AILING Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai has accused his deputy, Alhaji Garba Umar, of betrayal. Suntai said he least expected the deputy governor to lust for his (Suntai’s) office given the confidence he reposed in him.
Suntai, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Sylvanus Yakubu, said the governor was not the only one that felt betrayed but the entire people of the state.
Yakubu, who was reacting to Umar’s statement on Tuesday that he was 100 per cent loyal to Suntai and would not undermine his authority, said, “His (Umar’s) activities are a direct opposite of what he keeps saying.”.
Yakubu, in a statement made available to newsmen in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, on Thursday, added that he had personally lost the respect for Umar, who has been the state acting governor since October last year when Suntain sustained injuries when the small aircraft he flown crashed in nearby Adamawa.
“The deputy governor keeps talking of 100 per cent loyalty, but the reverse is the case; his people are in court against Governor Suntai,” he said.
Besides the allegation that Umar bribed the state lawmakers to transmit power to him to continue to act, he also accused the deputy governor of being the sole financier in the suit Danbaba filed against some members of the House of Assembly.
Yakubu said, “What we want is to see him (Umar) showing concern for the governor’s health, and loyalty to his principal, by negotiating with him on how to resolve the political impasse.
“The governor had on August 28 announced the dissolution of the executive and new appointments but Umar disregarded the dissolution. A cabal was trying to hijack the machinery of government.”
Meanwhile, a former Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Alhaji Habu Isa, has said that Umar’s continued stay in office as acting governor was constitutional.
Isa said in a statement on Thursday that Umar’s tenure as acting governor was in order since the House had passed a resolution for him to continue in that capacity till Suntail would be fit to resume his office.
He said, “The lawmakers were convinced that the governor they met was not the source of the letter of resumption sent to the House. Their efforts to set up a médical panel was blokked when by proxy the state executive council was dissolved. Left with no other option in the interim.
“The State Assembly passed a resolution mandating Alhaji Umar to continue in acting capacity.”