Taraba State governor Danbaba Suntai has been discharged from the John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland State, three months after he was brought to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as a result of the injuries he sustained during the October 2012 plane crash that involved him and some of his aides in Adamawa State.
Our correspondent, who got the information at the weekend that the governor had be discharged from the hospital, went immediately to the Suntai’s residence in New York, reports that Governor Suntai was truly discharged.
According to one of his personal doctors, who gave his name as Dr. Andrew Smith, Suntai will be advised to return back to Nigeria the moment it is confirmed that he can undergo a long distance flight.
It was learnt that apart from his wife, Hajia Hauwa Suntai and their children that were in the house, a top delegation of the state was also there to felicitate with the governor who had spent well over eight months both in German and United States hospitals.
Members of the delegation were a member representing Taraba state at the House of Representatives, Hon Haruna Manu, member of the state House of Assembly, Hon Mark Useni, former Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Abel Peter Diah and Hon Rebo Usman.
The governor, whom our correspondent was introduced to shortly after his arrival at the residence, confirmed that he was medically okay and asked the people around him if he looked like someone who suffered from memory loss.
When LEADERSHIP pressed him to speak further on his health issues, one of the Suntai’s physicians, Dr. Andrew Smith, declined, saying that it would not be wise for the governor to start talking about the incident since he had just been discharged from hospital.
He said the governor should be allowed time to rest before being asked to narrate his ordeal.
Smith hinted that plans to make him return back to Nigeria were ongoing, but promised that the governor would speak intensively with our correspondent sometimes week before a date is finally fixed for his return back to Nigeria.
Asked if the governor was fit to walk around as part of the things required of him to function as a state governor, the doctor said “yes” and asked if the delegation from Taraba State could stand up with the governor for a photograph, an idea that was adopted to show his fitness.
The doctor also dismissed the rumour that Governor Suntai was having memory loss, saying that his client was very conscious and could see, stand, eat and recognise all the people around him by their names.
Asked why the governor was not allowed to go to Nigeria immediately he was discharged, the doctor said that the idea would be unwise, stressing that it was normal to let him stay in his house in New York for a little while so as to allow the medical team access to monitor him to be sure that he could undergo a long distance flight.
When asked by our correspondent about the other ailments that were reportedly discovered in Governor Suntai when he was brought to John Hopkins hospital in March, Smith confirmed the report but said that none of the ailments was terminal as reported.
He said the governor did not have any terminal disease as reported by some newspapers (LEADERSHIP not among), adding that all other ailments discovered in the governor’s system were the first to be tackled by the medical team when he was brought to the hospital.
The doctor pressed further that the other ailments which had been cured over two months ago were normal ailments that any human being could have. “They were not as serious as reported. They were not serious ailments anyway and they have bee cured,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the wife of the governor, Hajia Hauwa Suntai, said that all she could say was to thank God for bringing her husband back to life, having undergone very serious pains both in hospitals in Nigeria, Germany and the United States.
Saying that the Suntai’s family had nothing to hide about her husband’s health, the Taraba first lady said that her door was opened to anybody who wished to come and see the governor’s present health situation at anytime.
Hauwa also confirmed it to our correspondent that plans to have the governor return back to Nigeria were in a top gear, just as she promised that she and her husband would speak with the press at the right time.
It would be recalled that Governor Danbaba Fulani Suntai had on the 25th October, 2012, involved in a plane crash which left him and some of his aides critically injured in Taraba state.
After spending some days in a hospital in Nigeria, he was flown to Germany for proper medical attentions where he spent almost five months before being moved to John Hopkins University Hospital in the State of Maryland towards the end of March, 2013.
During these periods, there were different reports saying that the governor had been permanently incapacitated. Another report said that the governor was having terminal diseases while some said that he was suffering from memory loss.
Meanwhile, the acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, has said he cannot tell when Gov. Suntai will return to the state, saying only the medical experts at John Hopkins hospital could tell.