Thursday, September 5, 2013

SUNTAI SAGA: Hope Uzodinma, You're Dubious - Lawmakers

Gov. Danbaba Suntai
The lawmakers accused the PDP national leadership of bias.
Eight members of the Taraba State House of Assembly have disassociated themselves from the decision taken on Tuesday by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, fact finding committee under the leadership of Senator Hope Uzodinma.
The lawmakers’ position was read by the Majority Leader of the Assembly, Joseph Kunini, on behalf of himself and the seven other members.
Mr. Kunini accused the chairman of the PDP fact finding committee, Hope Uzodinma, of being ‘dubious’
The Uzodinma committee had on Tuesday announced that the Taraba State Deputy Governor, Garba Umar, should continue to serve as Acting Governor, but should run the office in ‘consultations’ with his boss, Governor Danbaba Suntai.
Mr. Kunini and his group, however, said such a solution is ‘poisonous’ and has left the state in more confusion.
“Well-meaning Nigerians have expressed the fact that the solution to the problem is the strict adherence to the constitution. Even a member of the PDP panel and the Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak, has quoted the presidency as saying the Taraba issue is a constitutional matter,” they said.
They also accused the committee of coming to the state, “just to carry out Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s hidden agenda, which many Tarabans have indicated and called attention to all along.”
Trip was against court order
The lawmakers also said the trip of the PDP fact finding committee to the state was done against an existing court order.
They said sensing the partial nature of the committee, some PDP member of the state “approached a court of competent jurisdiction to stop the panel. The court granted an injunction against the panel, and that order still subsists, and the matter will come up on 29, October 2013.”
They also said in spite of the court order which was served on the panel, the Uzodinma committee still travelled to the U.S. “to ascertain the health status of Governor Danbaba Suntai,” after which Mr. Uzodinma announced that Mr. Suntai was recovering fast.
The governor, they added, returned to the country shortly after and promptly complied with section 190(2) of the 1999 constitution which simply requires the governor to transmit a letter to the Assembly.
They said such a letter “is not subject to debate or resolution of the Assembly”.
The lawmakers accused Mr. Tukur of taking sides with the Deputy Governor, “when he announced he won’t accept government by proxy”.
They accused the PDP chairman of causing crisis “when intervening in any given state”.
Umar is ambitious
The lawmakers also accused the Deputy Governor, Garba Umar, of being too ambitious and attempting to unseat his boss.
“The Deputy Governor flew in the Uzodinma Committee from Abuja, on arrival they had a closed door meeting at the Executive lounge of Jalingo Airport
“They now drove to the executive chamber of the government House and were about to commence their business when they realised that they should have first of all pay a visit to Governor Danbaba Suntai
“After the Visit, Senator Uzodinma said the governor was hale and hearty,” they said.
They also said “in what is now the most dubious thing to happen to democracy in Nigeria, Uzodinma announced a power sharing arrangement”.
They said what Mr. Uzodinma did was to simply establish a “strange diarchy in Taraba state” as according to them Governor Danbaba is now just a ceremonial head, while his deputy is effectively in charge.
They argued that this arrangement is unconstitutional and is designed to benefit Mr. Umar “in his relentless quest to unseat his boss”.
The legislators rejected the announcement made by the committee, and stated that the solution to the crisis in the state “lies in the 1999 constitution as amended”.
They also called on President Jonathan to urgently intervene in the crisis before the state is pushed into unnecessary strive.
Others who signed the text of the address include Charles Maijinkai, Haruna Gbana, Abel Diah, Ishaya Gani, Mark Useni, Charles Audu and Gambo Maikudi.
Source: Premium Times