Former Taraba State Governor, Suntai, dies at 56

*Suntai...died five years after the crash

The former governor of Taraba State,  Danbaba Suntai, who was involved in a plane crash in October 2012 has died in Houston, Texas, in the United States.

The special assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on public affairs, Mr. Emmanuel Bello, confirmed the former governor’s death today, Wednesday.

Since the plane crash, Suntai has been receiving treatment in hospitals across the world.

Bello said information on when the remains of the former governor would be conveyed back to Nigeria would be released later.

Suntai was piloting a small plane when he crashed in October 25, 2012 near Yola Airport in Adamawa State.

After a brief stay at the National Hospital, Abuja, he was flown to a hospital in Germany.

He was later transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital in the State of Maryland, the United States.

After spending a few months there, he was admitted at a rehabilitation centre for trauma patients in Staten Island, New York.

He was flown back to Nigeria on August 25, 2013 after 10 months of medical treatment overseas following claims by his supporters that he was fit to govern.

But after weeks of political crisis in the state based on claims and counter-claims over his health status, it was revealed that the 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, with his then deputy and acting governor, Garba Umar, continuing in an acting capacity.

Born on June 30, 1961, in Suntai Town in Bali local government area of Taraba State, Suntai attended Federal Government College, Kano (1975–1980) and the School of Basic Studies at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1980–1981).

He was admitted to Ahmadu Bello University where he read Pharmacy and graduated in 1984.

He did his internship at Yola Specialist Hospital and his National Youth Service at the State Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, Ogun State (1985–1986).

He then worked at the General Hospital, Ganye in old Gongola State until 1991.

Suntai He started his political career when he was elected chairman of Bali local government area (1989–1993).

Joining the Taraba State civil service, he was director-general of the Taraba State Ministry of Agriculture and National Resources (1994–1996).

In the 1999 elections, he was state chairman of the All People’s Party (APP), when the PDP narrowly defeated the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP).

In 2000, he became chairman of Taraba State Investment and Properties Ltd. He was appointed Commissioner of the Ministry of Education (2000–2003), and worked at the Ministry of Health (2003–2005) before becoming Secretary to the Taraba State Government (2005–2007).

He was elected as executive governor of Taraba State, for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in April 2007, and was sworn in on May 29 2007.

He ran successfully for reelection on April 26, 2011.

During his tenure as governor Suntai made efforts to fight corruption, crime and lack of discipline, while delegating authority and providing funds to the local government areas.















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