Two days to his 56th birthday, a former Taraba State Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai died yesterday in Orlando, Florida, United States.
He had been in and out of hospital in Europe and the U.S. in the last five years, after surviving a plane crash at the Yola airport.
Then the sitting governor of his state, he flew the aircraft that crashed on October 25, 2012 but managed to complete his tenure in 2015 after being treated for the injuries he sustained.
The former governor was born in Suntai, Bali Local Government Area on June 30, 1961
The Aide-de-Camp to Suntai, Mr. Dasat Iliya; his Chief Security Officer Timo Dangana and the Chief Detail, Joel Dangana, were also aboard the private Cessna plane that crashed.
Following the crash the ex-governor was initially treated at Adamawa Standard German Hospital in Yola, the National Hospital in Abuja on October 26, 2012 and at a hospital in Germany.
On his discharge from the german hospital, he was moved to a rehabilitation centre in the United States.
Suntai in 2009 survived food poisoning. He took a medical leave to detoxify his system in a German hospital.
Suntai’s former Commissioner for Information, Emmanuel Bello, a senior special assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku, said Suntai died in the early hours of yesterday. But he could not give the detail.
Bello said: “Former Governor Suntai is dead. It is two days to his birthday. Life. And death. And politics.”
A source said: “The plane crash affected his brain, hearing and speech. He could barely communicate or audible. It has been harrowing with his wife, ex-First Lady Hauwa bearing the burden.
“He also suffered problem in his spinal cord because he was on specialized wheelchair in the past fiveyears.
“I think he got the best medical care from his family and he virtually lost everything to huge hospital bills. He was a good man.”
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, representing Taraba southern zone, has described the death of the former Governor of Taraba State Danbaba Danfulani Suntai as the “will of God.”
He was undergoing rehabilitation from the injuries he sustained in a plane crash near Yola –the Adamawa State capital on October 2012 in Orlando, Florida USA.
Senator Bwacha said he received the news of his death with a “rude shock.”
“But I give glory to God.
“The death of former Governor Danbaba Suntai is according to His (God’s) will,” Bwacha said.
A former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi described Suntai’s death as painful and prayed to God to grant him eternal rest, and to grant to his family and the people of Taraba state the fortitude to accept His will.
Taraba State House of Assembly Speaker Peter Abel Diah said: “His demise is shocking. The last time, I learnt he wasn’t doing fine. It’s really sad.”