by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo
Ailing Taraba State Government may be impeached by a ‘cabal’ if the report of the medical panel set up by the House of Assembly confirms him to be unfit to govern. However, Deouty Governor Garba Umar will also be impeached.
Garba Umar himself made this allegation yesterday in an interview.He said the plan was for the Cabal to take control of the government of the state. It will be recalled that Suntai returned to the country recently and has been holed up in Abuja since then, refusing to step foot in the state he was elected to govern. His failure to return to Taraba further fueled the speculations that he remains unfit to rule.
Speaking in a BBC Hausa radio interview aired yesterday, Acting Governor Umar lambasted those he called part of a cabal that wanted to seize power illegally in Taraba.
He said there was no rift between him and the governor himself, but that some associates were trying to create problems for their own selfish ends.
Asked to comment on the alleged plans to remove him along with Suntai, Umar said, “Yes, that is what they think. Since they are saying my boss and me should be impeached, it means they are not with him.
“They are lying; they just want to seize power illegally and there is no law that permits doing that in this country. The constitution must be abided by.
“And I don’t even know what offence I committed that would warrant my impeachment.”
A spokeman for Speaker of the Taraba state House of Assembly, Tanko Kaura, said he was not aware of a move by the House to impeach the acting governor. He added that this was a mere rumor.
Should the plan succeed, the Speaker will take over government pending the constitutionally provided 90 days within which a bye election must be held.
When asked if the medical examination was aimed at removing the governor, Umar said, “The issue of removal depends on the outcome of the medical panel. We just want to know the truth of his health status. Even me I don’t get to see him. I only see his photos just like you do in photographs and on TV.”
,“It is 22 months now that I have been acting as the governor…. All this while, I have never thought of anything like impeachment. But some people have continued to cause panic.
“I have been obedient to my boss, yet people will always say he is coming back to take over power. That is why we are trying to ascertain his health condition and then inform the world.”
Umar also said he was not desperate to hold onto power, and was willing to relinquish it to his boss if the boss was found to be healthy enough.
“Any time he comes and calls me to ask me to give back power to him, I will do that,” he said.