Leadership (Abuja)

3 January 2013

Nigeria: Suntai's Photos Stir Controversy

Photos of recuperating Governor of Taraba State Danbaba Suntai released to the media, yesterday, are stirring controversy over its authenticity.

In one of the photos, Suntai, shown carrying one his twin babies, was flanked by his wife and the other of the twin babies as well as a family friend. But the photo is believed to be stage-managed. The Taraba State government, in a reaction, insisted that the photo was real and a clear indication of the governor's current state of health.

According to Sahara Reporters, Mr Suntai's picture, which featured prominently on Wednesday in several national dailies including LEADERSHIP was mere photo trick meant to leave the impression that Governor Suntai return to Nigeria was imminent.

"The photo depicts Mr. Suntai sitting on a special support chair and showing no emotion. His wife and friend, who are also in the picture, are seen smiling. The baby was put in Mr. Suntai's hands for the staged photo trick," the online report said.

But the commissioner for information, Mr Emmanuel Bello, told LEADERSHIP, yesterday, that the photograph of Suntai published by newspapers on Wednesday was real testimony that the governor was in good shape.

Bello said "ahead of the return of Suntai sometime early this year, the state government and entire people of Taraba state have been expectant and praying for the governor's safe return

"Contrary to insinuations that Suntai is brain-dead, the photograph shows that he is alive to his environment and responding positively to people, and we demand apology from those who claimed that he was brain-damaged."

In line with the provisions of section 190 sub-section 2 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), the Taraba State House of Assembly had on November 14, 2012 mandated the Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Garba Umar, to act as governor pending the return of the Governor.

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