• Dogara, Ekweremadu, Umahi mourn
From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Former governor of Taraba State, Dambaba Suntai, is dead. He died two days to his 56th birthday.
Suntai died at a hospital in Houston, Florida, United States, yesterday, after three years of intensive medical attention following a plane crash on October 25, 2012.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishakuon Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, who confirmed the incident in a telephone interview, described Suntai as a great man who worked tirelessly for the good of others.
Bello, who was Suntai’s information commissioner, further described his former boss’ death as a great loss not just to his family, but the entire people of Taraba State and the nation at large.
Suntai was elected governor of Taraba State in 2007 and was re-elected for a second tenure in 2011 before the unfortunate plane crash in Yola, Adamawa State.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed sadness over Suntai’s death.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the speaker prayed the Almighty God to comfort his immediate family.
Dogara also said Suntai’s death was particularly painful because he was a dedicated and purpose-driven leader, who had the interest of his people at heart and left indelible footprints on the development landscape of the state.
“I received the news of the death of former governor Suntai with a deep feeling of sadness, but, God is the author of life. From Him we came and to Him we will return,” Dogara said.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, described the former governor’s demise as an incalculable loss.
He said Suntai gave a good account of himself as a politician, public administrator and party man.”
“We had all prayed for his full recovery following the air mishap of October 2012. This is very sad news. He was a leader who loved his people; he gave a good account of himself as a politician, public administrator, man of peace, patriot, party man and a nation builder. He will be sorely missed, but like all great men, he is immortalised by his selfless service to God and humanity.”
From Ebonyi State, Governor David Umahi, commiserated with the government and people of Taraba State over the death of their former governor.
Umahi, in his condolence message to Governor Ishiaku and people of Taraba state, described Suntai’s death as a national loss and prayed God for the repose of his soul.
He recounted how the former governor “lived with pains for many years since he was involved in a fatal air crash in November 2012.
The Ebonyi governor urged the people of Taraba state to “sustain the legacies he left behind by building on his ideology for a better state.
“It is with great shock that I received the news of the death of former Governor Danbaba Suntai.
“ He was one of the finest politicians and leaders of the country the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) produced, who contributed immensely to the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.
“He had a promising political future, having risen through the ranks to become governor.
“However, tragedy struck in 2012 when he was involved in air crash and, since then, lived with pains till the end.
“I pray God grant him eternal rest in His kingdom and grant the immediate family and good people of Taraba state the fortitude to bear the loss his demise has created,” the governor said.
Umahi further called on the state government to accept the death of the former governor as “the will of God” and immortalise him by continuing on the legacy which he left behind during his stay as governor of Taraba state.