Former Taraba governor, Danbaba Suntai, dies at 55

Former Taraba governor Danbaba Suntai
Former Taraba governor Danbaba Suntai

Former Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai, has died according to a report by Sahara Reporter.

The online news medium added that Suntai died at home.

He was undergoing rehabilitation for brain injuries he sustained from a plane crash he was involved in 2012.

A former Taraba Commissioner for Information, Emmanuel Bello, was said to have confirmed the death.

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Born on June 30, 1961, the ex-governor would have turned 56 on Friday.

A pharmacist turned politician, Suntai was elected governor on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform in 2007.

He was re-elected for another term four years in 2011, but his second coming turned tragic when a Cessna 208 aircraft marked 5N-BMJ he piloted crashed in Yola, Adamawa State capital on October 25, 2012.

After receiving initial treatment at the Adamawa Standard German Hospital in Yola he was later transferred the next day to the National Hospital Abuja.

From there he was flown to Germany and was later taken to a rehabilitation centre in the United States for further medication.

After 10 months of medical sojourn overseas, Suntai finally returned to the country on August 23, 2013 following claims by his supporters that he was fit to return to Government House, Jalingo.

But after weeks of political intrigues, based on claims and counterclaims over his health status, it was revealed that the former governor was not healthy enough to live in Nigeria without adequate treatment, or to govern a state.

He was subsequently flown abroad again for treatment, even as his then deputy, Garba Umar, was empowered by the Taraba State House of Assembly to fully take over the ship of the state in acting capacity.

He was brought back in the build-up to the 2015 elections and remained confined in Jalingo until after the change of guards on May 29, 2015.

Following the swearing in of incumbent Governor Darius Ishaku, Suntai’s condition was said to have deteriorated prompting his return to the United States where he was currently undergoing periodic therapy.