1st January, 2014
The Acting Governor of Nigeria’s north eastern state of Taraba, Alhaji Garba Umar, on Wednesday, said his loyalty to his ailing boss, Governor Danbaba Suntai, was consistent and unshakable.
Umar, who made the disclosure in his New Year broadcast in Jalingo, said he was only holding forte for his principal, pending the time the governor fully recovered and was capable of resuming full duties as governor.
He said “as a loyal lieutenant, I will continue to hold brief for my boss by staying focused on his master plan for the development of our dear state.
“My resolve to do so is borne out of the need to ensure continuity and completion of the set goals and objectives within the life span of the current administration, started about seven years ago.’’
The acting governor listed some of his achievements to include the completion of work on Jalingo-Sunkani-Garba Chede Road and the completion and inauguration of Takum General Hospital.
Others, he added, include the connection of Suntai Village, the governor’s country home, to the national grid, as well as the state’s House of Assembly Service Commission Complex.
He said “it is to the credit of the current administration that local government workers are now enjoying a new minimum wage and we were able to pay September salaries of workers without federal statutory allocation.’’
Umar urged the state House of Assembly to hasten the approval of the 2014 budget he earlier presented to it so that the process of implementation could begin early in the year.
He commended security agencies for their roles in maintaining peace in 2013, stressing that the efforts of traditional and religious leaders was remarkable.
The substantive governor of the state, Suntai has been sidelined by illness, since October 2012 when his small Cessna plane crash-landed in neighbouring city of Yola, Adamawa State.
Despite efforts to give him the best medical care, first in germany and later USA, Suntai returned to Nigeria in August 2013, still not 100 per cent fit to govern.