Mashi Benson Elkanahi, Jalingo
It was indeed a sad moment for Tarabans as the body of the “Bulldozer” late ex- Governor Danbaba Suntai was lowered into the grave on Saturday 19th, August, 2017 amidst tears and lamentations of a dreams unrealized of the man called the architect of the modern Taraba. No doubt, the late popular Tele- Evangelist, Miles Monroe once said, “. ..the richest place on earth is the graveyard where dreams are being buried”.
Danbaba was at the verge of transforming Taraba state and Jalingo the state capital into a mega city, making it side by side with some developed cities in Nigeria when suddenly faced with the plane crash on October 25th, 2012 near Yola that finally led to his death in the American hospital on the 28th June, 2017 five years after. His dead rejuvenated in the minds of Tarabans, the memories of the unrealized dreams he vigorously pursued to change people’s perception about public officials, mostly governors. During Danbaba’s era, sycophancy in governance was an archaic trade, making sanity to be fully restored in the government of the state, “no work no pay”, was the hallmark which propels his achievements that surpassed his predecessors from the creation of the state since 1991.
In Danbaba’s days, Taraba state have received: rapid road constructions ever witnessed in the history of the state, prompt payment of state civil servant salaries,pavement of newly streets in Jalingo in a bid to raising it’s standard to a befitting state capital. It was Danbaba who brought the legendary Tijani Babanjida who coached Taraba United football club, registering Taraba in the Nigerian premier football league,the highest football league in Nigeria. Many young Tarabans traveled far and wide and represented Taraba in badminton competition in various countries of the world, establishment of the state owned University which hitherto Tarabans struggled for a space to be admitted in other state universities with a limited success, the Taraba state university as it stands, alone has no doubt written the man Danbaba Suntai’s name in gold. Danbaba suntai is not only a gift to Tarabans but is indeed one of the legacies of Rev. Jolly Nyame, the immediate predecessor of the late ex-Governor Danbaba and will forever live in the minds of Tarabans, his developmental strides obviously paved the way for the smooth start of the administration of governor Darius Dickson Ishaku in 2015 despite the near political impasse in the state, occasioned by the ill fated crashed resulting in a power tussle by factions within the then government of the state, making the runnings of the state government difficult for more than two years.
Danbaba Suntai’s has written his name in the sand of time, that generations of Tarabans yet unborn Will remember his giant strides in building the foundation of the modern Taraba