Hon. Danladi Danfulani Suntai is the present Caretaker Chairman, Bali Local Government Area as well as the younger brother to former Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai. In this interview with TaraVoices correspondent, he bares his mind on the state of health of his brother, the role of the State Government regarding his ailing brother and other issues.
Question: Sir, the former Governor of Taraba State, your brother, has left foot marks on the sands of time through his selfless service in Taraba and to humanity before the unfortunate plane crash. Going by the fact that you are constantly in touch with him, can you tell the lovers of this great Icon the state of his health?
Answer: Thank you so much for the question and thanks for the concern you have shown regarding the former Governor who is also my elder brother. My elder brother is recuperating at a hospital in Orlando, and there is a tremendous improvement in his health. I came back from there just two months ago where I attended the wedding of his second daughter. He was in attendance and was so happy to give out his daughter in marriage. On that note, I want to say clearly that our brother is recuperating and is doing fine at the moment in the hospital.
Question: It was stated in a publication in Daily Trust of 9th October 2016 titled: “Taraba: Where is Ex-Governor Suntai,” that the former Governor has been abandoned by the State Government. What do you have to say on this sir?
Answer: Yes, my attention has been drawn to that publication too, and was surprised to read it myself. That story is completely false and is not true. Let me first of all say, we the family of the former Governor remains grateful to the present Government. He has not been abandoned by the Government. The Government is taking care of him and footing his hospital bills. I was among the team that took him back to the hospital one year ago, and since then, it has been the Government that has been settling his medical bills till date.
So if they are saying the Government has abandoned him, they are not telling the truth and I will advise them to always try and get their facts before coming out on Media except if they just want to make cheap popularity and to tarnish the image of the Government. It is not true that he has been abandoned, the Government has been taking care of him and we are grateful to them. In fact, the last time I went there, he spoke to the Governor and he himself appreciated the Governor for taking good care of him. They communicated at length and he even prayed for the Governor that God will give him the strength to do more for the State.
Question: Sir, it was also stated in that publication that the State Government is tired of footing the bills of the former Governor due to the present economic recession experienced in the country. Subsequently the Adamawa State Government had to take over the responsibility, what is your take on this sir?
Answer: That is what I said earlier. The publication is entirely false; they are telling lies. I am sorry, but, if they have any scores to settle, it is their political scores to settle with the Government, they should not bring our brother into it because, he is now our property, he is living a private life now. So, for them to say the Government is tired is completely untrue. The Government has not said anything like that, they have been paying the bills and are ever willing to continue taking care of our brother.
The issue of Governor Bindo, I am surprised because, I don’t know where they got that information, but it is wrong. The relationship between Bindo and our brother is personal. They have been friends for long and everyone that knows them understand this fact. They have been friends even before he became Governor, so Bindo’s relationship with our family is more of a personal issue and political, so they should not bring politics into it. If Gov. Bindo decides to contribute in any way to the family, it is personal.
What I am sure of is that the State Government is the one paying my brother’s hospital bills. If anything comes from Bindo, it is personal, and you cannot bring the personal relationship into a political one, they are two different things. I will advise them to be very careful in making publications.
I also read in that publication that, my brother’s health is deteriorating, I don’t know where they got that from, it is very wrong. His health is improving by the day. The word ‘deteriorating’ is incorrect and totally not acceptable to us. They should not use such a word against our brother because he is improving rapidly.
Question: Alright, thank you, Sir. So, how soon are we expecting our former Governor back to the State?
Answer: Thank you. Well, I cannot say I will give you an answer to this question because, we pray and believe and also hope that he leaves the sick bed very soon, but we know that God has the final say. We will prefer him to be there for as long as it takes for him to be healed and made whole completely. However, we believe that with God all things are possible. God can decide that it’s gonna be today or tomorrow. We will be the most happy people to see him back to his full self. I think that is the answer I have for now.
Question: Alright sir, on a general note, how would you assess Governor Darius led administration?
Answer: Governor Darius is doing well at the moment. He has Taraba at heart. In the midst of this economic recession, he has been paying salaries up till date, and we see him executing so many projects. In fact, you know I live along the Kona road, and we are beneficiaries of his Rescue Agenda, we are happy. Also in my Local Government, he has gone to commission some project, and there are some ongoing so, he is doing well.
We all know the economic situation of the Country, but for someone to be able to be paying salaries and working at the same time means he has the interest of the State at heart and is ready to work. I want to state categorically that Governor Darius is doing excellently well.
Question: Okay. On a lighter note now sir, you are already doing well by rendering qualitative service to the people of Bali Local Government Area, such that people are beginning to see the qualities of your elder brother’s selflessness and zeal in you. So what is your political ambition for now?
Answer: Thank you very much. Well hmmm… I thank God. I believe in God’s leading. Now that I have found myself in politics, I know it is the will of God, and I give him the glory for the journey thus far in the area of leadership. I also give God the glory for the wisdom and strength to lead the people of Bali. I believe my best is yet to come out and I am ever willing to do my best to serve my people more.
There is a saying that, “if you want to become a giant, then learn to walk in the footsteps of giants.” I have learned from my brother, and I am praying that God will give me that wisdom to follow in this area of my calling.