Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Family Worried On Suntai's Health

The health state of Taraba Governor Danbaba Suntai is "deteriorating by the day," according to family sources who told Daily Trust they were concerned about his condition. Suntai is being treated at a German hospital after a private aircraft he was piloting crashed on October 25, meters away from the NNPC depot along Yola-Numan road, leaving him and his aides on board seriously injured.

Since his departure for Germany on October 27, there has been growing disquiet in Taraba and over lack of official information on his health condition. Although state officials who visited him have continued to insist that there were remarkable improvements in his health, Suntai's immediate family is said to be having sleepless nights over his health condition.

A family source privy to the governor's condition confided in Daily Trust that the family was becoming frustrated that instead of witnessing improvement, the governor's health condition is deteriorating. Even government officials who paint a positive picture of the governor's health publicly are said to be privately disturbed over his state of health.

According our source, who sought identity protection, Suntai was still on life-support machine in the intensive care unit of an undisclosed hospital based in Hanover, Germany.

His wife Hauwa and some of his closest associates are the only ones who have been allowed unrestricted access to his hospital bed.

The continued absence of the governor led to a resolution by the State House of Assembly empowering his newly-appointed deputy Garba Umar to assume executive powers as acting governor.

But Daily Trust learnt that the acting governor is not being given accurate report of Suntai's health condition.

At the weekend a government spokesman, Hassan Mijinyawa, told reporters in Jalingo that two of Suntai's aides who were flown to Germany for treatment were discharged from hospital and have returned to Taraba, but our reporter said the aides have not been availed to the public or newsmen.

Also the governor's condition was said to have shocked a Federal Government delegation that recently visited him in hospital after attending the formal consecration of John Onayikan as a cardinal. The delegation led by Senate President David Mark also comprised Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State as well as the chaplain of the Presidency, among others.

Attempts to speak with the governor's personal physician, Dr Ahmed Kara, failed as he did not answer phone calls. Kara also did not reply to text messages sent to him asking for an insight on the governor's health.

Contacted to comment on the recent revelation on Suntai's health, chief press secretary to the governor, Hassan Mijinyawa, insisted that his boss was fast recuperating.

"He has left the intensive care unit and his condition has improved greatly," Mijinyawa said, even though he could not tell when the ailing governor would be discharged from hospital.

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