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Why ailing Suntai was rushed home –Source



Indications emerged yesterday that the ailing Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai was flown home to abort a move by some powerful individuals in the state to force the hands of the executive and the state House of Assembly to declare him incapacitated and remove him from office.

Suntai, who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at 12.05p.m. after a 10-month absence, was immediately driven in a black Toyota Sequoia SUV with registration Lagos SC 989 AAA for some rest at the VIP Lounge before boarding a connecting flight to Yola.

The governor, who spotted grey suit and blue shirt, was helped down the steps of the light jet that brought him to Abuja and appeared clearly frail.

He did not speak to reporters and barely managed to acknowledge cheers from the crowd by waving to the people before he was assisted into a waiting car.

Former information minister and a member of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prof. Jerry Gana, who was at the airport to receive the governor told reporters that he was thankful to God Almighty for the safe return of the governor.

He said:”After about 13 hours of flight, he will be tired as a human being. He is fine; he wants to rest a bit before the next flight to Yola.

“We thank God he arrived safely; he is very sound but because of the fatigue of travelling, he is going to rest for about an hour or two before the next flight to Jalingo.

“Governance doesn’t mean you will be running around, you have to think and act. There are those who are governing even on wheelchair. We thank God he is safe and that he arrived safely; he is healthy. He will be able to do his work effectively; he is going to Jalingo later today.”

Also, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Darius Ishaku, who also spoke to reporters, said it was a good development that the governor arrived safely.

The minister, who defended the governor’s decision to remain overseas to properly recuperate, noted that Suntai could not stay abroad indefinitely as he has recovered and, therefore, needs to come home.

Other dignitaries who were also at the airport to receive the governor were the former National Transformation Party presidential candidate, John Dara, and the former Minister of Sports, Damishi Sango.

Dara said:”We were excited to see the governor. What is clear is that after the long haul from America, he was obviously weak and tired but we were thrilled by the fact that he recognised everyone of us by name, which shows he is mentally alert, lucid and that shows that he is capable of running the affairs of the state as governor.

“We have no doubt that when he gets to Jalingo later, it will be up to his doctor who is accompanying him to say whether he should work today. He is clearly OK and able to function.”

However, a prominent indigene of the state, who did not want his name mentioned, said the governor was still not in a good condition of health to enable him perform his functions but that he was brought in nonetheless to enable him remain in office.

The agenda of the opposition, National Mirror learnt, was to activate Section 189 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The section covers the process of removing a sitting governor from office on the grounds of incapacitation.

The plan was already in top gear when the strategists in the governor’s camp decided to rush the governor home.

A socio-political group, Taraba Justice Forum, had been at the vanguard of calls for the sacking the governor to pave the way for his deputy and acting governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, to become the substantive chief executive.

The group had based its position on the grounds that members of the state cabinet were allegedly cashing in on the poor state of health of the governor to loot the treasury.

It had insisted that Suntai was in vegetative condition without intellectual capacity to run the state, and faulted Senator Emmanuel Bwacha over his claim that only the death of Suntai could make the acting governor to become the substantive.

The forum noted that the lawmaker was guilty of “misinterpretation of section 189 of the constitution”.

Bwacha is the senator representing Taraba South Senatorial District.

He had in a recent interview stated that President Goodluck Jonathan only became the substantive President after the death of former President Umar Yar’Adua and that precedent should be applied to the Taraba situation.

But with the arrival of the governor yesterday, the plan to remove the governor might have been scuttled.

Meanwhile, the governor arrived in Jalingo, the state capital, at 4.20p.m. to a tumultuous welcome by hundreds of residents, who had been waiting to catch a glimpse of him.

Before the team arrived, security at the airport was tight as military personnel and policemen were on ground.

The office of the acting Governor, Umar, had earlier issued a statement that the governor’s entourage would arrive in the state by 8 a.m. instead of the 2 p.m. that was initially announced.

Umar led prominent politicians in the state to receive the governor, who was immediately driven to the Government House in a long convoy that virtually paralysed movement in the state capital.

The governor did not talk to the press on arrival and there was no statement from his media team.

The Chief Press Secretary to the acting governor, Mr. Kefas Sule, said that there would not be any statement for now, but promised to keep the media informed on any development.

Suntai was involved in a ghastly air crash on October 25 last year when a Cessna aircraft he was piloting crashed. Three other persons, including his aide de camp, who were with him, sustained varying degrees of injuries.

He was first flown to the National Hospital, Abuja, and then to Germany a few days later. At the beginning of this year, the governor was transferred to a medical facility in the United States where he had been recuperating.

Posted in Nigerian Newspapers. A DisNaija.Com network.

Source: National Mirror Newspaper

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Nigeria records 1,031 new COVID-19 cases as total rises to 87,510




Tribune Online
Nigeria records 1,031 new COVID-19 cases as total rises to 87,510

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 1,031 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 87,510. The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Thursday. “On the 31st of December 2020, 1031 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria. “Till date, […]

Nigeria records 1,031 new COVID-19 cases as total rises to 87,510
Tribune Online

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The Nation

Power should shift to Southeast, says Ufomba




By Emmanuel Olades, Deputy Editor


The clamour for power shift to the Southeast geo-political zone is being intensified by politicians from the zone.

How realistic is the agenda? A prominent Igbo politician and former governorship contender, Chief Reagan Ufomba, said there is justification for the agitation.

