, the elite cannot fix what is broken, and no one seems to be in charge to bridge the gap. To this end, with the growing contempt among the masses and the political elites, and with the gross incompetence and the loss of public confidence in his leadership style, can Danbaba get a second term?

Hassan wrote from 15, Liman Isa Road, Jalingo


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