Former Taraba state governor, Danbaba Suntai, dies

Former Taraba state governor, Mr. Dambaba Suntai, who survived an air crash in 2012, is dead.

He died at home on Wednesday.

Suntai was reported to have had brain injuries arising from the plane accident in Yola.

Mr. Emmanuel Bello, a former Commissioner for Information in the state, broke the news of the death.

The former governor, who flew the light plane, that crashed in October 2012, had not recovered fully since then.

He became governor of Taraba state in 2007 and was sworn again on May 29, 2011 for a second term.

A pharmacist by training, Suntai enrolled for training as a pilot at the Nigerian College of Aviation in Zaria in 2010 and was thus licensed.

Prior to his plane crash in 2012, Suntai had been flown to Germany for medication after returning from his annual leave in August 2009, following a sudden ailment that was suspected to have developed from food poisoning.

He had had several successful flights with his private aircraft even while piloting the affairs of Taraba State as governor.

But his recent travails started precisely on October 25, 2012, when a private plane he piloted crashed in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

After receiving the initial treatment at the Adamawa Standard German Hospital in Yola, he was later transferred to the National Hospital Abuja on October 26, 2012. 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, Danbaba Danfulani Suntai finally returned to the country on August 23, 2013.

After weeks of political intrigues in the North-East state based on claims and counterclaims over his health status,  he was subsequently flown abroad again for treatment.

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.

Suntai was born June 30 1961 and attended the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he studied pharmacy.