“Where there is inequality, there will be no justice;  there will be no unity,” he told reporters in Lagos.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain said there are many Nigerians from the Southeast who are eminently qualified to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

He described Igbo as good managers, saying: “Anything you give to an Igboman, he turns into gold. Give Nigeria to an Igbo to run, and all will be well.”

Ufomba said there are agitations in the Southeast, owing to persistent feeling of exclusion from federal power. “There are poverty, unemployment, hunger. So, there is agitation,” he stressed.

Ufomba maintained that Igbo presidency is not debatable in 2023. He said it is either Igbo president or nothing.

“In 1999, Obasanjo came from the Southwest. In 2007, Yar’Adua came from the Northwest; a fantastic president who admited that the poll that brought him was flawed.

“Jonathan came from the Southsouth. In 2015, Buhari came from the Northwest. It should be the turn of the Southeast in 2023,” he stressed.

Ufomba has other priorities. For 12 years, he has been gazing at the Abia Government House. “To govern Abia remains my vision,” he said without much elaboration. “I will take that decision in 2022,” he added.

Abia is another mini-Nigeria as the various ethnic groups struggle for the front seat. To foster unity, the Abia Charter of Equity was agreed upon by the founding fathers of the state. Thus, Orji Kalu from Abia North became governor in 1999. His successor, Theodore Orji, is from Centeal. In 2015, Okezie Ikpeazu from South became governor.

Ufomba is from Central. Therefore, what is the chance of assuming the reins? He said his chance is bright. “Power walks. It doesn’t fly. It will walk through Abia Central,” he said.

The PDP chieftain hailed the idea behind the charter of equity. “What is fair to all is good. The charter defines the best principles and strategies for sharing and distribution of power. I support it,” he added.

However, Ufomba said the discussion on succession should not take the front burner now so that the governor will not be distracted.

He commended the governor for fighting the infrastructure battle in the state by constructing the roads, building hospitals, sponsoring human capacity development and sending artisans abroad for skill acquisition training.

Ufomba said: “We will assess him(governor)in 2022. He is on the right course. He has paid the backlog of salaries. He has done over 100 roads in Abia. When I joined the party in 2017, I discovered that the governor was being sabotaged. The federal roads he was constructing were stopped. The design of the bridge at Osisioma was not released. Over nine federal roads in Abia are being rebuilt. He has been doing that, whether he will get refund or not.”

In his view, Abia is work in progress. For the state, life is full of ups and downs. The state is surrounded by seven states-Imo, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Enugu, Ebonyi-all of them linked by federal roads. Yet, these federal roads are abandoned.

Ufomba said the distant Federal Government can hardly cope with the items on the Exclusive List in the constitution. Lending his voice to the call for the devolution of power, he said:”Until the nation is restructured to give room for states to manage certain infrastructure in these states, there will always be abandonment.

“Most of the federal roads should be handed over to states. Why should the Federal Government should be coming to Abia to repair roads?”

Ufomba also assessed the Buhari administration, saying much still needed to be accomplished. He noted that the policies of the government favoured. But, he lamented that young people now find it difficult to farm.

On security, he said: “No foreign investment can come when there is no security. Insecurity makes the environment to be hostile. Politics is the only industry that works.

The PDP chieftain said security ought to have improved because the president is a General who understands the terrain. He observed that the first constitutional priority of government is security. He called for the change of service chiefs, an end to banditry and misbehaviour of herdsmen.

On economy, Ufomba said: “Inflation is an indication that the economy is bad. The economy is in shambles.  People now say that Jonathan was better.”

But, he said on anti-corruption fight, “Buhari has done a little well. “The complaint, he said, revolves around the methods for fighting graft.

“People are concerned about modus operandi. Let there be due process and transparency. EFCC has become a debt collector,” he added.


Sourced From: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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This Day

Stakeholders Chart Course for Sustenance of Igbo Language




By David-Chyddy Eleke

Stakeholders in the South-east region yesterday came together to harp on the need to keep the Igbo language alive, decrying the nonchalant attitude about Igbo people on the fast disappearance of their language.

At a colloquium held in Enugwu-Ukwu Civic Centre in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, several personalities gave ideas as to how to keep the language from going into extinction, enjoining all to ensure they always speak the Igbo language.

President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Anambra State, Damian Okeke, who was also at the event, called for a law that would compel the Igbo people to speak the language and also dress in its cultural attires as a way of encouraging the customs and traditions of the people.

“We can start with the Enugwu-Ukwu which has held a yearly colloquium on this topic by asking that the traditional ruler of Enugwu-Ukwu, Ralph Ekpeh, makes a law that would encourage all members of the community to speak Igbo language.

The lead speaker at the event, a Professor of African and Contemporary studies at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Prof Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, spoke on the theme: ‘Community-based approach to promoting and sustaining Igbo Language’.

She queried Nigeria’s colonial masters for their disregard for Igbo language as well as the imposition of the English language on the people.

“The white man did well by coming to give us civilisation, but in teaching us what they know and what they want us to learn, they should have looked well to see what we have that is worthy of preservation.

“Our language is our pride. Our people must learn to speak our language so that the prediction of UNESCO that Igbo language is among those that will go extinct in 2050 does not come to pass,” she said.


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Premium Times

Powerful explosion hits Aden airport on new govt arrival




The blast took place shortly after a plane carrying members of the government landed at the Aden airport.

The post Powerful explosion hits Aden airport on new govt arrival appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

Sourced From: Premium Times Nigeria

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