They say Government is a continuum. It is no longer news that the administration of Gov Ishaku under the Rescue Mission Initiative(RMI) is reviewing an MoU signed by previous administrations with major companies with the aim of remodeling them to meet current service delivery and ensuring their immediate execution, alongside re-embarking on capital projects initiated by his predecessors but couldn’t execute or build to completion due to tenure frame are sealed through, especially those projects clinically X-rayed by the Rescue Captain that if executed would catalyse the economic fortune of the state – And Jalingo Airport is one.
The Jalingo Airport, a project initiated by former Gov Jolly Nyame in 2005 was commenced by his successor, Gov Danbaba Suntai. Unforgettably the former Governor disclosed his intention to fund the Airport project at the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, (NCAT) Zaria in August 2010 when admitted to enroll a captainship training in the institution. It was Suntai who surveyed a new piece of land for the project having made understood that the earlier land allocated for the project was small and would not provide space for the 3.3km runway against the earmarked 2.Okm for the said purpose aside other topographic challenges as advised by the aviation experts during visibility studies.
Suntai, a Pharmacist turned Captain commenced the project and gave it flesh until he got involved in an air crash near Yola Airport on 25th October 2012- a Cessna 208B Chopper he was flying himself.
As said earlier, the emergence of Gov Ishaku through the Rescue Mission Initiative(RMI) revived the Airport project to completion, and thereafter brokered deal with Overland Airways, one of the leading commuter airline for interrupted air services, purposely to boost the state’s economy and attract foreign investors, as made top on the list of the Rescue Agenda. Gov Ishaku gave the project life and commissioned it last year. He maintained his resolve to continue with other projects initiated by previous governments, especially those with a human face. At the commissioning ground, Gov Ishaku said in part “Funding and logistics led to the termination of the project in 2012. Giving my commitment to continue with projects of past administrations that are of benefit to the people. I took over the such projects and this is one of them”.
Interestingly few hours today Gov Ishaku approved the proposal to name the Jalingo Airport after Pharm. Capt DANBABA DANFULANI SUNTAI, a former Governor who died on 28th June 2017 in Maryland, USA where he was receiving treatment on the injuries he sustained in the air accident. It is a good decision to put Suntai’s name on the memorable register of Taraba state. May his soul continue to rest in peace. Kudos Gov Ishaku!