…says no justification for Taraba gov’s removal from office
From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
Former governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna, has said that the alleged plan to remove from office, the governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai, is wicked, callous and irresponsible. Haruna, who suffered a similar fate in the twilight of his days in office during the power tussle between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said for somebody to contemplate removing Danbaba because he is undergoing treatment at this point in time without actually knowing the issues, his state of health, is uncalled for.
Suntai, is presently recuperating in a hospital in Hanover, Germany, from injuries he sustained in a plane crash on October 25, 2012. He was reported to have personally piloted the plane. Haruna, who governed Adamawa from 1999 to 2007, revealed that everything said about Danbaba, that “he is brain dead” and “his case is irredeemable,” are just imaginations and not based on facts of his health status.
He further said: “If he was brain dead, nobody can tell you that he saw the report. It is just typical of Nigerians,” he said, adding: “To me, it is overstretching the fundamentals of politics.” While noting that politics is all about power, Haruna said: “But even in politics, there is compassion,” stating: “In the situation Danbaba found himself, what is required of every Nigerian, is prayers because it can happen to anybody. “Even if you don’t pilot the aircraft as he did himself, it can happen to you from the commercial aircraft. Even on the road, it can happen to you if you go by the road.
So, people should not remove compassion and morality from politics.” While refusing to bring in religious dimension into the politics occasioned by the ill-health of Suntai in Taraba State, Haruna said: “It is purely politics, it is purely the wickedness of heart.” Quoting the scriptures, Haruna said: “Even the scriptures acknowledge that the heart of man is full of evil,” declaring: “That is typical of what is happening.” According to him “there is no justification to call for Danbaba’s impeachment or removal from office. He had this accident on October 25.
And even in the civil service, if you give somebody acting position, he can act for three months before you even confirm him. “Danbaba has not even met the standard of even the civil service where you can function in an acting position just as his deputy is acting for him. And the framers of the constitution were not foolish to have provided for a deputy anyway. “We have had a situation in this country where the President of the Court of Appeal has been on suspension for almost a year. And throughout this period, his office was being acted by some other persons and for almost one year.
Is it because they were not elected? It is still a very important office, at least, another arm of government. “So, there is virtually no difference. And I don’t see the hurry. It is about morality. Even this provision of the constitution we are talking about, Section 190, every provision of the constitution, we must also exercise it with some level of responsibility. “For me, the call for the impeachment of Danbaba is just a wicked and callous one and it is irresponsible,” Haruna maintained. Asked if he was confident that Suntai would bounce back hale and hearty, Haruna said:“Absolutely! Absolutely! Even the photograph you saw, he is not somebody that is in a hopeless situation.
“Even if he is on a wheelchair, so long as he has a sound mind, he doesn’t look like somebody that is brain dead that they have been talking about or somebody who has problem with his spinal cord. If he has problem with his spinal cord, he won’t be able to sit. So, that photograph, at least, is a testimony to the fact that he is potentially picking up. “And instead of us to complement him with prayers so that he can fully walk into the purpose of God in his life, people are just contemplating impeachment and what have you. But for me, I am not surprised because I have a testimony.
“At a point, I didn’t travel out of the country on treatment, I was not sick, I was not involved in any accident; I went for my normal vacation, I transmitted a letter to the House, they acknowledged receipt, but in less than 10 days that I was away, my own deputy declared that he was the governor and even went ahead to sack my executive council. He dissolved my executive council, sacked other people from government.
“So, if that could happen to me at a point in time even though it was a period of political confusion, at the height of the quarrel between President Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku, you can see what external forces can do to overheat the system and I think the acting governor of Taraba, the deputy, will be ill-advised to fall into this gambit.”