PDP, Dogara, Ekweremadu Mourn as Suntai, Former Gov and Plane Crash Survivor, Dies at 56

Danbab Suntai
Danbab Suntai
People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweramadu, were among leaders that mourned as former Gov. Danbaba Suntai of Taraba, who was  involved in a plane crash in October 2012, died in Houston, Florida, in the United States on Wednesday.

Mr Emmanuel Bello, Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Darius Ishaku on Public Affairs confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone on Wednesday.

NAN reports that Suntai, 56, has since the plane crash 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.

Meanwhile,  the Taraba Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Victor Bala, has described the death of former Gov. Danbaba Suntai as a great loss to the people of the state.

Reacting to the news of the ex-governor who died on Wednesday in the U.S., Bala said Suntai’s name would be written in gold as a peaceful and hardworking governor.

According to the party, Chief Suntai brought great development to the state during his six years as governor.

He said the former governor would also be remembered for his political maturity in handling the affairs of the state.

“He carried everyone along irrespective of their religious, political or ethnic affiliations,” he said.

NAN recalls that Suntai was involved in a plane crash in Oct. 25, 2012 when a private aircraft he piloted himself crashed in Yola.

Suntai was born in June, 30, 1961 at Suntai Town in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba.

He attended the Federal Government College, Kano from 1975 to 1980 and the School of Basic Studies at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, from 1980 to 1981.

He was later admitted to the same ABU to 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 in Ogun State from 1985 to 1986.

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

Suntai was elected and headed the Bali Local Government as the Chairman from 1989 to 1993.

Joining the Taraba Civil Service, he was Director-General of the Taraba Ministry of Agriculture and National Resources from 1994 to 1996.

In the 1999 elections, he was the 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 the Chairman of Taraba State Investment and Properties Ltd.

He was the Commissioner for Education between 2000 and 2003 and worked at the Ministry of Health from 2003 to 2005 before becoming Secretary to the Taraba State Government from 2005 to 2007.

He was elected governor under the PDP in 2007 to become the second executive governor of the state.

The late former governor was involved in an air crash while flying his aircraft to Yola and has since been moving from one hospital to another for treatment.

Reacting to the passing of the former governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said he is saddened by the death of former Taraba State governor , Danbaba Danfulani Suntai, who passed on earlier today.

In a press statement signed by the special adviser to the Speaker on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, Dogara prayed the Almighty God to comfort his immediate family.
The Speaker also commiserated with the government and people of Taraba state, saying it was particularly painful because the deceased was a dedicated and purpose driven leader who had the interest of his people at heart and has 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.
To the government and people of Taraba State, I extend my heartfelt condolences, and to his immediate family members who are the ones who will feel the pain more deeply. I pray God comforts you and gives you the fortitude to bear the loss,” the Speaker said.
Also commenting on the development, Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, has described the death of the former Governor of Taraba, Mr Danbaba Suntai, as a great loss to the nation.

Ekweremadu made this known in a statement by his Special Adviser, Mr Uche Anichukwu, on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that Suntai gave a good account of himself as a politician, public administrator and party man.

He said: ”This is an incalculable loss not only to the people of Taraba, but to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family, and the nation.

”We had all prayed for his full recovery following the air mishap of October, 2012.

”This is a very sad news because he was a leader that loved his people, gave a good account of himself as a politician, public administrator, man of peace, patriot, party man, and a nation builder.

”He will be greatly missed, but like all great men, he is immortalised by his selfless service to God and humanity.”

Ekweremadu condoled with the family of the late politician, government and people of Taraba.

He also prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of the deceased.

 

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