The Governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai, arrived Nigeria on Sunday after 10 months of medical treatment abroad for injuries suffered after a plane which he piloted crashed on October 25, 2012.
Suntai departed the Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Centre and Home, New York, where he had spent four months this morning and arrived at the old wing of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja at about 1:10pm.
He alighted from the chartered aircraft aided by attendants and immediately proceeded to Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.
The governor did not talk to newsmen but one of his associates, John Dara, said that the governor was mentally alert as against speculations that he had lost his memory.
“We were excited to see him and it is understandable that after the long trip, he was weak and tired. But, we were thrilled by the fact that he recognised everyone by name which shows that he is mentally alert and lucid,” Dara said.
He noted that the governor’s mental alertness indicated that he was capable of taking over the affairs of the state.
“That itself is a clear indication that he is capable of running the affairs of Taraba as the governor. We had no doubt in our minds that when he gets back to Jalingo today, it will be up to his doctor to say whether he will resume today or in a couple of days to come,” Dara said.
But Suntai’s return may turn out to be as controversial and divisive as his stay way for medical treatment abroad as some concerned citizens of Taraba have expressed concern about his full recovery and ability to take over his office as governor.
To show that he is well enough to resume his duties, some residents insist that Suntai publicly address the people of the state as well as the House of Assembly as soon as he arrives.
Suntai was flown to Germany for further medical treatment on October 27, 2012.