Ailing Taraba State Governor Danbaba Fulani Suntai has made his first public appearance – not physically, but in a photograph (right) – in about 67 days.
Suntai flew the plane which crashed on October 25 near the Yola Airport.He has been discharged from the German hospital where doctors treated him for multiple fractures, The Nation learnt yesterday.In the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) photograph, apparently taken by an amateur, Suntai looks darker than he used to be. He is holding his baby – one of the twins his wife, Hajia Hauwa, was delivered of on December 6, also in Germany – and looking straight into the camera, his wife is holding the other.
His Excellency is dressed in a white oversize (neck) shirt under a grayish jacket. His face is expressionless; unlike those of his beaming friend and wife. Suntai’s head and chin look clean shaven.
In the photograph, which is said to have been taken in the canteen of an unnamed German hospital, the governor sits on a dark leather chair that is obviously different from the others in the canteen. In front of him is a plate of food, which looks half-eaten, a set of cutlery, cups and a salt jar.
Standing behind Suntai is a man wearing a thick black winter jacket (the type worn by security agents). His face is covered by the camera.The reason for the release of the picture was not immediately known yesterday. It came amid the rumour that Suntai may have been permanently incapacitated.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), a close friend of Suntai, said the birth of the twins doubled the celebration in Suntai’s home, following his discharge from hospital.
It was gathered that Suntai’s wife was expectant when the governor got involved in the crash.
Her trip to Germany to assist her husband at the hospital changed the plan for her to delivered of the babies in the United States.
With the twins, the Suntai family now has five children – four girls and a boy (one of the twins).Bwacha said the governor was not in a hurry to return home because he wants to be fully fit.Besides, he added, the governor has confidence in the ability of tActing Governor Garba Umar to carry on.
Some people described as Suntai’s supporters are said to be planning to visit him.